Can I Be Deported When I’m Not Even There in Court?

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Note: The Law Offices of Larry L. Doan in Los Angeles, CA, provides the following blog article and other information on this site, including our responses to comments, for the purpose of legal information only; it is NOT legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

[The following paid consultation question is taken from the Guru’s past client files.]

Dear GuruImmigration,

after my 130 and 485 was denied, i left the usa. that was last year. unfortunately, last week, my parents told me that i have received a ”notice to appear.” at their usa mailind address. I read online that I would be deported ”in absentia” by the Immigration Judge. what should i do please?


Deported in absentia (now called “removal in absentia”) means that, yes, you indeed can be deported in your absence if you were present in the US and you fail to show up in Immigration Court for proceedings after being properly notified.  In your case, however, you cannot be ordered deported if you have already left the country.  An attorney would need to appear in court for you at the hearing set on the Notice to Appear, with proof of your non-presence in US, and move to dismiss.  It’s important that you do that, or else the government will assume that you’re still here and continue the deportation proceedings against you leading to an order of deportation in absentia.  That order of deportation (or removal) will be on your records for at least 10 years and will prevent you from being eligible to re-apply for any type of visa back to the US for that long.

If the Immigration Court is in Southern California, contact our office and we can represent you.


Larry L. Doan, Esq.


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Any action you take or rely upon after reading the information on this blog is your own responsibility and the Law Offices of Larry L. Doan bears no responsibility or connection to such action. For an analysis of your detailed and specific questions related to your individual immigration situation or problem, there is no substitute for a “live” meeting with an attorney. This can only be done during a paid consultation between the Law Offices of Larry L. Doan and you.  To get started with a consultation, please contact us:


13 Responses to “Can I Be Deported When I’m Not Even There in Court?”

  1. Comments or questions related to the blog post you’ve just read can be left in the “Leave a Reply” box below. HOWEVER: All comments or questions regarding your or family member’s immigration situation and seeking info or advice on what to do next will be ignored unless you contact us for a paid consultation here: By doing so, please expect a quote for the price of the consultation with the Guru, Attorney Doan.

    We must implement this policy due to the volume of inquiries and emails received from this blog. We can only respond in the comments section below to general questions that seek clarification of a point made in the blog post above in a general way.


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  9. Both Laos and Thailand accepts deportees.


  10. Charlie, thanks for your comment. It’s a little funny because I just answered your question on FindLaw moments ago. As I said there, I think the more important issue is for him to fight to not get deported from the US. I don’t really know the answer to the question of whether Thailand or Laos will accept him. I would think Laos if his parents are Laotians, but I’m not sure. It will probably depend on the laws of those two countries, which I know nothing about, or United Nations standards, but I don’t know much about those. But, why would he want to go back to either Laos or Thailand if he can fight in Immigration Court to not be deported? He has a green card, and I can help him to stay here if this is near Southern California.

    If Laos or Thailand is hesitant in accepting your friend back, he will, unfortunately, be placed into longterm detention, which is not pleasant. Every six months, Department of Homeland Security will review whether there’s any realistic chance of those countries will take him. If there’s no chance, he could be released back into society.

    If you or your friend is local, feel free to call me at my office, (310)289-2155.



  11. Thank you Guru!
    I have a question, I work prison ministry and a question was given me by a member of the Church. He is getting out soon and facing a INS detainer. His problem is that he may be deported because of his felony but he is unclear of his citizenship. He was born in Thailand in a UN Refugee camp 1979, his family is from Laos. When he was 8 months old, his family was allowed to settle in America. He has SS card and green card but never did become a naturalized citizen. His concern is, if they want to deport him, where would it be? I do not think he qualifies as a Thai citizen from what I have been reading from the Thai Embassy. Any help would be appreciated.


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