USCIS announced today that the agency has expanded the types of applications that can be issued a notice to appear if the application is denied, a policy that was originally announced in July 2018. An NTA is a document that is issued to individuals to place them in deportation proceedings and directing them to appear before an immigration judge. To learn more about the original announcement, please click here. Starting on November 19, 2018, USCIS may issues NTAs based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Applications for T Nonimmigrant Status, and petitions for Forms I-918/I-918A, Petitions for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er); I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant, Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile petitions); and I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, when the beneficiary is present in the US, as well as Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, filed with these underlying form types.
If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS 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. USCIS will continue to prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns for removal proceedings. USCIS began implementing this policy for denied Forms I-485 and Form I-539 on October 1, 2018 but have not implemented the policy with respects to employment-based petitions at this time. USCIS announced that they will continue to take this incremental approach to implementing this memorandum, some applications at a time.
Foreign nationals should take all possible precautions to ensure that their work visa petitions are filed and adjudicated to completion before their existing status expires, so that if the petition is denied, the person will still be in another status and can avoid an NTA.
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Ian E. Scott, Esq. is the Founder of Scott Legal, P.C. He can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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