On November 8th, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a press release notifying the public that it is continuing to implement an earlier Policy Memorandum (PM) from June 28, 2018.
USCIS may issue Notices to Appear (NTAs) based on denials of Applications for T Nonimmigrant Status; Petitions for U Nonimmigrant Status; Petitions for Amerasian Widow(er), or Special Immigrant; Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions (when the beneficiary is present in the U.S.); Petitions for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with regards to the underlying form types previously listed.
It is important to note that applicants, beneficiaries or self-petitioners whose petitions are denied and do not have authorization to remain in the U.S. and fail to depart may be issued NTAs. USCIS plans to continue its efforts to send denial letters for these applications and petitions in a timely manner to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the U.S.
Originally, USCIS began implementing the PM for Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and Applications to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. This was part of an effort to introduce these changes through an incremental approach, which remains in effect. At this time, USCIS will not implement the memorandum in regards to employment-based petitions. Previous guidance for these case types remains effective.
In its press release, USCIS notes that it will continue to prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud or national security concerns for referral proceedings. The current process for issuing NTAs remains the same for these case types. Additionally, the agency will continue to exercise its statutory discretion in issuing NTAs.
If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!