All posts by Cheng, Cho, & Yee, Immigration Lawyers

What if You Get Fired on a Work Visa?

Fired male employee holding box of belongings in an office

If you get fired on a work visa, you will have a 60-day window to gain employment elsewhere, prepare to return to your country of origin or try to obtain another type of visa when possible. 

While you might enter the U.S. on an H-1B work visa to gain lawful employment, certain circumstances could lead you to unexpectedly lose your job. The visa doesn’t guarantee job security. If you are suddenly unemployed and aren’t sure what to do next, you still have some options available to you.

Will You Be Deported if You Are Fired on a Work Visa?

Of the four types of immigration statuses, people in the country on H-1B visas do not have legal residency or citizenship. They must be in the U.S. to perform specialized work of some kind. Otherwise, their H-1B visa becomes invalid. If an H-1B visa holder loses his or her job, the individual could face deportation if it’s impossible to find work with another employer in a certain amount of time.

The Grace Period for H-1B Visa Holders

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), H-1B visa holders have the ability to stay within the country for another 60 days after losing their jobs. After that grace period expires, they face deportation. If your I-94 expires before the grace period ends, you will have until the expiration date to do what you can before facing deportation. Either grace period gives you time to take action before deportation takes place. 

During this time, you can do one of the following:

  • Find another job
  • Apply for a change of status
  • Voluntarily return to your home country

The grace period will begin on the day of termination or resignation. This means that once you’ve received an official notice of termination, the 60-day window will begin.

Rights for Workers on an H-1B Visa

Some H-1B workers may wonder what kinds of rights they have to their position with an employer. The fact is that the government labels non-immigrant work as “at will.” In these cases, if an employer has a legally valid reason to let an H-1B employee go, he or she has the authority to do so.

At the same time, you will have the right to the same treatment as other terminated employees, including access to certain benefits such as severance pay.

However, it’s important to note that if you lose your job and want to continue working in any capacity during your grace period, you won’t be able to start part-time work or any other unauthorized work.

How Can You Extend Your Visa?

If you want to stay in the U.S. and continue to work, you will either need to gain employment at another job after getting fired or apply for a change of status. 

If you cannot get a new job after a layoff, your best option would be to apply to change your status. A few different options are available to you if you choose this option, including applying for an H-4, B-2, or F-1 visa.

Popular Industries for H-1B Visa Applicants

If you decide to seek employment with another employer, some industries are more likely than others to sponsor you as an H-1B visa holder. Some examples of top industries for H1B visa applicants include the following:

  • Computer systems design and similar services
  • Scientific, management, and technical consulting services
  • Educational services
  • Engineering and architectural services
  • The tech industry
  • Insurance and finance

Many leading brands across various industries also hire many non-immigrant workers on H-1B visas. Some top employers hiring at this time include Amazon, Google, IBM Corporation, Apple, and Goldman Sachs, among others.

When Can I Begin Work if I Find a New Job?

You may manage to find work before the grace period ends. If this is the case, you can begin working for your employer once you receive a Receipt Number from USCIS. You won’t need to wait for the full 60 days to pass. For example, you may get a new job and receive your receipt 45 days into the grace period, at which point you can begin work immediately. 

Changing Status to Avoid Deportation

If you are unable to find work or simply wish to change your status instead, there are a few different ways to apply for a change of status. 

H-4 Status

If you have a spouse with an H-1B visa who’s still employed in the U.S., you may be able to change your status to an H-4 visa holder. This would make you a dependent in connection with your spouse. While you have H-4 status, you can continue looking for work without the looming grace period putting pressure on you to do so. 

Like other status changes, you should apply as soon as possible once the grace period starts to increase your chances of getting approved on time.

You may wonder whether you can gain employment and work with H-4 status during the grace period. While the government makes it clear that non-immigrants are unable to work during the grace period, you may still be able to gain employment if you have a valid H-4 visa at this time. Before making any decision on the matter, it’s important to speak with an attorney for clarification about your options. 

