Checking your immigration court date is absolutely critical. Immigration laws say that if a person misses a court hearing that they can automatically be given a deportation order. This is why it’s so important to know when and where you have to be for your immigration court hearing.
Starting recently, you can check your immigration court date online, but it’s best to confirm your court date using multiple methods. Read below to find out the four best options for checking the date, time, and place of your immigration court hearing.
Option #1: Check Your Immigration Court Hearing Date Online
To check your immigration court hearing date online, you need to visit the EOIR Automated Case Information page. When you go visit this page, you’ll need to enter your A-number. This is a 9-digit number, preceded by an “A.” If your A-number has only 8 digits, then first enter a zero.
Once you plug in your alien number into the Automated Case Information page, you’ll see 4 boxes containing the following categories of information:
- Next Hearing Information
- Decision and Motion Information
- Case Appeal Information
- Court Contact Information
Here’s what it looks like:
A word of caution: as with all government databases, you can’t trust everything you see. The immigration court information online may not be current, and it may not have been entered correctly. Mistakes happen.
That’s why it’s important to check your immigration hearing date in multiple ways — not just one.
Read on to learn about your other options.
Option #2: Call the Immigration Court Directly
Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the automated phone system to be 100% accurate. Sometimes the immigration court staff can make errors inputting the date and time into the court system. Sometimes the immigration court makes a sudden change that is not reflected in the automated phone system.
If you’re not sure whether to trust the automated court hotline, then your next best bet is to call the immigration court directly to speak to a live staff person. To do this, call the immigration court where your hearing is set. The location of the hearing is at the top of your notice of hearing. To find the phone number, you can check the EOIR Immigration Court Listing, which is found on the internet.
When you call the number, you should have ready your alien number. The court staff will almost certainly ask you for it. The alien number is 9 digits long. If you don’t know where to find it, then look at your notice of hearing or your notice to appear. It will be located on both documents.
After providing your alien number, the court staff member will be able to look up and verify your court hearing date.
Option #3: Check Your Hearing Notice (Assuming the Court Has Your Address)
In theory, you should always receive your first hearing notice in the mail, which will tell you the date, time, and place of your first immigration court hearing.
But sometimes, you cannot be sure that you will receive this hearing notice in the mail.
There are many reasons why.
- First, the court may not have your most recent address. People move all the time, and if you have not provided the court with your new mailing address, then there is no way for the court to send the notice to your new location.
- Second, the mail system is not 100% reliable. The court may have mailed you a notice, but the post office may lose it or send it to the wrong location. (The court is not required to send notices by certified mail, so the court will generally assume that you got it.)
- Third, sometimes the court staff can write down your address incorrectly, in which case you will not receive your hearing notice.
Therefore, the best practice is to check your mail regularly, to try calling the automated system, and also to call the court directly. All three are important to make sure that you don’t miss your hearing.
If you have already been to immigration court in-person then you should have received the notice of your next hearing in your hands. In other words, someone will hand you the piece of paper telling you when to show up next. Also, the immigration judge is required to tell you verbally when your next hearing date is.
Now that you’ve checked your immigration court hearing date, the the time to do the necessary steps to prepare for it. Remember, going to immigration court does not mean you will be deported. You can fight your deportation, whether you entered the U.S. without inspection, overstayed your visa, or have a green card.