8 C.F.R. PART 1003—EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW


Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality


Title 8: Aliens and Nationality

Browse Previous

PART 1003—EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW

Section Contents
§ 1003.0   Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Subpart A—Board of Immigration Appeals

§ 1003.1   Organization, jurisdiction, and powers of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
§ 1003.2   Reopening or reconsideration before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
§ 1003.3   Notice of appeal.
§ 1003.4   Withdrawal of appeal.
§ 1003.5   Forwarding of record on appeal.
§ 1003.6   Stay of execution of decision.
§ 1003.7   Notice of certification.
§ 1003.8   Fees before the Board.

Subpart B—Immigration Court

§ 1003.9   Chief Immigration Judge.
§ 1003.10   Immigration Judges.
§ 1003.11   Administrative control Immigration Courts.

Subpart C—Immigration Court—Rules of Procedure

§ 1003.12   Scope of rules.
§ 1003.13   Definitions.
§ 1003.14   Jurisdiction and commencement of proceedings.
§ 1003.15   Contents of the order to show cause and notice to appear and notification of change of address.
§ 1003.16   Representation.
§ 1003.17   Appearances.
§ 1003.18   Scheduling of cases.
§ 1003.19   Custody/bond.
§ 1003.20   Change of venue.
§ 1003.21   Pre-hearing conferences and statement.
§ 1003.22   Interpreters.
§ 1003.23   Reopening or reconsideration before the Immigration Court.
§ 1003.24   Fees pertaining to matters within the jurisdiction of an immigration judge.
§ 1003.25   Form of the proceeding.
§ 1003.26   In absentia hearings.
§ 1003.27   Public access to hearings.
§ 1003.28   Recording equipment.
§ 1003.29   Continuances.
§ 1003.30   Additional charges in deportation or removal hearings.
§ 1003.31   Filing documents and applications.
§ 1003.32   Service and size of documents.
§ 1003.33   Translation of documents.
§ 1003.34   Testimony.
§ 1003.35   Depositions and subpoenas.
§ 1003.36   Record of proceeding.
§ 1003.37   Decisions.
§ 1003.38   Appeals.
§ 1003.39   Finality of decision.
§ 1003.40   Local operating procedures.
§ 1003.41   Evidence of criminal conviction.
§ 1003.42   Review of credible fear determination.
§ 1003.43   Motions to reopen for suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal pursuant to section 203(c) of NACARA and section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments.
§ 1003.44   Special motion to seek section 212(c) relief for aliens who pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to certain crimes before April 1, 1997.
§ 1003.46   Protective orders, sealed submissions in Immigration Courts.
§ 1003.47   Identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations relating to applications for immigration relief, protection, or restriction on removal.

Subpart D [Reserved]


Subpart E—List of Free Legal Services Providers

§ 1003.61   List.
§ 1003.62   Qualifications.
§ 1003.63   Applications.
§ 1003.64   Approval and denial of applications.
§ 1003.65   Removal of an organization or attorney from list.

Subpart F [Reserved]


Subpart G—Professional Conduct for Practitioners—Rules and Procedures

§ 1003.101   General provisions.
§ 1003.102   Grounds.
§ 1003.103   Immediate suspension and summary disciplinary proceedings; duty of practitioner to notify EOIR of conviction or discipline.
§ 1003.104   Filing of complaints; preliminary inquiries; resolutions; referral of complaints.
§ 1003.105   Notice of Intent to Discipline.
§ 1003.106   Hearing and disposition.
§ 1003.107   Reinstatement after expulsion or suspension.
§ 1003.108   Confidentiality.
§ 1003.109   Discipline of government attorneys.


Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1103, 1252 note, 1252b, 1324b, 1362; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 1746; sec. 2 Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1950; 3 CFR, 1949–1953 Comp., p. 1002; section 203 of Pub. L. 105–100, 111 Stat. 2196–200; sections 1506 and 1510 of Pub. L. 106–386, 114 Stat. 1527–29, 1531–32; section 1505 of Pub. L. 106–554, 114 Stat. 2763A–326 to –328.

Source:  Redesignated at 68 FR 9830, Feb. 28, 2003.

Editorial Note:  Nomenclature changes to part 1003 appear at 68 FR 9846, Feb. 28, 2003, and at 68 FR 10350, Mar. 5, 2003.

