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URGENT - Received a Notice to Appear in court next week (REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS)

Los Angeles, CA |

Hi all,

I've received an NTA to appear in court next week on the basis of overstay on my H1B visa. I've met a few attorneys to discuss my case but all of them were very expensive and I couldn't make a deal. I need more time to find a good reasonable attorney. If I appear in the court myself next week and ask judge for more time so I can find an attorney, will that be a problem? Will I get additional time easily? Anyone else have done this in the past? Please reply ASAP.

Thanks a bunch

By the way on the notice it says "MASTER hearing".

Attorney Answers 2


immigration judges are usually understanding and will allow you to reschedule in order to find an attorney. Good luck.

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It is quite common to appear in court at a master calendar the first time without an attorney. In fact, many judges ask for all unrepresented individuals to come forward at the beginning of the docket and he/she then tells you as a group that you will be given a continuance to give you more time to find an attorney. They then individually issue you new hearing notices for a new master calendar. I have never seen a denial of a continuance for reason of finding an attorney the first time you are called to court as the judges want you to be represented. However, if you show up the second time without an attorney, the judge will usually insist on going forward.

Keep in mind that postponement may put you in a worse situation of being out of status over six months which has legal implications.

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