How to obtain legal migratory status when having a removal order issued in absence?
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There are different reasons why an individual may receive a removal order. It could be, for instance, due to problems in the border (which can imply an expedited removal), based on a trial with an immigration judge, after receiving a notice-to-appear, among other reasons.
It can be that the individual, at the moment of entering the US, has contact with immigration officers who provide him/her with a notice-to-appear for the person to present before the court. When an individual has problems with immigration within the US and receives a notice-to-appear, he/she must present before the court with the immigration system.
Sometimes, due to fear, or wrong information, an individual may not present before the court. The problem is that when an individual is in an immigration process, not showing up can imply a removal order issued in absence. In other words, the removal order is issued due not presenting before the court for defending the case.
When an individual has a deportation order, there is the risk of being removed (deported) at any moment without the opportunity to defend themselves from such order. If the individual remains within the country, lives, works, has children and spouse in the US; if it has a removal order, and has problems with the police, the case could be handled directly by immigration; or if it has direct contact with the immigration system, and counts with a removal order, at that very moment he/she could be removed (deported).
When an individual is looking to obtain legal migratory status but has a removal order, it is recommended to look for a way to obtain legal migratory status without leaving the US. Is not so easy, but it is possible.
Ways to obtain legal migratory status when having a removal order
When talking about an individual with a removal order, there are different factors to consider. For instance, if the individual is married, if he/she has crimes in his/her record, the way in which he/she entered the country, how many times did this person enter, among others
Due to the fact that each case is different and that there are different factors, it is recommended to consult an immigration attorney to find the most appropriate way to obtain legal migratory status.
For some people, even though there may exist a way to obtain legal migratory status, there can also be risks, sometimes so high that it may not seem worth submitting the application for documents. Some other times, risks are not so high however, it is important to start the process with a consultation with an immigration lawyer to know the situation better.
For some individuals who have removal orders issued in absence, there is the possibility to re-open the case by working with the immigration prosecutor.
This kind of situation tends to happen in cases where the individual entered the US legally, for instance, with a visa; does not have crimes in his/her record and has a US citizen son or daughter who is over 21 years old, or a spouse to whom is married. In this kind of situation, and considering that it depends on the jurisdiction and how immigration officers from that specific jurisdiction consider the case; an individual can apply for a motion to re-open the case working with the prosecutor in order to free him/herself from a removal order and close the case with a permanent residence.
The risk of applying for a motion to re-open the case is that if the ICE does not agree with re-opening the case, the individual could end up with the removal order, at the same time notifying the immigration system that he/she is still within the US. When is planned to use this strategy, it must be done with caution. Commonly, this strategy is used in cases in which the individual can actually work in conjunction with the prosecutor. That is a motion with the lawyer who is representing your case along with the prosecutor, with the ICE, re-opening the case. That is a way to do it.
Other ways to obtain legal migratory status when having a removal order issued in absence is via humanitarian visas. When an individual has a removal order, it is harder and more delicate to re-open his/her case, given that immigration will be notified that he/she is still within the US; which can imply deportation risk.
Humanitarian visas, the T visa, the U visa, and VAWA visa, have more flexible requirements for those who have a removal order. With these types of visas, it is more viable that the individual will be able to re-open his/her removal case and end up with a permanent residence.
When is about these procedures, it must be handled meticulously given that, in some cases with removal orders, there is just one opportunity to re-open the case. The immigration attorney must present a motion to re-open the case.
As you may realize, it is harder to obtain legal migratory status when having a deportation order issued in absence. However, there are ways.
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