The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to implement the Policy Memorandum that was issued on June 28, 2018 regarding Notices to Appear (NTAs). This new guidance – which has gradually been implemented over the past several months – states that USCIS officers will now issues NTAs for a wider range of cases where the individual is removable and there is evidence of fraud, criminal activity, or where an applicant is denied an immigration benefit and is unlawfully present in the United States. Overturning more than a decade of consistent practice, this new guidance requires USCIS to function as another enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
Form I-862, Notice to Appear (NTA), is a document issued to foreign nationals who are deemed “removable” from the United States. Recipients of NTAs must appear before an immigration judge to determine whether they should be removed from the United States or be entitled to some type of removal relief that allows them to legally remain in the United States.
Starting November 19, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs based on denials of the following cases if applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart from the United States:
- I-914/I-914A, Applications for T Nonimmigrant Status, and petitions for FormsI-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);
- I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, when the beneficiary is present in the US; and
- FormI-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, filed with these underlying form types.
USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to provide adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States. At this time, USCIS will not be implementing the memorandum as it relates to employment-based petitions.
USCIS states that it will prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns for referral for removal proceedings.
Please do not hesitate to contact our offices for any questions or concerns you may have regarding this matter. Our offices will keep you up to date regarding any further developments.