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What You Really Want to Know | Episode #7 | What Happens at an Individual (Merits) Hearing?

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Transcript: Hi, I am Attorney Shapiro, today on “What You Really Want To Know,” we answer the question, “What happens at an Individual Hearing?”

An Individual or Merits hearing is a type of hearing that is heard in Immigration Court.

Unlike the shorter Master Calendar Hearing that I discussed in Episode #2, an Individual Hearing can take hours, or even days to complete and is closed to the public.

This is the type of hearing where evidence is introduced, you will be questioned by both your attorney and the attorney for the Department of Homeland Security, and both attorneys will give opening and closing statements. If you have any witnesses, those witnesses will also testify at the hearing.

This hearing is similar a criminal trial, except there is no jury, The judge will make all decisions regarding your case.

This is your time to shine and to show the Immigration Judge that you are eligible for the relief sought and that your case warrants a favorable exercise of discretion. At the end of the hearing, the Immigration Judge will decide whether to grant or to deny your applications for relief or whether to order you removed. You will either receive a decision in court that day, or the Immigration Judge will send the decision in the mail.

That is all for this episode of “What You Really Want To Know,” thanks for watching!


If you are in Removal/ Deportation Proceedings and need an experienced Immigration Attorney to represent you, contact us IMMEDIATELY for the help you deserve!


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