§ 1003.0   Executive Office for Immigration Review.
top

(a) Organization. The Executive Office for Immigration Review shall be headed by a Director who shall be assisted by a Deputy Director. The Director shall be responsible for the general supervision of the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge in the execution of their duties in accordance with this part 3. The Director may redelegate the authority delegated to him by the Attorney General to the Deputy Director, the Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals, or the Chief Immigration Judge.

(b) Citizenship Requirement for Employment. (1) An application to work at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR or Agency), either as an employee or as a volunteer, must include a signed affirmation from the applicant that he or she is a citizen of the United States of America. Upon the Agency's request, the applicant must document United States citizenship.

(2) The Director of EOIR may, by explicit written determination and to the extent permitted by law, authorize the appointment of an alien to an Agency position when necessary to accomplish the work of EOIR.

[48 FR 8039, Feb. 25, 1983, as amended at 60 FR 29468, June 5, 1995; 63 FR 51519, Sept. 28, 1998]

Subpart A—Board of Immigration Appeals
top
§ 1003.1   Organization, jurisdiction, and powers of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
top

(a)(1) Organization. There shall be in the Department of Justice a Board of Immigration Appeals, subject to the general supervision of the Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The Board members shall be attorneys appointed by the Attorney General to act as the Attorney General's delegates in the cases that come before them. Within six months of the implementation of the case management screening system as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, or such other time as may be specified by the Attorney General, the Board shall be reduced to eleven members as designated by the Attorney General. A vacancy, or the absence or unavailability of a Board member, shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the Board.

(2) Chairman. The Attorney General shall designate one of the Board members to serve as Chairman. The Attorney General may designate one or two Vice Chairmen to assist the Chairman in the performance of his duties and to exercise all of the powers and duties of the Chairman in the absence or unavailability of the Chairman.

(i) The Chairman, subject to the supervision of the Director, shall direct, supervise, and establish internal operating procedures and policies of the Board. The Chairman shall have authority to:

(A) Issue operational instructions and policy, including procedural instructions regarding the implementation of new statutory or regulatory authorities;

(B) Provide for appropriate training of Board members and staff on the conduct of their powers and duties;

(C) Direct the conduct of all employees assigned to the Board to ensure the efficient disposition of all pending cases, including the power, in his discretion, to set priorities or time frames for the resolution of cases; to direct that the adjudication of certain cases be deferred, to regulate the assignment of Board members to cases, and otherwise to manage the docket of matters to be decided by the Board;

(D) Evaluate the performance of the Board by making appropriate reports and inspections, and take corrective action where needed;

(E) Adjudicate cases as a Board member; and

(F) Exercise such other authorities as the Director may provide.

(ii) The Chairman shall have no authority to direct the result of an adjudication assigned to another Board member or to a panel; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the management authority of the Chairman under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(3) Panels. The Chairman shall divide the Board into three-member panels and designate a presiding member of each panel if the Chairman or Vice Chairman is not assigned to the panel. The Chairman may from time to time make changes in the composition of such panels and of presiding members. Each three-member panel shall be empowered to decide cases by majority vote, and a majority of the Board members assigned to the panel shall constitute a quorum for such panel. In addition, the Chairman shall assign any number of Board members, as needed, to serve on the screening panel to implement the case management process as provided in paragraph (e) of this section.

(4) Temporary Board members. The Director may in his discretion designate immigration judges, retired Board members, retired immigration judges, and administrative law judges employed within, or retired from, EOIR to act as temporary, additional Board members for terms not to exceed six months. A temporary Board member assigned to a case may continue to participate in the case to its normal conclusion, but shall have no role in the actions of the Board en banc.

(5) En banc process. A majority of the permanent Board members shall constitute a quorum for purposes of convening the Board en banc. The Board may on its own motion by a majority vote of the permanent Board members, or by direction of the Chairman, consider any case en banc, or reconsider as the Board en banc any case that has been considered or decided by a three-member panel. En banc proceedings are not favored, and shall ordinarily be ordered only where necessary to address an issue of particular importance or to secure or maintain consistency of the Board's decisions.

(6) Board staff. There shall also be attached to the Board such number of attorneys and other employees as the Deputy Attorney General, upon recommendation of the Director, shall from time to time direct.

(7) [Reserved]

(b) Appellate jurisdiction. Appeals may be filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals from the following:

(1) Decisions of Immigration Judges in exclusion cases, as provided in 8 CFR part 240, subpart D.

