Notice to Appear (“NTA”) initiates removal proceedings by informing the immigrant respondent that they must appear in Immigration Court on a specific day to answer to a charge of removeability.
An NTA is issued as a standard DHS form, Form I-862. The statutory requirements of an NTA can be found at INA § 239 & 8 USC § 1229 as well as the regulatory requirements at 8 CFR §§ 1229 and 1239.1.
Every NTA should include the respondent’s identifying information,4 the nature of the proceedings, the charges of removability and supporting factual allegations, the date and place of removal proceedings, advisals of certain rights and responsibilities, and a certificate of service. The statute and regulations require DHS to include all this information in the NTA.
The NTA will specify the nature of the proceedings in a series of three check boxes under the Respondent’s name and address. The NTA will inform the individual if they are being charged as an “arriving alien,” an individual present in the United States without having been admitted or paroled, or someone who was admitted but is removable for the reasons stated.
In support of the charges of removability, DHS should also include on the NTA a list of factual allegations that establish the respondent’s alienage (their country of birth or nationality) and other facts that support the charges of removal. DHS sometimes uses information provided by the respondent in prior applications filed for immigration benefits or statements made to CBP, ICE, or USCIS officers. However, it is not uncommon for the NTA to allege erroneous or incomplete facts in a respondent’s case based on inaccurate or incomplete information provided by DHS databases or officers.
Finally, the NTA also contains a number of warnings and advisals to the respondent about their rights and responsibilities while in removal proceedings, such as the right to obtain counsel, the responsibility to inform the government of any change of address, and the consequences of failing to provide a change of address or failing to appear for a scheduled hearing.