Frequently Asked Questions about ICE Policy Directive Number 11061.1, Facilitating the Return to the United States of Certain Lawfully Removed Aliens
I was ordered removed, and am scheduled to be removed soon. How will this affect my appeal of
my case, which is pending before the U.S. circuit court of appeals?
As explained in ICE Policy Directive Number 11061.1,
Facilitating the Return to the United States of Certain Lawfully Removed
Aliens, an alien who appeals his or her final order of removal to a federal
circuit court of appeals may continue to litigate his or her case after being
removed from the United States. Your removal will not affect your
right to continue to pursue your case before the court. Although you may be
abroad for the pendency of your case, the court of appeals that is currently
reviewing your petition for review will nevertheless be able to review and make
a decision on your case while you are not in the United States. In order to ensure
that you receive notice of the decision entered by the court in your case, you
should follow the court’s procedures for providing updated address and contact
What happens if I win my case and the court grants my petition for review after I have been removed?
Absent extraordinary circumstances, ICE will facilitate your
return to the United States if your case is remanded for further proceedings before the Board of
Immigration Appeals or the Immigration Court and your presence is necessary for continued
adjudication of your case. This may be because the court specifically ordered
your presence, or because the nature of the court’s decision requires you to
return for further testimony. ICE may explore other options in lieu of
facilitating your return, such as arranging for video teleconferencing or
telephonic testimony, if appropriate.
If, after your case is remanded, the Board or Immigration Court enters a final and unreviewable decision that permits you to be physically
present in the United States,
ICE will facilitate your return and you will be able to obtain the status that
the Board or Immigration Court
has granted you.
Extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to,
situations where the return of an alien presents serious national security
considerations or serious adverse foreign policy considerations.
What if I believe
that I need to be present in the United States for my case after I
have been removed and the court grants my petition for review?
Most courts and many foreign embassies have the technology
to support your participation in your immigration hearing by either video
teleconferencing or by phone. However, if these alternatives are not available
to you in the country to which you were removed, and your presence is required
by court order or is otherwise necessary to continue your case, you may request
that ICE assist you with your return to the United States. You will need to
reach out to ICE to request return to the United States.
I held lawful
permanent resident (LPR) or other lawful immigration status before my removal;
if my petition for review was granted, will special rules apply in my case?
ICE will facilitate your return to the United States if you were an LPR or
held other lawful immigration status (which has not yet expired) prior to the
entry of a removal order in your case and the court’s decision vacates or
reverses your removal order.
Is it my
responsibility to contact DHS once I learn that a court has reversed or vacated
my removal order?
Yes. ICE will initiate efforts to facilitate your return
only after you have communicated with the agency to request that we do so.
How do I request
assistance from DHS in facilitating my return to the United States?
Once a court grants your petition for review, you or your
representative should contact ICE, which will be responsible for coordinating
your return with other DHS components. In particular, you or your
representative should contact the ICE Public Advocate, who can be reached at
(202) 732-3100 or via email at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov. You should have
your circuit court case number and alien registration number available, as well
as detailed contact information to allow ICE to get in touch with you.
Can my lawyer, legal
representative, or family member or other advocate contact the Public Advocate
on my behalf?
Will the Public
Advocate let me know if ICE has agreed to facilitate my return to the United States?
The Public Advocate will route your request to the
appropriate ICE offices, which will contact you or your representative
concerning your potential return to the United States. The Public Advocate
will also provide you with a point of contact for this process.
What does the Public
Advocate do after I request ICE’s assistance to return to the United States after a court grants
my petition for review?
The Public Advocate will direct your request to ICE
Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), where an appropriate supervisory
official will determine whether to facilitate your return to the United States,
based on the considerations explained above. If a decision is made to
facilitate your return, the subsequent process will depend on whether you will
be returning to the United States
by air or sea, or by land from Mexico
If you are returning by air or sea, ERO will work with the
ICE Homeland Security Investigations Law Enforcement Parole Unit (LEPU) to
arrange for you to be issued appropriate transportation documents by the U.S.
Embassy or Consulate abroad. The commercial air or sea carrier will rely upon
that documentation to authorize you to board the U.S.-bound flight or vessel.
ICE will coordinate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port
of entry in advance of your arrival by air or sea. If you are traveling by
land, ICE will coordinate with CBP personnel at the appropriate port of entry
concerning your return to the United
Will I be provided a
point of contact in ICE throughout the return process?
Yes. The Public Advocate will advise you as to who is the
appropriate ICE point of contact for your case. However, anyone contacting ICE
on your behalf who is not your attorney or accredited representative of record
will need to complete and send to the ICE designated point of contact a privacy
waiver, signed by you, so that case information can be exchanged. The ICE
Privacy Waiver form is available on the internet at the following links:
The attorney or legal representative of record will need to
complete and send a Form G-28 that has been signed by you in order to be able
to talk to ICE officials regarding your case. The G-28 form is available on the
internet at the following link: <a href=”http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-28.pdf.
Do I need to fill out
any U.S. government forms
for ICE to decide whether to facilitate my return to the United States?
No. It is not necessary to complete any forms to begin the
return process; the ICE point of contact will let you know if he or she needs
additional information. Please make sure you keep ICE updated with reliable
contact information, so that ICE may get in touch with you about your case and
request further information, as needed.
Once ICE tells me
that it will facilitate my return to the United States, what happens?
If Returning by Land
The ICE point of contact will work with you to identify your
anticipated travel dates and U.S.
port of entry and coordinate with CBP so that, upon your arrival, you are
allowed into the United
States to resume your prior lawful
immigration status and/or in order to continue to pursue your case.
