USCIS Will Begin Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on October 1, 2018, the agency will begin gradually implementing the June 28th policy guidance that instructs USCIS officers to issue Notices to Appear (NTA) for a much wider range of cases. If you recall, on July 30, 2018, USCIS announced that is would postpone implementation of the updated guidance until operational guidance was finalized.
An NTA is a charging document given to a foreign national that begins removal proceedings and instructs the individual to appear before an immigration judge. Beginning October 1st, USCIS may issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications, including but not limited to, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Please be advised that the June 28th NTA memo will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions at this time. Instead, existing guidance for these case types will remain in effect. Although we do anticipate employment based petitions will be impacted at some point, we do not currently have a timeline of when that may occur.
It appears that USCIS will not immediately issue an NTA upon denial of an application without first providing notice to the impacted individual. Instead, USCIS will first send denial letters for status-impacting applications to ensure individuals are provided enough notice when an application for a benefit is denied. If applicants are no longer in a period of authorized stay, and do not depart the United States, USCIS may then issue an NTA.
USCIS is holding a public teleconference on Thursday, September 27th from 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern to provide an overview of the memo. If additional information is provided, you can find those updates here.