F-1 Status

In some cases, you may be able to apply for an F-1 student visa if you apply to a higher education institution, including a college or university. This will enable you to pursue an advanced degree or another degree before resuming looking for work.

B-2 Status

Another option is to change to B-2 tourist status, but this is normally difficult to obtain in this instance. The government doesn’t consider searching for a new job a form of tourism activity. Therefore, USCIS may not grant a visa unless you also have plans to travel. 

Another potential issue with this status is that even if you gain employment in the U.S. on this visa, you may need to visit your country of origin before obtaining another H-1B visa. Because of these inconveniences, it’s often best to apply for an H-4 or F-1 visa.

What to Do to Qualify for a Status Change

To stay within the country without applying for a new job, you will need to meet certain qualifications to change your status, whether seeking an H-4 or another status change. The following are different ways you can successfully stay in the country while temporarily out of work:

Marry a U.S. Citizen

While you should never get married to a U.S. citizen purely for visa purposes. However, you may have begun a relationship with someone in a citizen in the U.S. If you and your partner are prepared to get married, this is a good step to take to initiate the process of obtaining an H-4 or another type of visa as a spouse. Keep in mind that you will need to prove the validity of your relationship when applying for any type of family-based visa.

Become a Legitimate Tourist

You may have a hard time getting a B-2 visa if you intend to find work, which isn’t a tourist activity as USCIS defines one. However, you may be able to qualify for this visa if you plan on taking a vacation in the U.S. Whether you decide to travel to another location in the country or simply enjoy a vacation where you are, this would fall under the umbrella of tourism. In turn, you may be able to apply for a B-2 visa. However, USCIS may not allow you to be in the country with this visa if you intend to spend vacation time seeking employment.

Make a Large Investment

You may also be able to stay in the U.S. if you make a substantial investment in something like a business or new product. Large investments are typically those that go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may be able to qualify for a visa even if you invest $100,000 or less, depending on the type of investment.

Voluntarily Leaving the Country

In the event you are unable to find work during the grace period or apply for another visa status, you have the option of leaving the country at your own volition before facing deportation. 

If you decide to leave the country, you can have your former employer cover the cost of returning, as long as you didn’t voluntarily quit your job. Employers must always offer to cover the travel costs for H-1B employees after firing them, whether the worker is going back to his or her home country or the previous country of residence. 

Can I Leave the Country Temporarily During the Grace Period?

You are authorized to travel outside the U.S. during your grace period. However, you cannot return during the grace period, as you no longer have a valid H-1B visa. Instead, you would need to take steps to get another type of visa that allows you to re-enter the country. While out of the country during your grace period, you can still continue to look for work or undergo the visa application process before re-entering.

Is It Possible to Use the Grace Period for Another Time?

You might be able to get work or change status before the grace period ends. If this is the case, you might be curious to know whether it’s possible to use any unused days from those grace periods for future purposes. At this time, it’s impossible to carry a grace period forward. It will only apply to the current situation.

Should I Work with an Immigration Consultant?

If you lose your job and want to find out what options are available to you afterward, you may consider turning to an immigration agency. However, there are potential issues that can come with hiring an immigration consultant over an immigration lawyer.

One of the main setbacks of working with an immigration consultant is that they don’t require any background or experience in immigration law. They may help provide certain services such as submitting your forms to USCIS and helping with completing these forms. However, they won’t be able to provide legal representation or legal advice. 

Another problem that you may experience when hiring an immigration consultant is fraud. Fraudulent agencies do exist, and they may attempt to take advantage of you by making promises or providing certain services that they cannot provide. For example, an agency may offer to provide representation at USCIS hearings, give legal advice for undergoing the immigration process, and assist with the naturalization process. These are all services that immigration consultants are unable to provide. Additionally, consultants may claim that they have direct connections to certain USCIS officials or other powerful individuals when this simply isn’t true and won’t help your case.

These potential problems make it important to do your research when seeking an immigration consultant. Instead, you may want to consult with an attorney to discuss your case.

How Can a Business Immigration Lawyer Help if You Get Fired on a Work Visa?

A business immigration lawyer has experience in immigration law, particularly issues pertaining to business immigration. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will be able to provide legal services and guidance if you lose your job on a work visa. They can protect your rights and make sure you understand what you can do, whether it’s best to continue looking for work, seeking higher education and changing your degree, or taking another step. They’ll also be able to provide representation in hearings, unlike immigration consultants. 

Upon losing a job as an H-1B visa holder, you may still be able to gain employment, change your status, or voluntarily return home. Taking the right steps if you get fired on a work visa can help you avoid deportation once the grace period ends.

How to Check USCIS Processing Times Online

US Passports with wooden judge gavel on American flag on legal world

It’s now possible to check the USCIS processing times online through the USCIS website, providing applicants with a convenient resource to better understand the processing times for their cases. To use the new system, applicants simply need to enter their form number along with the office processing their case.

What Are the USCIS Processing Times?

Applicants can now check their case processing times via the USCIS website by simply entering the form number and the corresponding office handling the case. The USCIS processing time is the period of time it takes for the agency to process any type of case from the date the agency received the application. 

USCIS processes each case monthly based on when it’s received, and the processing time displayed is derived from data gathered over the previous two months. To help improve the accuracy, comprehensibility, and timeliness of case processing time postings, USCIS has been testing a new calculation method for developing case times for many forms.

How to Understand Processing Times

Individuals can check processing times for forms such as those used for petitioning immigrant relatives. USCIS displays processing times as a range. The first number in the range is the median amount of time needed for the completion of half of the cases. The second number displayed is the time needed to complete a majority (93%) of cases.

According to USCIS, processing times for cases are based on data analyzed from the previous month unless the “notes” section for the form specifies otherwise. USCIS tries to update most processing times every month to keep them consistently up-to-date.

The agency calculates processing times based on the data collected from previously completed cases and is unable to project the amount of time it will take to complete cases from the moment of filing.

How to Find the Information on the Form to Enter Online

When checking processing times online, applicants can reference the details on their forms and enter them on the USCIS website. The form number is the first item that’s needed, which is visible at the top of the form in the box labeled “Form Type” or “Case Type.” The other detail needed is the office, which will be listed at the bottom of the form.

Checking processing times online can enable applicants to accurately determine how long it will likely take to complete their immigration cases.

How Long Does Chicago USCIS Processing Take?

Similar to other locations across the U.S., there isn’t a specific amount of time you can expect the USCIS to process your application in Chicago. Generally, it will take around six months on the low end of the scale, but it can take as long as 30 months to process an application. Chicago USCIS processing times ultimately depend on the specific type of application and the nature of the case.

The more prepared you are ahead of the application process, the sooner you’ll ensure the USCIS processes your application. However, USCIS processing times can vary greatly depending on various influencing factors. 

Which USCIS Office Is the Fastest?

You might want to file with a specific USCIS service center to expedite processing, but the fact is that you won’t necessarily find faster processing times with specific offices. Remember, there are many influencing factors that can lead to a longer processing time. The location is merely one of many of these factors.

Most service centers have average USCIS processing times ranging from around six to 13 months. One of the fastest is the Nebraska Service Center (LIN or NSC), which has an average processing time of six months. However, there’s no guarantee that going through this center will speed up the application process.

Wait times are inconsistent and can vary greatly, depending on the circumstances. 

Why Is USCIS Taking So Long to Process?

If you’re wondering why USCIS is taking so long to process your application, there are several factors that can influence the amount of time it takes. The following are some of the key factors that go into USCIS processing times:

Visa Availability

The main influencing factor is the type of visa you want to receive. For instance, the I-131 processing time will differ from I-130 processing times, as they have different criteria.

People who are beneficiaries of employers or families will often see more extensive visa backlogs under these preference categories. Also, some specific types of beneficiaries and citizens of specific countries may need to wait longer because of the circumstances revolving around their application processes. Knowing how to check USCIS processing times can help you determine where you stand regarding the amount of time you’ll need to wait.