(2) Decisions of Immigration Judges in deportation cases, as provided in 8 CFR part 1240, subpart E, except that no appeal shall lie seeking review of a length of a period of voluntary departure granted by an Immigration Judge under section 244E of the Act as it existed prior to April 1, 1997.

(3) Decisions of Immigration Judges in removal proceedings, as provided in 8 CFR part 1240, except that no appeal shall lie seeking review of the length of a period of voluntary departure granted by an immigration judge under section 240B of the Act or part 240 of this chapter.

(4) Decisions involving administrative fines and penalties, including mitigation thereof, as provided in part 280 of this chapter.

(5) Decisions on petitions filed in accordance with section 204 of the act (except petitions to accord preference classifications under section 203(a)(3) or section 203(a)(6) of the act, or a petition on behalf of a child described in section 101(b)(1)(F) of the act), and decisions on requests for revalidation and decisions revoking the approval of such petitions, in accordance with section 205 of the act, as provided in parts 204 and 205, respectively, of 8 CFR chapter I or parts 1204 and 1205, respectively, of this chapter.

(6) Decisions on applications for the exercise of the discretionary authority contained in section 212(d)(3) of the act as provided in part 1212 of this chapter.

(7) Determinations relating to bond, parole, or detention of an alien as provided in 8 CFR part 1236, subpart A.

(8) Decisions of Immigration Judges in rescission of adjustment of status cases, as provided in part 1246 of this chapter.

(9) Decisions of Immigration Judges in asylum proceedings pursuant to §1208.2(b) of this chapter.

(10) Decisions of Immigration Judges relating to Temporary Protected Status as provided in 8 CFR part 1244.

(11) Decisions on applications from organizations or attorneys requesting to be included on a list of free legal services providers and decisions on removals therefrom pursuant to §1003.65.

(12) Decisions of Immigration Judges on applications for adjustment of status referred on a Notice of Certification (Form I–290C) to the Immigration Court in accordance with §§1245.13(n)(2) and 1245.15(n)(3) of this chapter or remanded to the Immigration Court in accordance with §§1245.13(d)(2) and 1245.15(e)(2) of this chapter.

(13) Decisions of adjudicating officials in practitioner disciplinary proceedings as provided in subpart G of this part.

(14) Decisions of immigration judges regarding custody of aliens subject to a final order of removal made pursuant to §1241.14 of this chapter.

(c) Jurisdiction by certification. The Commissioner, or any other duly authorized officer of the Service, any Immigration Judge, or the Board may in any case arising under paragraph (b) of this section certify such case to the Board. The Board in its discretion may review any such case by certification without regard to the provisions of §1003.7 if it determines that the parties have already been given a fair opportunity to make representations before the Board regarding the case, including the opportunity request oral argument and to submit a brief.

(d) Powers of the Board—(1) Generally. The Board shall function as an appellate body charged with the review of those administrative adjudications under the Act that the Attorney General may by regulation assign to it. The Board shall resolve the questions before it in a manner that is timely, impartial, and consistent with the Act and regulations. In addition, the Board, through precedent decisions, shall provide clear and uniform guidance to the Service, the immigration judges, and the general public on the proper interpretation and administration of the Act and its implementing regulations.

(i) The Board shall be governed by the provisions and limitations prescribed by applicable law, regulations, and procedures, and by decisions of the Attorney General (through review of a decision of the Board, by written order, or by determination and ruling pursuant to section 103 of the Act).

(ii) Subject to these governing standards, Board members shall exercise their independent judgment and discretion in considering and determining the cases coming before the Board, and a panel or Board member to whom a case is assigned may take any action consistent with their authorities under the Act and the regulations as is appropriate and necessary for the disposition of the case.

