By Chris Musillo

The USCIS has backtracked from a proposed policy change that would have placed H-1B and other employment-based workers immediately into deportation processing after the denial of a petition. USCIS has decided to only enforce this new policy for denials of:
  • I-485, Adjustment of Status
  • I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (typically, H-4, F-1, and B-1/B-2).
Under the revised policy, USCIS will send special letters to denied applicants if their I-94 card is expired. The special denial letter is designed to provide adequate notice to applicants that they should depart the US. If the applicant does not timely depart the United States, USCIS may issue a Notice to Appear (NTA). An NTA initiates deportation proceedings. You can read more about the NTA policy on our earlier blog post.

USCIS will prioritize the issuance of an NTA in cases of:
  • Criminal records
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • National security concern
The USCIS will continue to use prosecutorial discretion when issuing an NTA in these instances on a case-by-case basis.