In the United States, immigration courts operate independently of the state and federal courts. The immigration court system is a part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is regulated by the Department of Justice. There are over 200 immigration court judges in the 50 immigration courts nationwide. These judges have authority to award legal status to immigrants, as well as to order their deportation or removal from the United States.
Consult with an immigration attorney. An immigration attorney will be able to advise you whether or not you have sufficient reason to request a change of court date. Immigration attorneys in your area also have experience working with the immigration judges and court administrators to which your case has been assigned. A local immigration attorney may be able to act as an advocate on your behalf to change the court date or, at the very least, advise you how best to present your request to the judge.
Identify the venue in which your immigration case is filed. The jurisdiction is Immigration Court, but the venue depends upon the particular region served by the court. The venue will be listed at the top of the Notice to Appear with which you were served. Once you have identified the venue, identify the court administrator. See references for a list of court administrators for each of the 50 immigration courts throughout the country.
Contact the court administrator to request a change of hearing date. Depending on the procedures of the particular court, the court administrator may present your request to the judge on your behalf or direct you to submit a request in writing. Explain your reasons for requesting the change of date. Immigration judges normally do not honor requests for court date changes, except for special circumstances, per the judge's discretion.
Notify the court of any changes of address or phone number to ensure that you receive word when the judge grants or denies your request. To change or update your contact information, you must file an Alien's Change of Address Form for
Immigration Court. To obtain this form, download it from the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review website. If the court agrees to change your court date, you will be sent a new Notice to Appear. Failure to appear at a court date may result in your automatic deportation from the United States.
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