(2) Summary dismissal of appeals—(i) Standards. A single Board member or panel may summarily dismiss any appeal or portion of any appeal in any case in which:

(A) The party concerned fails to specify the reasons for the appeal on Form EOIR–26 or Form EOIR–29 (Notices of Appeal) or other document filed therewith;

(B) The only reason for the appeal specified by the party concerned involves a finding of fact or a conclusion of law that was conceded by that party at a prior proceeding;

(C) The appeal is from an order that granted the party concerned the relief that had been requested;

(D) The Board is satisfied, from a review of the record, that the appeal is filed for an improper purpose, such as to cause unnecessary delay, or that the appeal lacks an arguable basis in fact or in law unless the Board determines that it is supported by a good faith argument for extension, modification, or reversal of existing law;

(E) The party concerned indicates on Form EOIR–26 or Form EOIR–29 that he or she will file a brief or statement in support of the appeal and, thereafter, does not file such brief or statement, or reasonably explain his or her failure to do so, within the time set for filing;

(F) The appeal does not fall within the Board's jurisdiction, or lies with the Immigration Judge rather than the Board;

(G) The appeal is untimely, or barred by an affirmative waiver of the right of appeal that is clear on the record; or

(H) The appeal fails to meet essential statutory or regulatory requirements or is expressly excluded by statute or regulation.

(ii) Action by the Board. The Board's case management screening plan shall promptly identify cases that are subject to summary dismissal pursuant to this paragraph. An order dismissing any appeal pursuant to this paragraph (d)(2) shall constitute the final decision of the Board.

(iii) Disciplinary consequences. The filing by an attorney or representative accredited under §1292.2(d) of this chapter of an appeal that is summarily dismissed under paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section may constitute frivolous behavior under §1003.102(j). Summary dismissal of an appeal under paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section does not limit the other grounds and procedures for disciplinary action against attorneys or representatives.

(3) Scope of review. (i) The Board will not engage in de novo review of findings of fact determined by an immigration judge. Facts determined by the immigration judge, including findings as to the credibility of testimony, shall be reviewed only to determine whether the findings of the immigration judge are clearly erroneous.

(ii) The Board may review questions of law, discretion, and judgment and all other issues in appeals from decisions of immigration judges de novo.

(iii) The Board may review all questions arising in appeals from decisions issued by Service officers de novo.

(iv) Except for taking administrative notice of commonly known facts such as current events or the contents of official documents, the Board will not engage in factfinding in the course of deciding appeals. A party asserting that the Board cannot properly resolve an appeal without further factfinding must file a motion for remand. If further factfinding is needed in a particular case, the Board may remand the proceeding to the immigration judge or, as appropriate, to the Service.

(4) Rules of practice. The Board shall have authority, with the approval of the Director, EOIR, to prescribe procedures governing proceedings before it.

(5) Discipline of attorneys and representatives. The Board shall determine whether any organization or individual desiring to represent aliens in immigration proceedings meets the requirements as set forth in §1292.2 of this chapter. It shall also determine whether any organization desiring representation is of a kind described in §1.1(j) of this chapter, and shall regulate the conduct of attorneys, representatives of organizations, and others who appear in a representative capacity before the Board or the Service or any immigration judge.

(6) Identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations. (i) The Board shall not issue a decision affirming or granting to an alien an immigration status, relief or protection from removal, or other immigration benefit, as provided in 8 CFR 1003.47(b), that requires completion of identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations if:

(A) Identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations have not been completed during the proceedings;

(B) DHS reports to the Board that the results of prior identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations are no longer current under the standards established by DHS and must be updated; or

(C) Identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations have uncovered new information bearing on the merits of the alien's application for relief.

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6)(iv) of this section, if identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations have not been completed or DHS reports that the results of prior investigations or examinations are no longer current under the standards established by DHS, then the Board will determine the best means to facilitate the final disposition of the case, as follows:

(A) The Board may issue an order remanding the case to the immigration judge with instructions to allow DHS to complete or update the appropriate identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations pursuant to §1003.47; or

(B) The Board may provide notice to both parties that in order to complete adjudication of the appeal the case is being placed on hold until such time as all identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations are completed or updated and the results have been reported to the Board.

(iii) In any case placed on hold under paragraph (d)(6)(ii)(B) of this section, DHS shall report to the Board promptly when the identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations have been completed or updated. If DHS obtains relevant information as a result of the identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations, or if the applicant fails to comply with necessary procedures for collecting biometrics or other biographical information, DHS may move to remand the record to the immigration judge for consideration of whether, in view of the new information or the alien's failure to comply, the immigration relief should be denied, either on grounds of eligibility or, where applicable, as a matter of discretion.

(iv) The Board is not required to remand or hold a case pursuant to paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of this paragraph if the Board decides to dismiss the respondent's appeal or deny the relief sought.

