Learn about the deportation process and other related issues.


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.

  • The foreign national may be held in a detention center prior to trial or deportation. See a map of ICE detention facilities or use the ICE online detainee finder tool.

  • 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)

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.

Apply for Readmission After Deportation or Removal

If you are deported, you may be able to apply for readmission to the U.S. Contact the USCIS for more information about applying for readmission after deportation.

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Locate a Person Held for an Immigration Violation

You can locate someone who is currently detained for possible violation of immigration laws or who was released within the last 60 days from an ICE detention facility by using the Online Detainee Locator System or by contacting the field offices of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

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Avoid Deportation If You Were Brought to the U.S. As a Child

If someone brought you to the U.S. as a child and you do not have legal U.S. resident or immigration status, you may be eligible to request a two-year delay (deferral) in any action against you including deportation (removal) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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Report an Immigration Violation

To report a person you think may be in the U.S. illegally, use the Homeland Security Investigations online tip form or call 1-866-347-2423 (in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada) or 1-802-872-6199 (from other countries).

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Last Updated: July 17, 2017

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