Stay of Removal: when there is a final order of deportation

How do you know if your loved one has a final order of deportation?

If you believe your loved one has a final order of deportation, you should call: 1-800-898-7180 and input their A# information (immigration identification number) to see if an Immigration Judge issued a final order of deportation. Not everyone who has a final order of deportation will show up in this system, some people might have final orders of deportation who are not identified on this hotline.

Here are some other ways to figure out if someone has a final order of deportation:

  • If someone had to go to Immigration Court and they never went.
  • If your loved one was stopped at the border and they were told they could not come back for 5 years.
  • If your loved one went to Immigration Court and accepted Voluntary Departure but never left.

How fast can my loved one be deported if they have a final order of deportation?

When someone has a final order of deportation they can be deported immediately without ever seeing an immigration judge. In that case, one of the only ways they can remain in the United States is by being granted a stay of removal from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

If your loved one is afraid to return to their country of origin, they should immediately let their deportation office know and request a reasonable fear interview.

Stay of Removal

Filing a stay of removal can be a powerful tool when trying to stop someone from being deported. This should only be filed when someone has contact with immigration. A stay of removal is used when someone:

  1. Already has a final order of deportation
  2. They are checking in with ICE
  3. The person wants to remain in the United States.

When someone is granted the stay of removal, ICE allows the person to remain in the United States for a set amount of time (typically 6 months or 1 year). You can apply to renew it.

How does ICE decide whether to grant a stay?

In order to make a decision to grant or deny a stay of removal, in the past ICE would balance what they saw as positive and negative factors to make their decision.

Positive can include:

  • Living in the United States for a long time
  • Coming to the U.S. as a young child
  • Family members who are U.S. Citizens or green card holders
  • Ties to the community including church, organizations and volunteer work
  • Medical and other humanitarian concerns
  • Pending immigration application
  • Dangers in home country

Negative can include:

  • Criminal convictions
  • Immigration fraud
  • Immigration violations (including re-entering the U.S. after being removed).

Now, we are learning that increasingly stays are granted on a case-by-case basis for very specific reasons and needs (for example a U.S. citizen child is sick or needs treatment in the U.S., but once that is over, a stay will likely not be granted again).

How do you assemble a stay of removal?

  • Fill out Form I-246.
  • Write a letter to the Deportation Officer explaining why you should be granted the stay.
  • Include proof of the positive things about your connection to the U.S. and your fear of returning to the country where you were born.
  • Note that all documents, including your letter, have to be in English. If the original is in another language, you need to include a certified translation.
  • $155 money order made out to the Department of Homeland Security.

How do you file the stay of removal?

  • You must file the stay of removal at the Enforcement and Removal Office (“ERO”) where the Deportation Officer is:
  • Non-detained: 26 Federal Plaza, Room 9-110, New York NY 10278 (Broadway and Worth Street)
  • Detained: 201 Varick Street, 12th Floor, New York NY 10014 (you must pay the fee at 26 Federal Plaza, file a copy there, then bring another copy to Varick street).

If you are worried about going to the ERO office, another person, preferably with lawful immigration status, can file the stay on your behalf.

If ICE grants the stay

You can stay in the United States for the duration of the stay of removal. You will likely have to check in with ICE regularly but you can apply for a work permit.

If ICE denies the stay

ICE can remove you from the United States at anytime.