Varying Regional Processing Times

Processing times also vary depending on the specific region. Some offices are busier than others and have to handle a larger number of applications. As such, the amount of time you need to wait may depend on the specific area you’re applying in. Keep in mind, there’s no guarantee you’ll find faster times in other regions. Even if a location tends to offer faster processing times, these trends could change and wait times could extend.

Separation of Immigration Files

If a case involves multiple beneficiaries, this could entail separate filings with varying processing and citizenship times. For instance, the process will be different for sponsoring children and parents. At some point during the case, immigration files may become separated, leading to delays for certain individuals. 

Continuing Disruptions from COVID

While the COVID lockdown has ended, the effects of the pandemic continue to impact USCIS operations and have led to delays for many applications. The fact is that the government is still recovering from the effects of COVID, but things will become more streamlined once everything is in order. However, this change will still take some time.

Sending Documents to the Wrong Address

In some instances, issues can involve the wrong address with USCIS. For example, you may have moved since you initially filed with USCIS, in which case you would have to notify USCIS of your address change to ensure all documents go to your new address. Sometimes people may also simply provide USCIS with the wrong address, making it important to ensure all contact information with USCIS is consistently accurate.

If you believe USCIS has the wrong address on file, you can contact your office to confirm whether this is the case. You can then give the office your correct address to resolve the issue.

Inadequate Responses to Requests for Evidence (RFEs)

When applying for a change in immigrant status, you must submit a request for evidence at some point. Failure to respond to RFEs in a timely manner or correctly submit the corresponding forms could result in a delay.

How to Deal With Longer Processing Times

In addition to checking the processing times for your case, you can take other steps to deal with delays in processing. For instance, you could:

  • Ask USCIS about a potential opportunity to speed up the processing time for your case
  • File using premium processing if you qualify for this service
  • Reach out to a congressional representative for assistance with expediting the processing time
  • Contact USCIS to submit a service inquiry
  • File mandamus actions against USCIS in more extreme cases

An immigration attorney may be able to help you decide on the right steps to take regarding your case. You may find that you have the option of expediting processing times, or you may simply need to wait until processing completes. 

What Can You Do if Your USCIS Office or Form Type Doesn’t Appear?

When visiting the USCIS processing time webpage, you might discover that you can’t find your specific form or office. If this is the case, you can file an inquiry with USCIS if your case sits in pending status for over six months. 

If you’re unable to locate your form type or office, keep in mind that USCIS is continually adding processing times for all offices, forms, and categories. The agency is working to update its website, meaning you may be able to see the forms and offices pertaining to your case at some point after filing your application.

Tips for Getting Through Processing

While there are only so many actions you can take to expedite processing with USCIS, you can get through this process more easily by taking some things into consideration. To help you cope with longer wait times when there’s no other option available, the following are some helpful tips:

Sign Up for Email Notifications

USCIS allows applicants to sign up on its website and create an account. Through this account, you can sign up for email notifications that provide automatic updates on your case, including changing statuses. Taking this step will help keep you regularly updated on the progress of your case, so you’re never in the dark.

Practice Patience

Remember, you’re not alone in waiting for long periods of time to complete the immigration process. Some people are likely going through the same struggle, and others may have even longer wait times. Remaining diligent and patient will help you get through the processing time as you work toward your goal of becoming a U.S. resident or citizen.

Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

Even if you find that other people applying under the same circumstances of you see faster processing times, it’s important to understand that certain factors may have affected their cases differently. Just because someone benefits from a faster processing time than you doesn’t mean the government favors them over you. Some fairly random factors may have played a part in expediting their application process.

Immigrant Adaptation to American Culture

American Green Card - United States Permanent Residency Card Closeup.

Immigrants who are new to American culture may be unsure about how to adapt, but there are some ways to make integration easier as they settle in as residents or naturalized citizens. Certain customs and language barriers are potentially stressful challenges, but there are some steps that immigrants can take to overcome them.

To help make immigrant adaptation to American culture and make the transition into a new world less difficult, the following are some specific tips to keep in mind.

