MENU Office of International Services

OIS NEWS – 12/11/2019

USCIS Updates Policy Pursuant to Two Recent Attorney General Decisions

On October 25, 2019, the U.S. Attorney General (AG) made decisions in two separate cases that USCIS has now adopted as policy. In the first case, Matter of Thomas and Thompson, the AG held that a “term of imprisonment or a sentence” can be expanded to include an alien’s original criminal sentence regardless of post-sentencing alterations in most cases. This is relevant because criminal activity may result in an alien being determined as inadmissible, deportable, or ineligible for an immigration benefit. In the second case, Matter of Castillo-Perez, the AG held that two or more DUI convictions during a relevant statutory period affects “good moral character” determinations, which may negatively impact eligibility for immigration benefits.

On December 10, 2019, USCIS adopted both AG decisions and updated their policy, which applies to any cases filed or pending on or after October 25, 2019. The full Policy Alert can be found on the USCIS Policy Manual.

As a reminder, if an international student, scholar, employee, or exchange visitor believes that they may need legal representation in any court of law, they are always permitted to seek personal legal advice from a qualified immigration attorney.

OIS will continue to monitor USCIS Policy Alerts and will update UIC departments, international students, exchange visitors and the international community accordingly. As always, if there are any questions or concerns about this announcement, please feel free to contact us at or (312) 996-3121.