If Returning by Air or
ICE will contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy/Consulate in
the country to which you have been removed to prepare transportation
documentation. If/when the U.S. Embassy/Consulate issues transportation
documentation, ICE will then coordinate with CBP so that, upon your arrival,
you are allowed into the United
States to resume your prior lawful
immigration status and/or in order to continue to pursue your case.
What sort of
transportation documentation will the U.S. Embassy or Consulate issue to
After ICE has decided to facilitate your return to the United States, you must possess a passport and
appropriate transportation documentation to travel to the United States. A
transportation/boarding letter is a document issued by a U.S. Embassy or
Consulate abroad, allowing you to board a commercial aircraft or maritime
vessel to come to the United States. A transportation/boarding letter cannot be
issued without a passport or equivalent travel document.
What do I need to
return to the United States?
In order to return to the United
States by air or sea, you must have with you a valid
passport or equivalent documentation and either a valid immigrant/nonimmigrant
visa or a transportation/boarding letter authorizing your return to the United States
for purposes of participating in your immigration case. If returning by land,
you must have with you appropriate identity documentation, which could include
a passport or other government-issued documents.
What if my country
will not issue me a passport?
You will not be able to return to the United States via commercial air
carrier or maritime vessel without a valid passport or equivalent travel
document, and the United States Government cannot compel another country to
issue such documentation. The U.S. Embassy/Consulate will not issue a
transportation/boarding letter authorizing your admission without a valid
passport or equivalent travel document.
Am I responsible for
making my own travel arrangements to return to the United States?
Yes. You will be responsible for your own travel
arrangements and informing the ICE point of contact of your arrangements. ICE’s
involvement in facilitating your return is generally limited to: (i) reviewing
and processing any paperwork necessary for your return; (ii) working with the
Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country, to
obtain a transportation/boarding letter on your behalf; and (iii) and working
with CBP to assist in your physical reentry upon arrival.
Who is responsible
for paying for my return trip?
In cases involving removal of an individual from the United
States who was subject to an administratively final order and for whom there
was no stay of removal in effect at time of his or her removal, that individual
will be responsible for incurring the costs for returning to the United States
to resume his or her prior immigration status and/or to continue to pursue his
or her immigration case. However, as discussed above, ICE will work to ensure
that you will be able to travel back to the United States if appropriate.
I provided the U.S. Embassy
with my passport and received a transportation/boarding letter. I just bought
an airline ticket or booked passage on a maritime vessel to return to the United States.
Do I need to let DHS know?
Yes. You must let your ICE point of contact know when you
plan to arrive in the United
States so that he or she can coordinate with
CBP at the port of entry.
I am in Mexico or Canada
and plan to enter the United
States by land at the border crossing. Will
I need a transportation/boarding letter?
No. Transportation/boarding letters are only required for
those arriving by air or sea. However, you will still need to contact your ICE
point of contact and advise him/her of your travel arrangements so ICE can
coordinate with CBP at the port of entry.
How long will it take
from the time I request ICE to facilitate my return until my arrival in the United States?
How long this process will take may vary depending on
several factors, including whether you return to the United States by land, sea
or air, as well as whether you possess a valid passport at the time of the
request, how long it takes the U.S. Embassy to prepare a
transportation/boarding letter, etc. Absent unusual circumstances, the length
of this process generally ranges from a matter of weeks to a few months.
If ICE facilitates my
return to the United States
after my petition for review has been granted, what will my immigration status
be, if any?
ICE will regard you as returning to the status you had just
prior to the administrative order that the federal court has reversed or
vacated. For instance, if you had been a lawful permanent resident (LPR) just
prior to the entry of a final removal order in your case, and the court’s
decision vacates that order, ICE will consider your LPR status to be
reinstated. LPRs are generally permitted to enter and reside in the United States, and ICE will therefore generally
facilitate your return to the United
States. Because ICE regards you as returning
to your prior status, ICE will not treat you as an arriving alien unless you
had been charged as an arriving alien prior to removal.
Please be aware that, in most instances, when a federal court
reverses or vacates a final removal order, it also remands the case to the
Board of Immigration Appeals or to the Department of Homeland Security for
further proceedings. Accordingly, upon return, you will likely continue to be
in immigration proceedings until your case is fully decided. In order to ensure
that you receive notices and orders related to any future immigration
proceedings, you should follow all rules requiring you to provide updated
address and contact information. The forms for notifying the Immigration Courts
(EOIR-33/IC) and Board of Immigration Appeals (EOIR-33/BIA) of any change in
address are available here: <a href=”http://www.justice.gov/eoir/formslist.htm.
When ICE facilitates
my return to the United
States after my petition for review has been
granted, will I be detained upon my return?
You may be detained for further immigration proceedings upon
your return depending on the circumstances of your case and ICE’s assessment of
whether you are subject to mandatory detention under the immigration laws or
should otherwise be detained because you pose a danger to the community or risk
Do I need to pay a
fee for ICE to consider whether to facilitate my return to the United States?
No. However, you will generally be responsible for all
transportation costs back to the United States and any fees
associated with acquiring the required passport or equivalent travel document
from your country.
Who do I contact for
status regarding my request to return to the United States?
Once you are assigned an ICE point of contact, your
inquiries should be directed to that individual. However, you remain free to
contact the Public Advocate with any concerns. The Public Advocate can be
reached at (202) 732-3100 or via email at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov
May I now contact the
Public Advocate and request assistance from ICE if I was removed and then
received a favorable court decision in the past, whether or not I previously
sought to return to the United
Yes. If you received a favorable court decision in the past
after you were removed and are unsure of whether ICE would facilitate your
return, you may contact the Public Advocate for further information and
evaluation of your request in accordance with ICE Policy Directive Number
11061.1, Facilitating the Return to the United States of Certain Lawfully