(November 8, 2018) USCIS Updates on Notices to Appear Policy

On November 8, USCIS announced that it will continue to implement the agency’s June 28, 2018 policy memorandum (PM) regarding the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in removal (deportation) proceedings. A Notice to Appear (NTA) is a document given to a foreign national that instructs them to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date in potential removal proceedings from the U.S. Implementation of the policy memorandum was delayed in July of this year.

October 1st USCIS began issuing NTAs for denied I-485 and I-539 Forms, excluding employment-based petitions denials

USCIS began implementing the June PM for denied forms I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and forms I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, used most commonly for students, visitors, and dependent applicants seeking to change status or extend their status while in the U.S. USCIS indicated that USCIS will not issue notices to appear for employment based petitions at this time. This means that any petitions filed based on employment-based immigration will not be affected by this policy memorandum at this time.

Starting November 19, USCIS will begin issuing NTAs for denied T, U, Special Immigrant Juvenile visas, among others

On November 19, 2018, USCIS will now expand the implementation of its NTA policy memo for denials of I-914/I-914A, Applications for T Nonimmigrant Status, and petitions for Forms I-918/I-918A, Petitions for U, Nonimmigrant Status; I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er); I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant, Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile petitions); and I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, when the beneficiary is present in the US, as well as Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, filed with these underlying form types.

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.

USCIS confirms higher priority will be given for individuals with criminal records, have committed immigration fraud, or pose a national security concern

USCIS will continue to prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns for referral for removal proceedings. USCIS has not changed to the current processes for issuing NTAs on these case types, and the agency will continue to use discretion in issuing NTAs for these cases.

Further updates on the issuance of notice to appear by USCIS will be shared as released by the agency.

Updates provided by Attorney Kaitlyn Garcia, J.D.