Notice to Report: 60 days to check in with ICE? What are my options?

November 29, 2021

Since Spring of 2021, some people who arrive at the Mexico-U.S. border have been given a document called a Notice to Report (Form I-385). With this notice, they are being told to report to a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days. This is a new situation, and we wanted to share the information the government has given us so far.

What is a Notice to Report?

A Notice to Report (Form I-385) is a short form that some people are given after crossing the Mexico-U.S. border. Here is an example. You should read your specific notice to learn what the government is requesting in your case.

The Notice to Report sometimes states that the person must check in with ICE within 60 days. Or sometimes the person is told by an official to check in with ICE within 60 days. ICE is a U.S. government agency that enforces immigration laws. They act like immigration “police.” Some people have to go to regular check-in appointments with ICE.

Importantly, a Notice to Report is not a Notice to Appear (NTA). A Notice to Appear is a document that says that you have a case in immigration court. The government has said that most people who received a Notice to Report will later receive a Notice to Appear.

As of fall 2021, about 130,000 people have received Notices to Report.

What are the next steps if I received a Notice to Report? 

  • You can apply for asylum. Applying for asylum is a personal choice, and it can be a complicated decision depending on your circumstances. You generally have to apply for asylum within 1 year of entering the United States, but you may want to apply more quickly. Learn more about asylum here and read more below.
  • You can schedule a check-in with ICE. With the Notice to Report, the government requested that you schedule a check-in. Read more below about how to schedule a check in and what happens at the check ins.
  • You will probably also receive a Notice to Appear. Then you will need to attend immigration court hearings. If you receive a Notice to Appear, you should check the document for the date of your first immigration court hearing. You can also check for your next hearing date by phone or online, but it can take time for that system to be updated.

If you have not yet received a Notice to Appear, you will likely still receive one in the future. You could receive the Notice to Appear at a check-in with ICE. Or you could receive it in the mail at the address you provided to the government.

How do I apply for asylum?

How you apply for asylum depends on whether you have received a Notice to Appear, in addition to a Notice to Report.

  • If you have not received a Notice to Appear yet, you may be able to apply for asylum with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can do this by submitting an asylum application (Form I-589) to USCIS.
  • If you have received a Notice to Appear in addition to a Notice to Report, you can apply for asylum in immigration court, by submitting an asylum application in immigration court.

Applying for asylum with USCIS has some advantages when compared with applying for asylum in immigration court. So if you have not received a Notice to Appear yet, you may wish to apply for asylum with USCIS quickly, before you receive a Notice to Appear.

Please note: If you apply for asylum with USCIS before you receive a Notice to Appear, the government may choose not to give you a Notice to Appear. However, it is still possible that you will later receive a Notice to Appear. If that happens, you will have to fight your asylum case in immigration court, even if you already submitted an asylum application to USCIS.

How can I schedule an appointment with ICE?

When you received your Notice to Report, you may have been told that you must report to ICE within 60 days. If you wish to schedule an appointment with ICE, you can visit their website. If you have problems with the website, you can call the ICE Detention Reporting and Information Line at 1-888-351-4024 and try to schedule an appointment over the phone. You can also try calling or emailing your local ICE office.

What can I do if I cannot get an appointment with ICE within 60 days?

If you are having difficulty contacting ICE to schedule an appointment, you can keep trying, and write down everything you have done to try to schedule an appointment. You can also keep records, like taking a screenshot of the website scheduler with your phone. Later, you may have to show that you tried your best to schedule an appointment.

What will happen at my check-in appointment with ICE?

At this time, we have limited information about what can happen when people go to their check-in appointments with ICE. Many people receive a Notice to Appear at their appointment, or by mail afterwards. You may have to give a photo and fingerprints at the appointment. It is possible that ICE could place an ankle monitor on you during your appointment. You could also be scheduled for another check-in appointment in the future.

You may wish to find a local attorney who has more specific information about the local ICE office.

What will happen if I do not check in with ICE?

At this time, we have limited information about what happens if people are unable to check in with ICE within the 60-day period or did not know to check in. It is possible that not checking in could have negative effects on your case later on if you decide to apply for asylum or if you are detained by ICE, but we do not have clear information at this time.

We will try to update you as more information becomes available.

How can I learn more?

Here are additional resources that may be helpful:

Note: This information is for asylum seekers and does not substitute for legal advice from a lawyer.