Adapting to American Culture

Immigrants adapting to new culture may worry about changes in customs and lifestyle, among other aspects of the new culture. However, taking the right approach and giving yourself plenty of time to adapt can help ease the transition to American culture. 

Some small and specific tips for adapting to the culture in the U.S. may include:

Remaining Optimistic About the Transition

Moving to the U.S. as an immigrant comes with many changes, whether here on business or as a long-term resident. Immigrants will need to adapt to spending a long time away from friends and family, along with other aspects of their home country that might differ from their American destination. It can be challenging to adjust to this change, but it’s all part of the process of starting a new and exciting life.

It may feel like a big change that individuals may be afraid to make, but the fact is that they will still be able to see their loved ones while starting a fresh new life in America. Many immigrants even wind up bringing their families to the U.S. once they’ve had a chance to establish themselves.

It’s best to look at these changes as a positive thing, as immigrants can still be themselves as they navigate a new environment that can benefit them in many ways. Immigrants moving to the U.S. will have the chance to develop a career that makes them happy, a comfortable lifestyle, and healthy relationships that make the move worthwhile.

Taking the Time to Assimilate the Culture

It may require some patience and ample time, but it’s important for Chicago immigrants to take steps to gradually integrate into the culture. This entails learning English and other languages that are commonly spoken in the U.S., along with getting used to local customs such as greetings and general interactions. There are many ways to approach learning the language and local culture, from taking free online courses to practicing with people regularly. 

Immigrants should avoid closing themselves off and isolating, as this can only make it harder to integrate and take full advantage of what the culture has to offer.

Exploring Your Neighborhood

One way to absorb the American culture when new to the U.S. is to wander around your area. Depending on where you reside in the country, the subculture could be considerably different. For example, life on the east coast might be different from life on the west coast. Certain cities also have different cultures. 

Getting to know your area and its inhabitants can give you a better sense of what to expect in your neighborhood as you adapt to a new way of life.

Enjoy American Food

Another step you can take to get into the American culture is to try various American dishes. Visiting and ordering from local restaurants in your area can expose you to many new tastes and local flavors. The cuisine can also vary greatly from state to state and city to city, making it ideal to try different dishes that broaden your tastes.

Share Your Own Culture With Others

As you connect with American citizens, don’t shy from sharing your own experience. People around you may find your story fascinating and give them some insight into how you’re adapting to American culture. Based on your unique experience, people may be more accommodating and eager to introduce you to different aspects of American culture. For instance, people may recommend specific places to visit to give you a better sense of American life, or they may suggest certain TV shows or films to further help with this.

Remembering That There Are Many Others Facing the Same Situation

Immigrants in the U.S. are far from alone. There are millions of immigrants in the U.S., with 22.5 million legally registered refugees who were forcibly uprooted from their home countries, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Whether in the U.S. voluntarily or out of hope for a brighter future as a refugee, immigrants share many of the same struggles and adjustments as they seek to integrate into American culture.

It can help to remember that many fellow immigrants are experiencing a similar situation, which can add a sense of camaraderie as they settle into the U.S.

Avoiding Judging Others

Immigrants adapting to American culture may find the changes to be extreme, to the point where they may want to resist those changes. However, it’s best to keep an open mind and avoid placing judgment on others. Understanding how others live and their culture can make it easier to transition without causing any loss of identity.

Knowing That It’s Okay to Make Mistakes Along the Way

With so many differences between American culture and others, immigrants may make mistakes when it comes to communication and interactions, but this is expected with any new experience. For instance, some may have a way of greeting others in their home country that is considered unusual or incorrect in the U.S. People are often forgiving and take these errors in good humor. 

Over time, mistakes will become less common until they’re rarely made. Even if they’re still made from time to time, people will likely overlook them.

Taking all of these steps can help immigrants make the most of their move to the U.S. There are certain hardships that immigrants may fear, but by practicing diligence, open-mindedness, and patience, immigrants can have an easier time adjusting to what may seem to some like a very alien culture. With the right mindset and proper precautions, immigrants from all walks of life and locations across the globe can find a rewarding experience waiting for them in the U.S. Staying open to change is key to making the transition less challenging as they adapt to this new culture.

