By attorney: Nadia Khalid
On July 05, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) revealed new policy guidelines regarding Notice to Appear issuances. A Notice to Appear (“NTA”), as defined by USCIS, “is a document given to an alien that instructs them to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date…the issuance of an NTA commences removal proceedings against the alien.” Failure to appear for an NTA can result in automatic removal proceedings, resulting in a 5-year bar from entry to the United States.
In the past, USCIS had to consult with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CPB”) to issue an NTA.
Now, however, under this new guideline, USCIS has authority to issue NTAs without consulting with ICE or CPB for any of the following reasons:
- Denial of an application;
- Denial of an N-400 because of a previous criminal offense;
- Applications involving substantiated fraud or misrepresentation;
- Abuse of public benefits by the applicant;
- Criminal cases with a conviction or pending charge; and/or
- Unlawful presence resulting from the denial of an application or petition.
Because of this new policy guideline, it is imperative that you disclose everything to your legal representative, including past offenses, criminal charges, receiving public benefits, or any past denied immigration applications. It is equally important to understand that if your application is denied for any reason, an automatic NTA may be issued based on unlawful presence resulting from the denial of said application or petition.
If you are interested in learning more about this new policy memorandum or about how it might affect a pending or past immigration application or petition, feel free to contact our office at 713-589-2085 or email us at [email protected] to set up a consultation.