Recently, we have seen that Judges in the non-detained Houston immigration courts have been offering for some individuals to be placed on the “status docket.”
A status docket allows for an individual case to be placed on hold during the pendency of a process with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Being placed in this docket can help avoid having to file multiple continuances for a petition that may be pending with USCIS. Some petitions that we have seen eligible for the status docket are:Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, or I-360, petition for Amerasian, Widower, or Special Immigrant, which are forms that must be adjudicated by USCIS, even while the individual is in removal proceedings.
A common scenario in which this new docket may be helpful is if a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident is petitioning for someone who is eligible to do an Adjustment of Status but has an I-130 pending with USCIS, instead of having to go to several master calendar hearings to state that application is still pending, the individual can ask to be placed on the status docket. The individual must then update the court on the status of the case before a hearing notice is set out, if the court doesn’t hear back regarding the status of the case, the individual must present himself or herself in court. At any moment, either party can request that the case return to the active docket.
We have seen attorneys make the requests to be placed on the status docket in open court, but a judge may consider it if you make the request in writing. We have also heard that Judges will not allow an individual to be placed on this docket unless they have an attorney on the record.
At the Powers Law Group, we will continue to monitor what instructions, formal or informal, may be given by the judges to be added to the status docket. If you have any questions regarding the status docket and would like to know how this can help you in your removal proceedings in immigration court, contact our office to schedule a consult to see how we can assist you.
If you’re interested in speaking with an attorney about your legal status and options that may be available to you, call to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at (713) 589-2085.