New USCIS Policy on Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs)
A new USCIS memo has gone into effect modifying its policy pertaining to the issuance of Notices to Appear before an immigration judge, or NTAs, in response to certain applications and circumstances.
Begun on October 1st, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now putting into practice its June 28 Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens Policy Memorandum, of which it is taking an incremental approach.
In what is effectively a first step in beginning removal proceedings, an NTA is an issued document for informing an individual that he or she is to appear before an immigration judge. The changed introduced in the new memo establishes a policy in which USCIS may issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications. These may include, but are not limited to: Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Details Pertaining to USCIS Modified Issuance of NTAs and Exceptions
USCIS has asserted that it will send denial letters for status-impacting applications such as Form I-485 and Form I-539 in a way ensuring that benefit seekers are provided fair notice when their applied for benefit is denied. Another circumstance in which an NTA may be issued is if an applicant is no longer in a period of authorized stay in the U.S. and does not depart. USCIS has stated that it will include important information such as how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance or validate their departure from the U.S.
Furthermore, USCIS maintains that the implementation of this memo will not impact its policy of prioritizing cases connected to individuals with criminal records, fraud or national security concerns. It will therefore continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for these case categorizations.
Finally, this memo will not have affect employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions, at least for the time being, as USCIS will continue to follow existing guidance in such cases. USCIS provided information and updates and information concerning the consequences and breadth of the memo can be found here (https://www.uscis.gov/