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OIS News - 10/1/2018

USCIS Previously Released “Notice to Appear” Policy Clarified and Commences Monday, October 1, 2018

As previously announced by OIS, USCIS released a policy memorandum on June 28, 2018 that broadens the scope of the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). As explained in the announcement, an NTA may now be issued to an individual after the issuance of an unfavorable decision of an application, petition, or other benefit request. In additional to commencing removal proceedings, the NTA instructs a foreign national individual in the U.S. to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date. Please refer to our previous announcement of July 19, 2018 for additional details.


On September 26, 2018, USCIS announced changes to the “Notice to Appear” policy memorandum. In addition to this announcement, OIS has learned the following:


  • NTAs may be issued to those applicants who were denied Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, as well as those denied Form I-485, Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
  • At this time, the June 28, 2018 “Notice to Appear” policy memorandum will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications.  This would include forms such as I-129 (e.g. H-1B classification), I-140, and I-130, as well as certain I-485 applications;
  • Although the denial of a Form I-485, Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status may result in a NTA, it would not apply if the applicant has an underlying valid nonimmigrant status, such as H-1B status, that is not affected by the I-485 denial.

As a reminder, because removal proceedings occur in immigration court and are adversarial in nature, OIS strongly recommends those issued a Notice to Appear by USCIS to seek personal legal advice from a qualified immigration attorney.


Questions? Feel free to contact the Office of International Services.