(v) The immigration relief described in 8 CFR 1003.47(b) and granted by the Board shall take effect as provided in 8 CFR 1003.47(i).

(7) Finality of decision. The decision of the Board shall be final except in those cases reviewed by the Attorney General in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section. The Board may return a case to the Service or an immigration judge for such further action as may be appropriate, without entering a final decision on the merits of the case.

(e) Case management system. The Chairman shall establish a case management system to screen all cases and to manage the Board's caseload. Unless a case meets the standards for assignment to a three-member panel under paragraph (e)(6) of this section, all cases shall be assigned to a single Board member for disposition. The Chairman, under the supervision of the Director, shall be responsible for the success of the case management system. The Chairman shall designate, from time to time, a screening panel comprising a sufficient number of Board members who are authorized, acting alone, to adjudicate appeals as provided in this paragraph.

(1) Initial screening. All cases shall be referred to the screening panel for review. Appeals subject to summary dismissal as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section should be promptly dismissed.

(2) Miscellaneous dispositions. A single Board member may grant an unopposed motion or a motion to withdraw an appeal pending before the Board. In addition, a single Board member may adjudicate a Service motion to remand any appeal from the decision of a Service officer where the Service requests that the matter be remanded to the Service for further consideration of the appellant's arguments or evidence raised on appeal; a case where remand is required because of a defective or missing transcript; and other procedural or ministerial issues as provided by the case management plan.

(3) Merits review. In any case that has not been summarily dismissed, the case management system shall arrange for the prompt completion of the record of proceedings and transcript, and the issuance of a briefing schedule. A single Board member assigned under the case management system shall determine the appeal on the merits as provided in paragraph (e)(4) or (e)(5) of this section, unless the Board member determines that the case is appropriate for review and decision by a three-member panel under the standards of paragraph (e)(6) of this section. The Board member may summarily dismiss an appeal after completion of the record of proceeding.

(4) Affirmance without opinion. (i) The Board member to whom a case is assigned shall affirm the decision of the Service or the immigration judge, without opinion, if the Board member determines that the result reached in the decision under review was correct; that any errors in the decision under review were harmless or nonmaterial; and that

(A) The issues on appeal are squarely controlled by existing Board or federal court precedent and do not involve the application of precedent to a novel factual situation; or

(B) The factual and legal issues raised on appeal are not so substantial that the case warrants the issuance of a written opinion in the case.

(ii) If the Board member determines that the decision should be affirmed without opinion, the Board shall issue an order that reads as follows: “The Board affirms, without opinion, the result of the decision below. The decision below is, therefore, the final agency determination. See 8 CFR 3.1(e)(4).” An order affirming without opinion, issued under authority of this provision, shall not include further explanation or reasoning. Such an order approves the result reached in the decision below; it does not necessarily imply approval of all of the reasoning of that decision, but does signify the Board's conclusion that any errors in the decision of the immigration judge or the Service were harmless or nonmaterial.

(5) Other decisions on the merits by single Board member. If the Board member to whom an appeal is assigned determines, upon consideration of the merits, that the decision is not appropriate for affirmance without opinion, the Board member shall issue a brief order affirming, modifying, or remanding the decision under review, unless the Board member designates the case for decision by a three-member panel under paragraph (e)(6) of this section under the standards of the case management plan. A single Board member may reverse the decision under review if such reversal is plainly consistent with and required by intervening Board or judicial precedent, by an intervening Act of Congress, or by an intervening final regulation. A motion to reconsider or to reopen a decision that was rendered by a single Board member may be adjudicated by that Board member unless the case is reassigned to a three-member panel as provided under the standards of the case management plan.

(6) Panel decisions. Cases may only be assigned for review by a three-member panel if the case presents one of these circumstances:

(i) The need to settle inconsistencies among the rulings of different immigration judges;

(ii) The need to establish a precedent construing the meaning of laws, regulations, or procedures;

(iii) The need to review a decision by an immigration judge or the Service that is not in conformity with the law or with applicable precedents;

(iv) The need to resolve a case or controversy of major national import;

(v) The need to review a clearly erroneous factual determination by an immigration judge; or

(vi) The need to reverse the decision of an immigration judge or the Service, other than a reversal under §1003.1(e)(5).

