UPDATED: November 9, 2018
Beginning November 19, 2018, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue Notices to Appear (NTAs) for the following denied immigration applications:
I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status - visas for trafficking victims
I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status - visas for crime victims
I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant - Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitions for battered spouses of U.S. citizens and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) petitions for neglected and abandoned children
I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US
I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above)
On Monday, October 1, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start implementing the new Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear as announced in a Press Statement released on July 5, 2018.
What is a Notice to Appear?
A Notice to Appear (NTA) is a document that instructs an individual to appear before an immigration judge. This is the first step in starting removal proceedings.
Who is affected by this policy change?
USCIS may issue NTAs on denied applications, including but not limited to, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. This means that green card applicants applying for permanent residency (e.g. through marriage) and individuals applying to change or extend their nonimmigrant visa status could be affected.
Who is not covered by this policy change?
The Policy Memo will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions at this time. Existing guidance for these case types will remain in effect. See updates above.
How will this new policy be implemented?
USCIS will send denial letters to provide adequate notice when an application for a benefit is denied. If applicants are no longer in a period of authorized stay, and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will provide details on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the United States.
Will USCIS focus on specific types of cases?
USCIS will continue to prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns. There has been no change to the current processes for issuing NTAs on these case types, and USCIS will continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for these cases.
USCIS will provide updates and information on the implementation of this policy on the new Notice to Appear Policy Memorandum page. Please check back here periodically for updates.
If you have any questions about how this new development may affect you, please contact us we can help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr, for up-to-date immigration news.
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