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Oct 6

Updated USCIS NTA Policy

On September 27, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held a teleconference to discuss its June 28, 2018 policy memorandum on the issuance of Notices to Appear entitled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens.” The following are is an overview of highlights from that call.


  • On USCIS will take an incremental approach to implement the June 28, 2018 policy memo.
  • Starting October 1, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications, including but not limited to, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The NTA policy memo will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions at this time. Existing guidance for these case types will remain in effect.
  • Generally, USCIS will not issue an NTA immediately upon the denial of an immigration benefit. USCIS will generally wait for the expiration of the motion or appeal period before issuing an NTA, however, USCIS reserves the right to issue an NTA before or after the motion or appeal period.
  • If an NTA is issued before a motion or appeal is filed or while it is pending, and USCIS takes favorable action on the motion or appeal, USCIS will work with ICE to make ICE aware of the favorable action.
  • Withdrawing an application does not cancel USCIS’s authority to issue an NTA. USCIS may issue an NTA, even if the individual withdraws the application.
  • USCIS will add language to denial notices to ensure that benefit seekers are provided adequate notice when an application for an immigration benefit is denied indicating that if an applicant is no longer in a period of authorized stay, and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will also provide details on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the United States.
  • As USCIS begins to implement the NTA policy, USCIS will develop a webpage on the USCIS website that will provide the public with additional guidance on the policy and examples of scenarios that may trigger the issuance of an NTA.

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