[UPDATED Aug. 2, 2018]
USCIS has postponed the implementation of its new guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuances of Notices to Appear (NTAs) to noncitizens, which was originally issued June 28. USCIS issued the postponement to finalize operational guidance. We are closely monitoring USCIS announcements for updates regarding the implementation of this operational guidance as no timeframes were provided by USCIS.
Original article appears below:
As June 2018 ended, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum expanding USCIS’s authority to issue Notices to Appear (NTAs) to noncitizens placing them in deportation proceedings before an immigration court. An NTA is a notice for a non-citizen, believed to be removeable from the U.S., to appear before an immigration judge to plead their case. The NTA procedure is not new; however, the policy does request to implement new processes and procedures.
One part of the memo that reflects a new policy and has employment-based immigration firms and employers concerned is the following: “USCIS will issue an NTA where, upon issuance of an unfavorable decision on an application, petition, or benefit request, the alien is not lawfully present in the United States.” One of the potential implications here is that if your employee receives a denial on their case, they may also get an NTA.
The USCIS has indicated that they will be issuing more guidance in the coming weeks about how this policy will be implemented. The guidance, at this point, is minimal and your service provider is continuing to monitor the situation to advise you on what, if anything, you need to know or be concerned with. At this point, GIA does advise that you be sure to open your extensions at least six (6) months before your employee’s expiration date to ensure that a case decision is issued before their expiration date. In the event you have extensions pending, you should consider upgrading eligible cases to premium processing to ensure a decision before the employee’s expiration date.
If you have questions on this, feel free to post to your Envoy communication center. Otherwise, GIA will continue to monitor updates from the USCIS and contact you with any relevant information to this policy.
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