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Chapter 4 - Hearings Before the Immigration Judges

4.8 - Attendance

Immigration court hearings proceed promptly on the date and time that the hearing is scheduled.  Any delay in the respondent’s appearance at a master calendar or individual calendar hearing may result in the hearing being held “in absentia” (in the respondent’s absence).  See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.26.  See also Chapters 4.15 (Master Calendar Hearing), 4.16 (Individual Calendar Hearing), 4.17 (In Absentia Hearing).

Any delay in the appearance of either the Department of Homeland Security or the practitioner of record without satisfactory notice and explanation to the immigration court may, in the discretion of the immigration judge, result in the hearing being held in their absence.

Respondents, practitioners, and witnesses should be mindful that they may encounter delays in going through the mandatory security screening at the immigration court and should plan accordingly.  See Chapter 4.14 (Access to Court).  Regardless of such delays, all individuals must pass through the security screening and be present in the courtroom at the time the hearing is scheduled.

For hearings at detention facilities, parties should be mindful of any additional security restrictions at the facility.  See Chapter 4.14 (Access to Court).  Individuals attending such a hearing must always be present at the time the hearing is scheduled, regardless of any such additional security restrictions.