These Are the Four Types of Immigration Statuses in the US

Cubes with word IMMIGRATION, judge's gavel and American flag on table

When immigrating to the US, there are four different types of immigration status categories that individuals may fall into: citizens, residents, non-immigrants, and undocumented immigrants.

What Is an Immigration Status?

Everyone within the U.S. has an immigration status, which refers to the type of presence individuals have in the country. There are several non-immigrant and immigrant status types based on the level of residency in the country and whether a person has citizenship. 

Immigrants and non-immigrants can change their status by taking the proper steps and going through various government agencies. These agencies include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) under the DHS, the Department of State (DOS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The American government gives non-immigrants and immigrants the ability to adjust their status under certain circumstances when they complete the necessary forms, including Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. However, you must meet specific requirements to qualify for the different immigration statuses.

Types of Immigration Statuses

If you’re new to the immigration process, one of your first questions is likely to be, “What are the types of immigration status?” There are four main immigration status types that are important to know. 

Here, we’ll provide an overview of these immigrant status types to help you determine which steps to take. Based on your current immigration status, you can also learn more about your rights and how to proceed with an immigration case.


A US citizen is either a person who was born in the US or became a naturalized citizen following a period of three or five years as a resident in the country. US citizens are unable to be deported with the exception of cases involving citizenship gained by fraudulent means.

Immigrants who gain citizenship will be able to work legally and receive public benefits for which they qualify. They can also help family members such as spouses, children, parents, or siblings become legal residents and citizens.

Conditional and Permanent Residents

Conditional residents are individuals who receive their green card prior to completing two years of marriage. The conditional residency also requires immigrants and their spouses to jointly file to remove the condition before two years pass after receiving the green card. Otherwise, the green card will expire and the resident could be deported.

Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) are immigrants who have obtained a green card and are authorized to live and work in the US permanently. LPRs receive permanent resident cards, or green cards, that prove their status.

It’s possible to become a permanent resident by having an employer or family member sponsor the green card applicant, or if the immigrant becomes a permanent resident via refugee status. Immigrants can seek asylum in the U.S. by meeting some requirements. Some individuals may also be able to file for themselves under certain circumstances, such as when a spouse is unable or unwilling to file for them.

Non-Immigrant Status

Individuals who are considered non-immigrants are legally living and working in the country on a temporary basis. Some examples of people with non-immigrant status could include students on an F-1 visa, fiancées on K-1 visas, tourists or business visitors on B1 or B2 visas, and others who are given temporary protected status.

Typically, individuals with non-immigrant status don’t intend to become residents. However, overstaying a visa, violating its terms, or obtaining a visa through fraudulent means could result in a change to undocumented status.


Undocumented immigrants are individuals who are in the country illegally or otherwise without permission, in which case they would be unable to live in the US temporarily or permanently. They are also unable to legally work in the US and won’t have access to benefits accessible to residents, such as driver’s licenses and health insurance.

Undocumented individuals face deportation at any time. Individuals will be considered undocumented if they overstay a temporary legal visa or enter the US illegally and neglect to go through a port of entry.

Understanding these statuses can help determine which steps to take to become legal citizens and avoid becoming undocumented or otherwise facing deportation.

You should understand the different types of immigration status and what they entail if you want to adjust your status, whether you aim to become a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

Immigration lawyer Bonita Cho

An experienced immigration attorney may be able to help you determine what options you have regarding immigration. You may then get a better idea of what steps to take to adjust your status and become a lawful resident or citizen.

Final Order of Removal? Here’s What Immigrants Should Do

Deportation and other documents on a desk.

After a final Order of Removal, immigrants and their families may be unsure about what to do. There are certain steps to take to avoid complications. The following steps are particularly important to know as aggressive enforcement continues to take place all over the U.S.

What Exactly Is a Final Order of Removal?

