Heading to court for any reason is stressful; when it’s for an immigration hearing, that stress is compounded. One thing that can make it less scary is having an experienced immigration lawyer on your side to handle all the details. There’s a lot at stake here: if you lose your case, you could be detained and removed from the country.
To many, going back to their country could spell disaster, as death or even murder could be waiting for them upon return. If you find yourself holding a Notice to Appear in immigration court, relax. Then, heed these steps to calm your fears.
- Double check your hearing notice. Make sure you write down the date and time, and know where you are going for your court hearing. If you show up late, even if you’re legitimately stuck in traffic or got lost, this could result in your case being closed due to failure to appear. This comes with serious consequences, such as immediate removal from the country or, if you decide to fight it, all the extra time and money it costs to reopen the case.
- Find a good immigration attorney prior to your hearing. You may have heard that the government is required to provide you with a court-appointed attorney. Well, that only applies to criminal court. In immigration court, lack of appointed counsel can negatively impact your case. Studies show that detained immigrants with representation are twice as likely as unrepresented immigrants to be awarded immigration relief.
Make sure you do your research and find a reputable immigration attorney before your hearing comes up so they can best advise you on what your available options are. For some, their only option is removal or voluntary departure; for others, it is lawful permanent residency (called a green card) in the United States. It’s helpful to know in advance what to expect so you can come up with a strategy and not waste your time and money. You can even seek a second opinion just like you would with a medical diagnosis. Always be honest with your immigration lawyers; they can’t help you if they don’t have all the facts. Even things that are embarrassing or difficult to talk about should be discussed freely.
- Avoid notaries. Don’t be fooled: notaries are not attorneys. If you allow one to assist you with your case under the guise of legal help, you could put your whole case in jeopardy. If you want to obtain counsel and haven’t done so yet, don’t panic; request a continuance to get a real attorney.
All of the above reasons are why you should find and retain an experienced immigration attorney to represent you.
Contact D&N Law Group in Irving TX
For help with your immigration court hearing, don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 at 972-252-0886. Our office, located at 2505 Texas Drive, Suite 112 in Irving, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.