In a policy memorandum dated June 28th, 2018, USCIS announced a dramatic change in practice on how it will proceed with denied employment based cases. USCIS announced that it will now issue a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) in employment-based immigration cases where there is evidence of fraud, criminal activity, or where an applicant is denied an immigration benefit and is unlawfully present in the United States. Previously, USCIS referred denied cases to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to decide whether to issue a NTA. Under this new policy memo, USCIS will now issue NTAs on its own initiative and thereby place individuals in removal proceedings upon denial of a petition for immigration benefits if the person is deemed out of status at the time of the USCIS denial.
A NTA places an individual in removal proceedings and requires the individual to remain in the U.S. to appear before an immigration judge, which can take years under our current system. Prior to this policy memo change, individuals with denied petitions would depart the U.S. to seek redress for the denied petition and regain legal status.
This policy change can have dramatic impact on lawfully employed workers in the U.S. If you have questions on how this new policy memo may impact your immigration case, please contact SPS Immigration PLLC.