What is a NTA and why does it matter?

Posted by Inderraj SinghJul 13, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security must serve aliens in removal proceedings with a Notice to Appear ("NTA").  NTA is required by statutory command of the United States Congress which requires, among other things, to apprise the alien in removal proceeding of time and place to appear before an Immigration Judge.  

NTA also serves an important function for aliens who are in removal proceedings and who are seeking cancellation of removal whether the alien is a legal permanent resident ("LPR") or non-legal resident ("non-LPR") of the United States.  Both LPR and non-LPR cancellation of removal have different qualifications.  A proper NTA has a significant impact on continuous residence or physical presence requirements in cancellation proceedings.  A brief list is noted below for both, though its full discussion warrants its own individual blog post.

Cancellation of Removal for LPRs

To be eligible for LPR cancellation, aliens must demonstrate that (1) they have been an LPR for not less than 5 years; (2) they have continuously resided in the United States for 7 years after admission in any status; and (3) they have not been convicted of an aggravated felony. 

Cancellation of Removal for non-LPRs

To be eligible for non-LPR cancellation, the aliens must demonstrate (1) their continuous physical presence in the United States for not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of application; (2) good moral character during such period of stay; (3) that they have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses; and (4) that removal would result in exceptional and extreme unusual hardship to the individual's U.S. Citizen spouse or LPR spouse, parent, or child. 

A proper NTA is highly vital in cancellation of removal proceedings because upon the service of a NTA on an alien; the time for continuous presence or physical presence stops accruing.   For example, if an alien is served with a proper NTA two days before his physical presence reaches 10 years; this alien is now out of luck and cannot demonstrate that he has been in the United States for 10 years and might not successfully seek cancellation of removal.   

If you are in removal proceedings and need help examining your NTA, Contact California Immigration Attorney at The Singh Law Office immediately to preserve your important rights to seek immigration relief. 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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