What should I expect at the New York Federal Plaza Immigration Court?

I have an upcoming hearing at the New York Federal Plaza Immigration Court and I’m unsure about what to expect. Can someone explain the process and what I should prepare for?


Facing a hearing at the New York Federal Plaza Immigration Court can be daunting, but understanding the process can help you prepare. Here’s a detailed overview of what to expect:

  1. Purpose of the Hearing: Immigration court hearings are held to determine issues related to your immigration status, such as deportation, asylum, adjustment of status, or other relief.
  2. Types of Hearings:
    • Master Calendar Hearing: This is usually the first hearing, where procedural issues are addressed, and future dates are set. It’s generally brief and involves multiple cases being heard.
    • Merits Hearing: Also known as an individual hearing, this is where the judge hears the details of your case. Evidence is presented, and witnesses may testify. This hearing is longer and more detailed.
  3. Preparation:
    • Documentation: Bring all relevant documents, including notices from the court, identification, and any evidence supporting your case (e.g., proof of residence, employment records, and affidavits).
    • Legal Representation: It’s highly advisable to have an immigration attorney represent you. They can help navigate complex legal issues, present your case effectively, and advise you on the best course of action.
  4. Courtroom Etiquette:
    • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time to allow for security checks and to find the correct courtroom.
    • Dress Appropriately: Wear professional attire to show respect for the court.
    • Be Respectful: Address the judge as “Your Honor” and follow courtroom protocols. Speak clearly and directly answer any questions posed to you.
  5. What Happens During the Hearing:
    • Master Calendar Hearing: The judge will call your case, confirm your identity, and discuss the charges against you. You’ll be asked to confirm receipt of notices and to plead to the charges.
    • Merits Hearing: You’ll present your case, including any evidence and witness testimony. The government’s attorney will also present their case against you. The judge will make a determination based on the presented evidence and legal arguments.
  6. Possible Outcomes:
    • The judge may make an immediate decision, or they might take the case under advisement and issue a written decision later.
    • If granted relief, you may be allowed to stay in the U.S. and adjust your status. If denied, you might face deportation, but you have the right to appeal.

For a comprehensive guide on what to expect and how to prepare for your hearing at the New York Federal Plaza Immigration Court, check out this detailed article: New York Federal Plaza Immigration Court.

Don’t face this critical time alone. Click the link to get expert advice and ensure you are fully prepared for your court appearance. Protect your rights and secure your future today!