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BIA explains when a NTA is a “Charging Document”

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On 9/23/2021 the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decided Matter of Josefina Arambula-Bravo. In its decision, the BIA clarified when a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) can be constituted as a “charging document.” More specifically, the BIA stated that a NTA which does not specify the time and place of a respondent’s initial removal hearing does not deprive the Immigration Judge of jurisdiction over the case. The NTA which lacks the time and place is still a charging document and grants jurisdiction to the Immigration Judge

The previous cases, Pereira and Niz-Chavez, dealt with the stop-time rule, which is used to calculate the physical presence requirement. Neither case dealt with the Immigration Court’s jurisdiction if a defective NTA was served. The absence of the time and place of the initial removal hearing is not a “jurisdictional defect”, thus the Immigration Court retains jurisdiction.

A defective NTA can still be considered a “charging document” and allows the Immigration Court to retain jurisdiction over the case.

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