How to avail of new Supreme Court ruling on NTA

By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano

It is now a law that if your Notice to Appear (NTA) does not specify a hearing date and time in the NTA itself then you have a second chance in court to apply for relief.  The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on April 29, 2021,  in Niz-Chavez v. Garland that could save thousands of immigrants from deportation. The Court held that the charging document for a removal proceeding, the Notice to Appear (NTA), is invalid if it does not specify the date and time of the hearing.  The ruling does not qualify a second court notice about the hearing date.  You must check the Notice to Appear you received if there is no date and time of hearing.  If none it will invalidate the NTA.  And if you accumulated 10 years of continuous presence in the US to this date, then you may qualify under Cancellation of Removal or other remedies in court.

The immigration law allows certain persons who have resided in the U.S. for 10 years to apply for a green card from an Immigration Judge under a procedure known as Cancellation of Removal.

The service of a valid NTA invokes the “stop-time” rule. This rule prevents a person who has been in the U.S. for less than 10 years when the NTA is served on him to accumulate more time in the U.S. in order to apply for Cancellation of Removal.

To qualify for this benefit, you must establish in a hearing before an Immigration Judge that: 1. Prior to the service of the Notice to Appear, you have maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for ten (10) years or more, and you have been a person of good moral character during such period; 2. You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony, 3. Your removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child, and you are deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion on your application.

Will the new Supreme Court decision affect those in removal proceedings, or on appeal with the BIA or in Federal Courts and those who were already deported?

Yes.  As long as the NTA is invalid, persons who could potentially benefit from the Supreme Court’s decisions are not just those who are eligible for Cancellation of Removal.  The following persons may also benefit:

It will also benefit persons who have been ordered deported, granted voluntary departure or who have been granted relief, like withholding of removal, which does not lead to permanent resident status.  They can now reopen their case or seek a termination of the removal proceedings and file their application for green card with USCIS assuming they have a petitioner who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.

If you were placed in removal proceedings, and your NTA did not specify the date and time of your initial hearing before an Immigration Judge, you may be able to submit a motion to terminate or reopen the proceedings.

It is very important that you consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney to see whether it is in your interest to do so.

If you are already deported and you qualify under this Supreme Court ruling,  you may be able to void your deportation and file an adjustment of status if you have a spouse or child over 21 years of age who is a U.S. citizen.

Note: This is not a legal advice and this article is for information purposes only.  You should consult with an immigration attorney about the specifics of your case.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation. 

Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and income tax preparation since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email:  Website:

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment