New USCIS Policy to Provide Asylum and Immigration Status Documents: Implications for Immigrants
On May 4th, 2023, USCIS began providing documents after Notice of Immigration Judge and BIA decisions about immigration status. With this new policy, the USCIS aims to streamline the process, reduce unnecessary burdens, and help immigrants immediately access the immigration benefits they are entitled to.
The Changes and Benefits
Previously, when the immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted status to an asylee or a lawful permanent resident, they were instructed to contact the USCIS Contact Center to request proof of status. However, with the new policy, USCIS will now create and provide documented evidence of status to these individuals upon receiving notification of the decision.
Instead of attending an in-person appointment, individuals may now receive their documentation by mail. This is particularly beneficial as it eliminates the need for scheduling additional appointments and further streamlines the process.
As a part of this effort, since August 2022, USCIS has been mailing Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) with asylee stamps to individuals granted asylum by an immigration judge or the BIA. Additionally, Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) have been issued for some lawful permanent residents upon notification of adjustment of status.
By providing evidence in a timely manner, USCIS ensures asylees and lawful permanent residents can promptly access employment, travel, and other immigration benefits they are eligible for.
What This Means for Immigrants in EOIR Removal Proceedings
The information in this new policy primarily applies to those requesting relief or protection from removal while undergoing proceedings in an immigration court or before the BIA, which falls under the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Applicants must follow the Instructions for Submitting Certain Applications in Immigration Court and For Providing Biometric and Biographic Information to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (PDF, 178.54 KB) carefully.
If relief or protection is granted, these individuals will receive Post-Order Instructions for Individuals Granted Relief or Protection from Removal by Immigration Court (PDF, 235.78 KB). These instructions outline steps to obtain documentation of immigration status and employment authorization.
However, it is essential to note that USCIS may not be notified in every case. Therefore, individuals are still encouraged to proactively contact the USCIS Contact Center to request their proof of status to avoid any delays or complications in accessing the benefits they deserve.
This policy change, accompanied by a simplified process of documentation and increased access to immigration benefits, is a significant step forward in ensuring a fair, secure, and efficient immigration process for those granted asylum or permanent residence status by an immigration judge or the BIA. For more information on the implications of this policy, you may refer to the joint Fact Sheet on Immigration Benefits in EOIR Proceedings and the Questions and Answers on Implementation of EOIR Background Check Regulation for Aliens Seeking Relief or Protection from Removal.
Immigration Benefits in EOIR Removal Proceedings
Overview of EOIR Removal Proceedings
Individuals involved in proceedings before an immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) due to Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) proceedings can apply for various immigration benefits or protections. These applications include adjustment to lawful permanent resident status, cancellation of removal, waivers of inadmissibility, asylum, and withholding of removal.
Applying for Immigration Benefits
Before applying for immigration benefits within EOIR removal proceedings, individuals must receive the Instructions for Submitting Certain Applications in Immigration Court and For Providing Biometric and Biographic Information to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (PDF, 178.54 KB). These detailed pre-order instructions provide an essential guide on how to submit applications and must be adhered to carefully.
Then, USCIS will complete the necessary identity, security, and background checks as described in the joint Fact Sheet on Immigration Benefits in EOIR Proceedings (PDF, 45.22 KB). Individuals must follow the instructions provided for completing the requirements, such as attending appointments at USCIS application support centers.
After the Decision
When an immigration judge grants an individual’s application for relief or protection from removal, the applicant will receive Post-Order Instructions for Individuals Granted Relief or Protection from Removal by Immigration Court (PDF, 235.78 KB), outlining the necessary steps for acquiring immigration status and employment authorization documentation.
If the BIA grants relief or protection, the decision will contain similar instructions, and applicants can find further information in the Questions and Answers on Implementation of EOIR Background Check Regulation for Aliens Seeking Relief or Protection from Removal (PDF, 64.73 KB).
Implications of the New USCIS Policy
With the new USCIS policy, individuals granted asylum or lawful permanent resident status by an immigration judge or the BIA will now receive their necessary documents by mail, alleviating the requirement for in-person appointments and expediting access to immigration benefits. This policy aims to streamline the process and improve access to required documentation.
However, it is crucial to emphasize that USCIS may not be notified in every case. As a result, individuals must still proactively contact the USCIS Contact Center if they haven’t received their documentation.
In conclusion, Immigration Benefits in EOIR Removal Proceedings play a crucial role in determining an individual’s eligibility for various immigration benefits and protections during the removal process. The recent changes in USCIS policy offer a more streamlined and accessible approach to obtaining these benefits, helping immigrants achieve stability and security in their lives.