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On October 1, 2018 USCIS Will Begin Implementing New Policy on Issuing Notices to Appear

USCIS will begin a phased implementation of its new policy on issuance of Notices to Appear as of October 1, ending an earlier self-imposed delay in implementing the policy.

On June 28, 2018, USCIS had announced a new policy where Notices to Appear – the charging document beginning a removal case (what many people think of as “deportation”) would be issued by USCIS upon denial of a request for an immigration benefit if the individual did not still possess some underlying valid immigration status. This represented a significant expansion of USCIS’ involvement in beginning removal cases…something primarily done by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), a different and more enforcement-oriented agency within the Department of Homeland Security. Approximately a month later, USCIS announced a delay in implementing this new policy while the agency developed operational guidance.

The limited implementation applies only to denials on I-485 Applications to Adjust Status (used to request a change to permanent residence - a green card – while in the US), and the I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (used to request a change of status to or extension of certain temporary visas such as the B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa, F-1 Student Visa, and most derivative/accompanying-family-member visas but not most employment-based nonimmigrant visas). USCIS is not yet applying the policy to applications for nonimmigrant work visas and humanitarian applications.

We had covered the original announcement at the time here and the revised guidance delaying implementation here