Tag: EOIR Cases

EOIR Glossary: Navigating Legal Jargon in Immigration Hearings

Understanding the language used in EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review) hearings is crucial for effective navigation of the legal process. Here is a glossary of common terms to help you comprehend the proceedings more effectively:



Asylum: Protection for individuals in the U.S. who have fled their home country due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.


BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals): The appellate body for immigration matters, responsible for reviewing decisions made by immigration judges.


Cancellation of Removal: A form of relief that may be available to certain non-permanent residents facing removal proceedings, allowing them to stay in the U.S. in “green card” states. 


Deportation: Another term for removal, referring to the process of expelling an individual from the U.S. due to immigration violations.


EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review): The office within the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for overseeing immigration court proceedings.


Hearing: A legal proceeding where evidence is presented, witnesses are examined, and arguments are made before an immigration judge.


I-485 Application: Application to register permanent residence or adjust status, commonly referred to as green card applications.


Judge: The immigration judge presiding over the hearing and making decisions on the case.


Master Calendar Hearing: An initial court appearance where respondents respond to charges and discuss procedural matters.


Notice to Appear (NTA): The official document initiating removal proceedings against an individual and charging the reasons for removal/deportation.


Order of Removal: A decision by an immigration judge ordering the removal of an individual from the U.S.


Persecution: Harassment, harm, or discrimination inflicted on an individual due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.


Relief: Any remedy or protection from removal that an individual may seek during immigration proceedings.


Status: The legal standing of an individual in the U.S., such as being a lawful permanent resident or having a certain visa status.


TPS (Temporary Protected Status): A temporary immigration status granted to individuals from designated countries facing conditions that prevent them from returning safely.


USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services): The agency responsible for immigration-related services, including processing immigration petitions and applications.


Voluntary Departure: An option allowing an individual to leave the U.S. voluntarily instead of facing a formal removal order.


Building a Strong Case: Documentation in EOIR Hearings

In the complex landscape of EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review) or Immigration Court hearings, the significance of documentation cannot be overstated. Building a robust case requires a strategic approach to gathering, organizing, and presenting evidence. This resource lists important issues to consider as you document your defense to deportation.

  1. Each piece of evidence contributes to the overall strength of your case.
  2. Various types of documents are relevant to immigration proceedings.
  3. Understand that you must be able to authenticate the documents you submit to court.
  4. Present an affidavit to strengthen your case.
  5. Incorporate supporting statements to corroborate facts and bolster key arguments.
  6. Follow correct laws, policies, and procedures relating to your legal arguments and case type.
  7. Reference the EOIR practice manual here for requirements relating to your case type.


Building a strong case in EOIR, or Immigration Court, hearings requires a meticulous approach to strong, relevant, and required documents. 

Navigating the Immigration Court Process


The realm of immigration court proceedings is a complex and challenging experience. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) oversees immigration cases, including removal proceedings and various hearings. Below are important concepts you should consider as you navigate the immigration court process.


1. What is EOIR?

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice responsible for overseeing immigration court proceedings. EOIR administers the immigration court system, where judges adjudicate immigration cases, including removal (deportation) proceedings. It is often called “Immigration Court.”

2. Importance of EOIR Hearings

EOIR hearings play a crucial role in determining the immigration status of individuals. Whether facing removal proceedings or seeking relief, understanding the process is vital for a fair and just resolution.

Stages of EOIR Hearings

3. Master Calendar Hearings

Purpose: Initial court appearances where individuals respond to the charges against them.

What to Expect:

  • Introduction to the immigration judge.
  • Responding to charges and admitting or denying allegations.
  • Discussing potential relief options.
  • Setting future hearing dates.

4. Individual (Merits) Hearings

Purpose: In-depth examination of the case’s merits, including presenting evidence and arguments.

What to Expect:

  • Presentation of evidence and witnesses.
  • Cross-examination by government attorneys.
  • Opportunities to argue issues before the judge.
  • Immigration judge’s decision on the case.

5. Appeals

Purpose: Challenging decisions made by an Immigration Court judge.

What to Expect:

  • Filing a Notice of Appeal.
  • Preparing and submitting an appellate brief.
  • Immigration Appeals Board (BIA) review.
  • Further appeals to federal courts if necessary.

6. Legal Representation

Importance: Seek legal representation to navigate complex immigration laws effectively.

What to Consider:

  • Hiring an immigration attorney.
  • Availability of pro bono services.
  • Understanding the attorney-client relationship.

7. Document Preparation

Importance: Organizing and presenting evidence to support your case.

What to Prepare:

  • Personal documents (ID, passport, criminal documents.).
  • Evidence of eligibility for relief.
  • Witness statements.
  • Country condition reports (if seeking asylum).

8. Court Etiquette and Behavior

Importance: Maintain respect for the court process and officials.

What to Keep in Mind:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Address the judge as “Your Honor.”
  • Follow courtroom rules and procedures.
  • Remain composed and focused during proceedings.


Navigating EOIR hearings requires a thorough understanding of the process, legal representation, and preparation. For specific legal advice tailored to your situation, consult with an experienced immigration attorney at Cambridge Immigration Law.


Boston EOIR Cases Postponed, Except for Detained Cases

As of 3/18/2020 the Boston Immigration Court will only hear detained master calendar and individual hearings. If you have a hearing (and you are not detained) it is crucial that you stay on top of your case. You should call the EOIR hotline at 1-800-898-7180 on a regular basis (every few days) until you learn of the new hearing date. You will need your A# with you when you call.

If you fail to attend the next hearing, you could be ordered removed/deported in abstenia.

Also, if you have recently moved, you must do two things. First, make sure to report your address change to EOIR and ICE. Second, try to get someone at your old address to notify you if you receive any mail at the old address.