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Chapter 4 - Hearings Before the Immigration Judges

4.7 - Hearings by Video or Telephone Conference

(a) In General

Immigration judges are authorized by statute to hold hearings by video conference and telephone conference, except that evidentiary hearings on the merits may only be conducted by telephone conference if the respondent consents after being notified of the right to proceed in person or through video conference.  See INA § 240(b)(2), 8 C.F.R. § 1003.25(c).  See also Chapter 4.6 (Form of the Proceedings). 

(b) Location of Parties

Where hearings are conducted by video or telephone conference, the immigration judge, the respondent, the DHS attorney, and the witnesses need not necessarily be present together in the same location.

(c) Procedure

Hearings held by video or telephone conference are conducted under the same rules as hearings held in person.

(d) Filing

For hearings conducted by video or telephone conference, documents are filed at the immigration court having administrative control over the Record of Proceedings.  See Chapter 3.1(a) (Filing).  The locations from which the parties participate may be different from the location of the immigration court where the documents are filed.  If in doubt as to where to file documents, parties should contact the immigration court.

In hearings held by video or telephone conference, immigration judges often allow documents to be faxed between the parties and the immigration judge.  Accordingly, all documents should be single-sided.  Parties should not attach staples to documents that may need to be faxed during the hearing.

(e) More Information

Parties should contact the immigration court with any questions concerning an upcoming hearing by video or telephone conference.