For foreign nationals who have made the US their home, deportation is a nightmare that could, in all honesty, become a reality (and not always because of their own actions). Something as simple as forgetting when a US visa expires can lead to deportation orders being issued, and this is why it is vital that everyone knows the basics of the US deportation process, especially as there are things you can do to appeal against orders that affect you. Don’t wait until it’s happened to find out what your options are, though. Read on to discover all you need to know. 

When Deportation Occurs 

Broadly speaking, there are three main reasons why nationals who have applied for and successfully been awarded a visa may face deportation. Firstly, a foreign national can be subject to deportation orders if the Secretary of State has reason to believe that this may be in the public’s best interest. Most people will never have to worry about this particular criterion, as it generally covers those convicted of, or believed to be planning, terror attacks or other large offences and threats. 

Secondly, a person can be subject to deportation if they are over 17 years of age and have been convicted of a criminal offence that has resulted in a prison sentence. The court that sentenced the individual may deem it necessary that they are deported after release. 

Thirdly, a person or persons may be subject to deportation if their spouse, civil partner, or parent(s) have been issued with deportation orders. Despite this, foreign nationals who face breach of their human rights in their home country, have a strong case to fight a deportation order. This applies to any individual who faces religious, racial, or sexual persecution, who would be returning to an active war zone, or who may otherwise be in severe danger if returned to their original country. 

The Deportation Process

The deportation process is fairly straightforward. Upon being issued with deportation orders, an individual, or individuals, may be detained without further warning or be subject to restrictions as to their movements and activities. You will want to hire an immigration lawyer for sure. These will not come into place and cannot be enforced until the orders have been served to the person. Upon notification of the order, the foreign national, and their family if applicable, should be informed of their rights of appeal. There is no automatic right of appeal for deportation under the discussed grounds; an individual must actively put forth an appeal. 

To stop deportation, you can appeal under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. This could be a claim that returning to your country of origin would be dangerous or potentially fatal, or that deportation breaches respect for your family and/or private life. The spouses and children of individuals served with deportation orders will have particularly strong cases in this area. You can make such appeals by filling out the ‘one-stop notice’ that should be provided with the deportation orders. 

It is key that this form is filled out and returned by the date specified and that the Home Office is contacted if anything changes with your situation, for example, a local war has intensified or new governmental laws have been passed that would lead to persecution or oppression. If deportation is successfully enacted against the individual, they may not reapply for a visa within the next ten years.

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