Deportation is the formal removal of a foreign national from the U.S. for violating an immigration law.
The Deportation Process
The United States may deport foreign nationals who participate in criminal acts, are a threat to public safety, or violate their visa.
Those who come to the U.S. without travel documents or with forged documents may be deported quickly without an immigration court hearing under an order of expedited removal. Others may go before a judge in a longer deportation (removal) process.
The foreign national may be held in a detention center prior to trial or deportation.
An Immigration Court of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) hears the related case.
If a judge rules that the deportation proceeds, the receiving country of the person being deported must agree to accept them and issue travel documents before the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carries out a removal order.
Most removals are carried out by air at U.S. government expense, although some removals may use a combination of air and ground transportation. Learn more about the removal of deported foreign nationals by air. Criminal aliens who have committed nonviolent crimes may be subject to Rapid REPAT.
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If You Are Facing Deportation (Removal)
Before completing removal proceedings, you may be able to leave the U.S. on your own under voluntary departure.
If you feel that your civil rights have been violated in the immigration, detention, or removal proceedings process, you can file a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security.
If you are an undocumented immigrant facing removal proceedings, you may be able to go through the adjustment of status process to get a green card and become a lawful permanent resident. This is usually done with a petition by a family member.
Appeal a Deportation Order
You may appeal certain deportation rulings. Seek legal advice before making an appeal.
Apply for Readmission After Deportation or Removal
If you are deported, you may be able to file an I-212 form to apply for readmission to the U.S.
Locate a Person Held for an Immigration Violation
You can locate someone who is currently detained for possible violation of immigration laws or who was released within the last 60 days by contacting the field offices of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
If you know in which facility the person is being held, call that immigration detention facility directly.
For information about the status of a court case, contact the immigration court.
Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
As of February 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept requests to renew grants of deferred action under DACA. USCIS will not accept any new requests from those who have never been granted deferred action under DACA.