(7) Oral argument. When an appeal has been taken, a request for oral argument if desired shall be included in the Notice of Appeal. A three-member panel or the Board en banc may hear oral argument, as a matter of discretion, at such date and time as is established under the Board's case management plan. Oral argument shall be held at the offices of the Board unless the Deputy Attorney General or his designee authorizes oral argument to be held elsewhere. The Service may be represented before the Board by an officer of the Service designated by the Service. No oral argument will be allowed in a case that is assigned for disposition by a single Board member.

(8) Timeliness. As provided under the case management system, the Board shall promptly enter orders of summary dismissal, or other miscellaneous dispositions, in appropriate cases. In other cases, after completion of the record on appeal, including any briefs, motions, or other submissions on appeal, the Board member or panel to which the case is assigned shall issue a decision on the merits as soon as practicable, with a priority for cases or custody appeals involving detained aliens.

(i) Except in exigent circumstances as determined by the Chairman, or as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, the Board shall dispose of all appeals assigned to a single Board member within 90 days of completion of the record on appeal, or within 180 days after an appeal is assigned to a three-member panel (including any additional opinion by a member of the panel).

(ii) In exigent circumstances, the Chairman may grant an extension in particular cases of up to 60 days as a matter of discretion. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(8)(iii) or (iv) of this section, in those cases where the panel is unable to issue a decision within the established time limits, as extended, the Chairman shall either assign the case to himself or a Vice-Chairman for final decision within 14 days or shall refer the case to the Attorney General for decision. If a dissenting or concurring panel member fails to complete his or her opinion by the end of the extension period, the decision of the majority will be issued without the separate opinion.

(iii) In rare circumstances, when an impending decision by the United States Supreme Court or a United States Court of Appeals, or impending Department regulatory amendments, or an impending en banc Board decision may substantially determine the outcome of a case or group of cases pending before the Board, the Chairman may hold the case or cases until such decision is rendered, temporarily suspending the time limits described in this paragraph (e)(8).

(iv) For any case ready for adjudication as of September 25, 2002, and that has not been completed within the established time lines, the Chairman may, as a matter of discretion, grant an extension of up to 120 days.

(v) The Chairman shall notify the Director of EOIR and the Attorney General if a Board member consistently fails to meet the assigned deadlines for the disposition of appeals, or otherwise fails to adhere to the standards of the case management system. The Chairman shall also prepare a report assessing the timeliness of the disposition of cases by each Board member on an annual basis.

(vi) The provisions of this paragraph (e)(8) establishing time limits for the adjudication of appeals reflect an internal management directive in favor of timely dispositions, but do not affect the validity of any decision issued by the Board and do not, and shall not be interpreted to, create any substantive or procedural rights enforceable before any immigration judge or the Board, or in any court of law or equity.

(f) Service of Board decisions. The decision of the Board shall be in writing and copies thereof shall be transmitted by the Board to the Service and a copy shall be served upon the alien or party affected as provided in part 292 of this chapter.

(g) Decisions as precedents. Except as Board decisions may be modified or overruled by the Board or the Attorney General, decisions of the Board, and decisions of the Attorney General, shall be binding on all officers and employees of the Department of Homeland Security or immigration judges in the administration of the immigration laws of the United States. By majority vote of the permanent Board members, selected decisions of the Board rendered by a three-member panel or by the Board en banc may be designated to serve as precedents in all proceedings involving the same issue or issues. Selected decisions designated by the Board, decisions of the Attorney General, and decisions of the Secretary of Homeland Security to the extent authorized in paragraph (i) of this section, shall serve as precedents in all proceedings involving the same issue or issues.

(h) Referral of cases to the Attorney General. (1) The Board shall refer to the Attorney General for review of its decision all cases that:

(i) The Attorney General directs the Board to refer to him.

(ii) The Chairman or a majority of the Board believes should be referred to the Attorney General for review.

(iii) The Secretary of Homeland Security, or specific officials of the Department of Homeland Security designated by the Secretary with the concurrence of the Attorney General, refers to the Attorney General for review.

(2) In any case the Attorney General decides, the Attorney General's decision shall be stated in writing and shall be transmitted to the Board or Secretary, as appropriate, for transmittal and service as provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

(i) Publication of Secretary's precedent decisions. The Secretary of Homeland Security, or specific officials of the Department of Homeland Security designated by the Secretary with the concurrence of the Attorney General, may file with the Attorney General decisions relating to the administration of the immigration laws of the United States for publication as precedent in future proceedings, and, upon approval of the Attorney General as to the lawfulness of such decision, the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review shall cause such decisions to be published in the same manner as decisions of the Board and the Attorney General.

