The Boston Immigration Court falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge which is a component of the Executive Office for Immigration Review under the Department of Justice.
Our court has made a commitment to provide access to information through the Internet in order to service the needs of the public.
Our goal is to provide the most current and accurate information available to those needing to appear before an Immigration Judge and to provide this information in a user-friendly fashion.
Please note: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) are separate organizations.
|About the Court|
The Boston Immigration Court is located in the John F. Kennedy Federal Building at 15 New Sudbury Street, Room 320.
The court is open Monday through Friday, from 7:50 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Filing hours are Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
To contact the court, call 617-565-3080.
For information regarding application deadlines or hearing dates and times, call the Immigration Court's automated system at 1-800-898-7180.
For hours of operation during inclement weather, call the General Services Administration at 617-565-8081 (recording).
Department of Homeland Security Trial Attorney Unit:
(NOT part of the court)
District Counsel: Jo Ellen Ardinger
Deputy District Counsel: Vicki J. Ray, John M. Furlong, Jr.
John F. Kennedy Federal Building - Room 425
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203
Detention and Removal Office
10 New England Executive Park
Burlington, MA 01803
John F. Kennedy Federal
Building - Room 320
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203
Route 93 to the Government Center exit. Follow the signs to the Government Center.
Orange Line: Haymarket Station
Green Line: Haymarket Station or Government Center Station
Blue Line: Government Center Station
The subways are accessible from the MBTA Commuter lines and most other forms of mass transit.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
There are currently no FAQs available.
At the Master Calendar, all respondents/applicants not represented by counsel will have their rights explained by the judge, who will provide them with an opportunity to seek counsel/representative at the respondent's/applicant's own expense. For those who are represented, the judge establishes representation for the record by ensuring that the attorney or representative has filed the appropriate notice of appearance form (Form EOIR-28) with the Immigration Court and ensures that the respondent/applicant has been fully advised by counsel of his/her rights.
The judge usually completes simple issue cases at the Master Calendar Hearing. For more complex cases, the judge uses the Master Calendar Hearing to establish whether or not deportability or admissibility of the respondent/applicant is a contested issue. Often deportability or admissability is established by the respondent's admission of the charges contained in the charging document. Where contested, the party having the burden of proof must prove deportability or admissibility. Once established, the judge explores with the unrepresented respondent/applicant the types of discretionary relief which may be available or has the respondent's/applicant's attorney/representative indicate the relief sought.
The immigration laws provide a variety of forms of potential relief from removal ranging from simple grants of voluntary departure to complex waivers of deportation or removal. All such forms of relief, however, are granted or denied within the Immigration Judge's discretion.
Voluntary departure enables a respondent to leave the country at his/her own expense within a time limit specified by the judge. This form of relief may allow the respondent to reenter the United States after voluntarily departing, if the proper visa for reentry is obtained. This form of relief, while common, is significant, as an order of deportation or removal bars the respondent from reentering the United States for a period of years from the date of removal, unless granted a waiver by the U.S. Government.
Another form of relief is a request for asylum. To be granted asylum, the respondent/applicant must prove he/she has a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or membership in a particular social group if returned to his/her country of origin and he/she is not statutorily barred from such relief.
A respondent who has been living illegally in the United States for seven years or more may ask for relief known as suspension of deportation. For cancellation of removal, a respondent must have lived in the United States for ten years. For either relief to be granted, the respondent must prove the required period of continuous physical presence in the United States, good moral character, and extreme hardship (deportation) or exceptional and extremely unusual (removal) hardship if returned to the country of origin.
Another type of relief is adjustment of status for a respondent who is deportable but is eligible for lawful permanent resident status based on a number of factors including marriage to a U.S. citizen and waivers of criminal convictions as a basis for deportability.
After determining the type of relief a respondent/applicant is seeking, the judge sets a date for the respondent/applicant to file the appropriate application for relief. The judge then schedules the case for an Individual Calendar Hearing on the merits of the application. The time required for the hearing is set by the judge after consulting both the government attorney and the respondent/applicant or his/her attorney.
Frequently, failure to file an application on time results in the Immigration Judge determining that a respondent has abandoned the intention to apply for relief, and the Immigration Judge may issue an order of deportation or removal.
The length of the Individual Calendar hearing ranges from less than an hour to an entire day or more based on the complexity of the issues in the case and the number of witnesses called. At the Individual Calendar Hearing, the judge hears testimony from the respondent/applicant and witnesses for either party and cross-examination. The Immigration Court provides an interpreter for a non-English speaking respondent/applicant or witness. Generally, the judge renders an oral decision in the case on the record at the conclusion of testimony and cross-examination. The decision includes a finding of facts, the establishment of deportability, excludability, or removability, a statement addressing the relief sought, the application of existing case law, and the judge's conclusion about the case. After announcing the decision, the judge gives each party an opportunity to waive or reserve appeal. If both parties waive appeal, the judge's order is final. Whether appeal is waived or reserved, a form order ("minute order") summarizing the judge's decision is given to the parties before they leave the court.
When an appeal is filed within the specified time limit (30 days), the Immigration Court assembles and forwards the Record of Proceedings (ROP) to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA is composed of a Chairman and Members who are appointed by the Attorney General. The BIA reviews Immigration Judges' decisions if appealed by a party to the case.
The Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, requires the Attorney General to expeditiously commence immigration proceedings for alien inmates convicted of crimes in the United States. To meet this requirement, the Department of Justice established the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP), which allows aliens serving criminal sentences to have an immigration hearing prior to their release from prison.
Please read our Privacy and Security Notice
Updated March 2013