Deportation is the formal removal of a foreign national from the U.S. for violating an immigration law.
The Deportation Process
The United States may deport foreign nationals who participate in criminal acts, are a threat to public safety, or violate their visa.
Those who come to the U.S. without travel documents or with forged documents may be deported quickly without an immigration court hearing under an order of expedited removal. Others may go before a judge in a longer deportation (removal) process.
An Immigration Court of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) hears the related case.
If a judge rules that the deportation proceeds, the receiving country of the person being deported must agree to accept them and issue travel documents before the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carries out a removal order.
The majority of removals are carried out by air at U.S. government expense, although some removals may use a combination of air and ground transportation. Learn more about the removal of deported foreign nationals by air.
Criminal aliens who have committed nonviolent crimes may be subject to Rapid REPAT.
If You Are Facing Deportation (Removal)
Before completing removal proceedings, you may be able to leave the U.S. on your own, also known as voluntary departure.
Contact a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office near you for questions about deportation.
If you feel that your civil rights have been violated in the immigration, detention, or removal proceedings process, you can file a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security.
If you are an undocumented immigrant facing removal proceedings, you may be able to go through the adjustment of status process to get a green card and become a lawful permanent resident. This is usually done
This interactive map of pro-bono legal service providers from the Department of Justice can help you find free legal assistance with your immigration, deportation, or other citizenship matters.
Appeal a Deportation Order
You may appeal certain deportation rulings. Seek legal advice before making an appeal; there are nonprofit organizations that can help. Contact the USCIS if you have questions about filing an appeal.