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What is an “in absentia” order? What are the consequences?

If you received the required notices about removal proceedings against you and do not attend, you will be ordered removed because you were absent (or “in absentia). To obtain an order in absentia, ICE is required to prove that written notice was provided to you, and that you are removable. An order in absentia makes you ineligible for various forms of relief, voluntary departure, cancellation of removal, registry and adjustment or change of status, for a period of 10 years after the date of the removal order. If you have an order in absentia or are facing removal proceedings, the attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA have decades of combined experience successfully representing our clients in removal proceedings, and we will protect your rights. If you have questions about an order in absentia or removal proceedings, contact us for a consultation.

What if I did not receive notice of the removal proceeding?

If you (1) did not actually receive the notice, and (2) you cannot be legally deemed to have received notice, you cannot be on notice of removal proceedings against you, and an order in absentia is precluded. If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent the notice to your correct address, but you did not receive the notice because of something that happened in your household, then you can be charged with receiving the notice, even though you did not actually receive it. For example, if you never received the notice because another person in your household got the mail and threw it away or lost it, you are deemed to have received the notice.

You are deemed to have received notice if ICE sent the notice to the last address it has for you, but you moved since then, if (1) you actually did receive the notice or (2) you do not argue that it was sent to the wrong address or not delivered. The court will presume that the notice was delivered to you unless you can argue that the notice was sent to the wrong address and you never received it. A competent attorney can gather and present evidence to the court on your behalf to show that the notice was sent to the wrong address or lost in the mail. If you can establish this, you may have relief from an order in absentia.

Contact us for a consultation

If you have questions about an order in absentia or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. The competent attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are experienced in defending foreign nationals in removal proceedings, as well as other areas of immigration. We represent clients nationwide in various matters including green cards and permanent residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, investor visas, PERM applications, and many more. We will not tire until we get the desired results for you within the bounds of the law. Contact us for a consultation.

Client Reviews
I had a really hard case then after dealing with many attorneys I decided to work with Mr Shihab and his office and that was the best decision I took, how professional they are, how good and fast they are I was treated from day 1 like a family member not just a client
★★★★★
Atty. Shihab helped me navigate several issues that I had never faced before... he made it easy and supported me immediately if I had any questions, and his suggestions were top-notch.
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If you want to hire the best Immigration Attorney, hire Attorney Shihab. He will go above and beyond anyone's expectations, and stays on top of your case. He keeps you informed and up to date on deadlines, interviews and what to expect.
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Atty Shihab's record really speaks for itself, but more importantly, each client is treated with the upmost respect and dignity. He and his entire staff makes you feel as if you are the only client in their office.
★★★★★
Mr. Shihab was recommended to me when the attorney my sister and I used failed to process our papers on time. From the beginning, I have consistently experienced exemplary service and very thorough knowledge of his profession.
★★★★★
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