(j) Continuation of jurisdiction and procedure. The jurisdiction of, and procedures before, the Board of Immigration Appeals in exclusion, deportation, removal, rescission, asylum-only, and any other proceedings, shall remain in effect as in effect on February 28, 2003, until the regulations in this chapter are further modified by the Attorney General. Where a decision of an officer of the Immigration and Naturalization Service was, before March 1, 2003, appealable to the Board or to an immigration judge, or an application denied could be renewed in proceedings before an immigration judge, the same authority and procedures shall be followed until further modified by the Attorney General.

[23 FR 9117, Nov. 26, 1958. Redesignated at 68 FR 9830, Feb. 28, 2003]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §1003.1, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 1003.2   Reopening or reconsideration before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
top

(a) General. The Board may at any time reopen or reconsider on its own motion any case in which it has rendered a decision. A request to reopen or reconsider any case in which a decision has been made by the Board, which request is made by the Service, or by the party affected by the decision, must be in the form of a written motion to the Board. The decision to grant or deny a motion to reopen or reconsider is within the discretion of the Board, subject to the restrictions of this section. The Board has discretion to deny a motion to reopen even if the party moving has made out a prima facie case for relief.

(b) Motion to reconsider. (1) A motion to reconsider shall state the reasons for the motion by specifying the errors of fact or law in the prior Board decision and shall be supported by pertinent authority. A motion to reconsider a decision rendered by an Immigration Judge or Service officer that is pending when an appeal is filed with the Board, or that is filed subsequent to the filing with the Board of an appeal from the decision sought to be reconsidered, may be deemed a motion to remand the decision for further proceedings before the Immigration Judge or the Service officer from whose decision the appeal was taken. Such motion may be consolidated with, and considered by the Board in connection with the appeal to the Board.

(2) A motion to reconsider a decision must be filed with the Board within 30 days after the mailing of the Board decision or on or before July 31, 1996, whichever is later. A party may file only one motion to reconsider any given decision and may not seek reconsideration of a decision denying a previous motion to reconsider. In removal proceedings pursuant to section 240 of the Act, an alien may file only one motion to reconsider a decision that the alien is removable from the United States.

(3) A motion to reconsider based solely on an argument that the case should not have been affirmed without opinion by a single Board Member, or by a three-Member panel, is barred.

(c) Motion to reopen. (1) A motion to reopen proceedings shall state the new facts that will be proven at a hearing to be held if the motion is granted and shall be supported by affidavits or other evidentiary material. A motion to reopen proceedings for the purpose of submitting an application for relief must be accompanied by the appropriate application for relief and all supporting documentation. A motion to reopen proceedings shall not be granted unless it appears to the Board that evidence sought to be offered is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at the former hearing; nor shall any motion to reopen for the purpose of affording the alien an opportunity to apply for any form of discretionary relief be granted if it appears that the alien's right to apply for such relief was fully explained to him or her and an opportunity to apply therefore was afforded at the former hearing, unless the relief is sought on the basis of circumstances that have arisen subsequent to the hearing. Subject to the other requirements and restrictions of this section, and notwithstanding the provisions in §1001.1(p) of this chapter, a motion to reopen proceedings for consideration or further consideration of an application for relief under section 212(c) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(c)) may be granted if the alien demonstrates that he or she was statutorily eligible for such relief prior to the entry of the administratively final order of deportation.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, a party may file only one motion to reopen deportation or exclusion proceedings (whether before the Board or the Immigration Judge) and that motion must be filed no later than 90 days after the date on which the final administrative decision was rendered in the proceeding sought to be reopened, or on or before September 30, 1996, whichever is later. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, an alien may file only one motion to reopen removal proceedings (whether before the Board or the Immigration Judge) and that motion must be filed no later than 90 days after the date on which the final administrative decision was rendered in the proceeding sought to be reopened.

