U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will begin implementing its policy on the issuance of ‘Notices to Appear’ in cases involving inadmissible and deportable foreign nationals on Oct. 1, and will take an “incremental approach” to its implementation.

The policy memo was issued June 28 and establishes when a Notice to Appear, or NTA, will be issued to individuals whose petition or application with USCIS is denied. The NTA is a document USCIS issues as the first step in deportation proceedings that instructs the recipient to appear before an immigration judge. USCIS announced the new policy in July but then delayed its implementation.

Key points:

  • Starting Oct. 1, 2018, USCIS may issue an NTA to individuals who are denied a status-impacting application, including but not limited to, Form I-485 (permanent residence or adjustment of status) and Form I-539 (extension or change of status).
  • USCIS will send denial letters for status-impacting applications to ensure the individual seeking the immigration benefit is provided adequate notice when their application is denied. If an applicant is no longer in a period of authorized stay and does not depart the U.S., USCIS may issue an NTA.
  • USCIS will not implement the policy memorandum with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian cases at this time. Existing guidance for these case types will remain in effect.
  • USCIS is holding a public teleconference on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT to provide an overview of the policy memorandum and respond to pre-submitted questions. The teleconference will conclude with a question and answer session, as time permits.

Additional information on the teleconference is available on the Upcoming National Engagements page. USCIS will provide updates and information on the implementation of this policy memo on its new Notice to Appear Policy Memorandum page.

BAL Analysis: BAL is closely monitoring the implementation of this policy and will provide additional analysis following tomorrow’s teleconference.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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