U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has begun to implement the Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens Policy Memo. This memo was originally published on June 28, 2018 and the implementation process began on October 1, 2018. USCIS announced that it will take an incremental approach in its implementation of this memo.
An NTA is the first step in the commencement of removal proceedings. An NTA is a document that instructs an alien to appear in front of an immigration judge. Beginning October 1st, USCIS now has the option to issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications. This includes, but is not limited to, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and Applications to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
As a result of the implementation, USCIS will now send denial letters for status-impacting applications to ensure that those seeking an immigration benefit will have adequate notice when an application is denied. If applicants are no longer in a period of authorized stay and choose to remain in the U.S. rather than depart, USCIS may issue an NTA. In addition, USCIS will provide information on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the U.S.
It is crucial to note that this policy memo will not be implemented in regard to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions. At this time, existing guidance for these categories will remain in effect.
USCIS also noted that it will continue to prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud or national security concerns. The current process regarding NTAs for these case types will remain in effect and will not be altered by this policy memo. USCIS will be able to use its discretion in the issuance of NTAs for these cases.
If you have questions on this, please be sure to contact Berardi Immigration Law today!