This is an actual question I received via e-mail:
“Is there an expiry date allowing relief if there has never been issued an NTA? My example is where, after a statement at a port of entry was given and a temporary green card with a one year validity was issued, an NTA was never received and my number is not found in the system. What is the direction one would progress with regards to this? An attorney states that representation is not needed until a case has been filed with an IJ, therefore an attorney can do nothing.”
My answer is: I disagree. Of course a good attorney can do something in most any case. In this case, contact the USICE or USCBP that conducted the initial entry issue and issued any document to the alien. Maybe the NTA was never issued. If so, there is nothing to consider. If the NTA was issued, file a G-28 and ask for a copy of the NTA; review the NTA. Determine if and when it was filed with the Court. If it was not filed, then why not? Perhaps the prosecuting DHS attorneys or ICE investigators decided not to pursue the NTA. If that was their discretionary decision, then nothing else need be done. However, if the NTA was filed with the court, then perhaps the Court has misfiled it and never opened a new case. In that case, perhaps an inquiry to the court is in order.
An attorney has to take several factors into account…..what are the possible charges on the NTA? Why was it never filed or, was it lost? Is it possible to mount a valid defense to the charges on the NTA?
Also, note that an asylum application must be filed within one year of entry to the USA. If this deadline is missed, then the asylum application could be denied absent extraordinary circumstances. So, if the alien has a valid claim to asylum, be sure to file the I-589 (asylum application) within one year of entry to the USA.
About the author:
I practice in the areas of immigration and small business law in Akron, Ohio. In addition to my law practice, I am also an adjunct (part-time) professor of immigration law at the University of Akron, School of Law (“Akron Law”). My busy and challenging immigration practice comprises cases from all areas of immigration including family, business, and student visas, employment, H-1b, Labor Certification, PERM, O-1, L-1, EB-1 and EB-2, as well as more specialized areas of practice such as asylum, deportation, removal, and federal and state court litigation. I work from the beginning to end of complex applications involving spouses of US Citizens and their immediate family. I am especially proud to represent clients in fiancé, marriage, and citizenship cases and bring their families to the USA. Likewise, I defend clients vigorously in deportation or removal cases and work hard to win their “green cards”. For your regular reference please bookmark my blog – The Law Offices of Farhad Sethna. Please give us your feedback and let us know if the information we presented was helpful.