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What is a Notice to Appear (NTA)?


Anyone facing removal proceedings should be served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) (click here for an example). The NTA is typically two to four pages long. It lists the reasons why the government says that you should be removed (deported) from the U.S. The NTA contains allegations, and the charges against you.

The allegations are the facts about you that the government believes to be true. They form the basis for the charges against you. The first allegation is likely to be that you’re not a U.S. citizen. A second likely allegation is that you were born in your native country. Typically, there are at least four allegations. Review each of the factual allegations carefully. You will tell the judge whether the allegations are true or false.

If you don’t have a copy of your NTA, contact your assigned ICE Deportation Office so that they can give you a copy. If you hire a lawyer, he or she needs a copy of the NTA.

Anyone who isn’t a U.S. citizen could face removal proceedings. If you are not a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or U.S. citizen, you could face removal proceedings for violating one of the conditions of your permission to be in the U.S. (for example, working without permission, overstaying your visa, or committing a crime), or for having entered the U.S. without permission. If you are an LPR, you may face deportation for committing certain crimes. 

This article gives insights on the steps to take for detained immigrants.