At the end of proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration & Nationality Act, an immigration judge’s Order of Removal will be finalized if:

  • The Board of Immigration Appeals dismisses an appeal;
  • The respondent waives an appeal;
  • The time allotted for an appeal expires before the respondent files an appeal;
  • The order is certified to the Attorney General or the Board on the date of the removal decision;
  • An immigration judge orders individuals removed in their absence;
  • An immigration judge decides to issue an alternate order of removal that also pertains to a grant of voluntary departure if the individual remains in the country beyond the voluntary departure period or fails to post a voluntary departure bond amount within five business days.

Unless the order is final based on these circumstances, ICE is not permitted to enforce an Order of Removal, with the exception of expedited removal orders that may occur in close proximity to or at U.S. borders. When faced with an Order of Removal, immigrants should contact a deportation defense lawyer right away.

How the Appeal Window Can Impact a Final Order of Removal

If an individual reserved his or her right to appeal at the conclusion of the removal hearing, a 30-day “stay” will automatically apply to the Order of Removal, which gives people some time to file their Notice of Appeal. With the Notice of Appeal in place, ICE won’t be allowed to remove the individual. If not detained, it’s important to notify the Immigration Court of any change of address, and if there’s any failure to file a Notice of Appeal within the 30-day window, the Order of Removal will be finalized.

If individuals fail to reserve their right to appeal their immigration cases, the Order of Removal will become final on the date of entry by the Immigration Judge. In these cases, ICE could put the person into custody immediately following the hearing. This potential outcome makes it crucial to reserve the right to appeal, even if the individual doesn’t intend to appeal, as it will give him or her some more time to prepare before deportation takes place.

Following the Finalization of an Order of Removal

If an Order of Removal for someone becomes final, ICE will be directed to deport the person within 90 days. However, because of other priorities in place and a limited number of resources available to the agency, the deportation process can take much longer. Unless an individual receives direct notification from ICE, he or she isn’t required to take any action until ICE initiates the removal process.

For individuals who aren’t detained and put in ICE custody, the agency will send a “Bag and Baggage” letter, also known as Form I-166, which demands recipients to report to their local ICE facility at a specified time and date. When visiting the facility, individuals will be required to bring travel documents such as passports and others, and they will be permitted to keep one small piece of luggage to be used to contain their belongings during deportation.

Reporting for Removal in Immigration Cases

When required, individuals will need to report as directed with all documentation and luggage. ICE will then take the individual into custody or detain them until deportation takes place. In many cases involving countries with a large number of deportees, the process will be quick as mass deportation occurs on a weekly basis. For other countries that haven’t established diplomatic relations with the U.S. government, the process could be delayed.

If there is a delay either because of a country’s lack of diplomacy with the U.S. or another issue preventing expedited deportation, it’s important to speak with an immigration attorney for removal defense to help prevent ICE from extending the detention period.

Self-deportation is another option to prevent ICE from detaining an individual if an Order of Removal is finalized. If an immigrant chooses to leave of their own volition, they will be considered “deported.”

To learn more about what to do in the event of the finalization of an Order of Removal, it’s best to seek professional legal advice on how to proceed. Taking the right steps will help avoid any potential issues and detention during the removal process. In some cases, an immigration attorney can help stop deportation entirely.

Reversing a Final Order of Removal

In some cases, if individuals have valid reasons to do so, it may be possible to reverse a final order of removal. There are three main ways you may be able to reverse your removal, including:

Motions to Reopen the Removal or Deportation Order

One potential option is to motion to reopen the removal order by filing with either the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Immigration Court, at which point you may present new supporting evidence that shows why your removal order is invalid. This evidence should include any documentation that wasn’t available to you when the court ordered your removal.

Motions to Reconsider the Order

You may also be able to file a Motion to Reconsider with the Board of Immigration Appeals or Immigration Court. This would entail proving that the officials involved in your case made an error pertaining to your case, which would render it invalid and allow you to either get relief from the removal or seek a new hearing.

The Appeal Process

Another option might be to appeal the removal order to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Filing an appeal could temporarily halt deportation and initiate a review under higher courts. 

Taking these steps may help you avoid removal or deportation in some cases.