USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

by Joseph McKeown

US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced they are continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum, “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens.” Effective November 19, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs based on denials of the following:

  • I-914/I-914A, Applications for T Nonimmigrant Status;

  • I-918/I-918A, Petitions for U Nonimmigrant Status;

  • I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions);

  • I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, when the beneficiary is present in the US;

  • I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and

  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, filed with these underlying form types.

USCIS may issue an NTA if applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners are denied and no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not leave the US. The agency says they 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.” On October 1, 2018, USCIS began implementing the policy memorandum for denied Forms I-485 and I-539. 

USCIS notes that at this time they will not implement the memorandum with respect to employment-based petitions, and existing guidance for these case types remain in effect. Moreover, USCIS says the agency will continue to “prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns for referral for removal proceedings.” The agency has not changed the current processes for issuing NTAs for these case types. Going forward, USCIS will also continue to take an incremental approach in implementing the memo. Additional information and updates are available on the Notice to Appear Policy Memorandum page.