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Previously, our office reported that the United States and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided new guidance on June 28, 2018 regarding issuances of Notices to Appear (NTA). Specifically, this new guidance stated that USCIS officers would issue NTAs for a wider range of cases where the individual is removable and there is evidence of fraud, criminal activity, or where the applicant is denied an immigration benefit and is unlawfully present in the United States. This guidance instructed USCIS to create or update operational guidance on NTAs and Referrals to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (RTIs) within 30 days.

On July 30, 2018, USCIS announced that it will be postponing implementation of the aforementioned memo due to a delay on the issuance of new or updated operational guidance.

As mentioned in a previous article, this new guidance, once implemented, will impact individuals who have lived and worked in the U.S. legally but whose applications to extend their stay or move to new jobs are unexpectedly denied by USCIS due to changing USCIS policies. For example, imagine a foreign national who has held H-1B status for years who files an application to extend their H-1B status. His application to extend H-1B status is denied, and due to USCIS processing backlogs, his underlying H-1B status expires by the time USCIS gets around to reviewing his case. This foreign national would be issued an NTA and placed directly into removal proceedings. Likewise, foreign students who are rendered out of status due to recent changes in USCIS requirements will be impacted by this new guidance. Please refer to that article for more in depth information about the impact of this new guidance.

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices for any questions or concerns you may have regarding this matter. Our offices will keep you up to date regarding any further developments regarding the implementation of this new guidance from USCIS.