Last Updated: 01.21.2023

A Notice to Appear (NTA) is an official document that begins the removal proceedings for a foreign national. It requires them to appear in immigration court for the initial Master Calendar hearing.

One can receive a Notice to Appear in person or by mail. It can also be sent to your lawyer. Foreign nationals must be given at least 10 days from receiving the Notice to Appear and attending their first court hearing. However, this requirement can be waived. Often times this requirement is waived when the foreign national is in a detention facility and unable to attain a release on bond.

Pereira v. Sessions Ruling on Notice to Appear

In the new Supreme Court Case, Pereira v. Sessions, it ruled Notice to Appear without a date and/or time are invalid. On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court decided a case that advances the due process rights of immigrants living in the United States. The Petitioner, a Brazilian national, entered the United States in 2000. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security issued him a notice to appear (NTA) that charged him for being in the country illegally.

The NTA did not state the date or the time of the upcoming court hearing but said this information was “TBD” (to be determined). In 2013 the Petitioner applied for cancellation of removal, a form of relief available to noncitizens who have resided in the United States continuously for the past 10 years. Typically, the “stop-time rule” stops the accrual of continuous presence when the noncitizen is issued an NTA. Under this rule, the Petitioner would not be eligible for cancellation of removal because he had not accrued 10 years of continuous presence since he was issued his NTA in 2006.

Notice to Appear ImmigrationHowever, for purposes of the “stop-time rule,” the Supreme Court held that an Notice to Appear is invalid unless it states the date and the time of the upcoming court hearing.

Thus, unless and until a noncitizen is served an NTA that includes such information, the noncitizen will continue to accrue continuous physical presence. In the Pereira case, the Supreme Court said that the Petitioner is eligible for cancellation of removal because he entered the United States in 2000 and had accrued more than 10 years of continuous physical presence. The issuance of the NTA did not trigger the “stop-time rule.”

Whether you are currently in removal proceedings or were previously ordered removed, this change in the rules regarding any Notice to Appear could greatly impact your ability to apply for relief from deportation. Contact Eldridge, Nachtman & Crandell, LLC to discuss your case with Adam Crandell, your immigration attorney, to determine whether this change in the law impacts your case.