(3) In removal proceedings pursuant to section 240 of the Act, the time limitation set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall not apply to a motion to reopen filed pursuant to the provisions of §1003.23(b)(4)(ii). The time and numerical limitations set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall not apply to a motion to reopen proceedings:

(i) Filed pursuant to the provisions of §1003.23(b)(4)(iii)(A)(1) or §1003.23(b)(4)(iii)(A)(2);

(ii) To apply or reapply for asylum or withholding of deportation based on changed circumstances arising in the country of nationality or in the country to which deportation has been ordered, if such evidence is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at the previous hearing;

(iii) Agreed upon by all parties and jointly filed. Notwithstanding such agreement, the parties may contest the issues in a reopened proceeding; or

(iv) Filed by the Service in exclusion or deportation proceedings when the basis of the motion is fraud in the original proceeding or a crime that would support termination of asylum in accordance with §1208.22(f) of this chapter.

(4) A motion to reopen a decision rendered by an Immigration Judge or Service officer that is pending when an appeal is filed, or that is filed while an appeal is pending before the Board, may be deemed a motion to remand for further proceedings before the Immigration Judge or the Service officer from whose decision the appeal was taken. Such motion may be consolidated with, and considered by the Board in connection with, the appeal to the Board.

(d) Departure, deportation, or removal. A motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider shall not be made by or on behalf of a person who is the subject of exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings subsequent to his or her departure from the United States. Any departure from the United States, including the deportation or removal of a person who is the subject of exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, occurring after the filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider, shall constitute a withdrawal of such motion.

(e) Judicial proceedings. Motions to reopen or reconsider shall state whether the validity of the exclusion, deportation, or removal order has been or is the subject of any judicial proceeding and, if so, the nature and date thereof, the court in which such proceeding took place or is pending, and its result or status. In any case in which an exclusion, deportation, or removal order is in effect, any motion to reopen or reconsider such order shall include a statement by or on behalf of the moving party declaring whether the subject of the order is also the subject of any pending criminal proceeding under the Act, and, if so, the current status of that proceeding. If a motion to reopen or reconsider seeks discretionary relief, the motion shall include a statement by or on behalf of the moving party declaring whether the alien for whose relief the motion is being filed is subject to any pending criminal prosecution and, if so, the nature and current status of that prosecution.

(f) Stay of deportation. Except where a motion is filed pursuant to the provisions of §§1003.23(b)(4)(ii) and 1003.23(b)(4)(iii)(A), the filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider shall not stay the execution of any decision made in the case. Execution of such decision shall proceed unless a stay of execution is specifically granted by the Board, the Immigration Judge, or an authorized officer of the Service.

(g) Filing procedures—(1) English language, entry of appearance, and proof of service requirements. A motion and any submission made in conjunction with a motion must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. If the moving party, other than the Service, is represented, Form EOIR–27, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Board, must be filed with the motion. In all cases, the motion shall include proof of service on the opposing party of the motion and all attachments. If the moving party is not the Service, service of the motion shall be made upon the Office of the District Counsel for the district in which the case was completed before the Immigration Judge.

(2) Distribution of motion papers. (i) A motion to reopen or motion to reconsider a decision of the Board pertaining to proceedings before an Immigration Judge shall be filed directly with the Board. Such motion must be accompanied by a check, money order, or fee waiver request in satisfaction of the fee requirements of §1003.8. The record of proceeding pertaining to such a motion shall be forwarded to the Board upon the request or order of the Board.

(ii) A motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider a decision of the Board pertaining to a matter initially adjudicated by an officer of the Service shall be filed with the officer of the Service having administrative control over the record of proceeding.

(iii) If the motion is made by the Service in proceedings in which the Service has administrative control over the record of proceedings, the record of proceedings in the case and the motion shall be filed directly with the Board. If such motion is filed directly with an office of the Service, the entire record of proceeding shall be forwarded to the Board by the Service officer promptly upon receipt of the briefs of the parties, or upon expiration of the time allowed for the submission of such briefs.

(3) Briefs and response. The moving party may file a brief if it is included with the motion. If the motion is filed directly with the Board pursuant to paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section, the opposing party shall have 13 days from the date of service of the motion to file a brief in opposition to the motion directly with the Board. If the motion is filed with an office of the Service pursuant to paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section, the opposing party shall have 13 days from the date of filing of the motion to file a brief in opposition to the motion directly with the office of the Service. In all cases, briefs and any other filings made in conjunction with a motion shall include proof of service on the opposing party. The Board, in its discretion, may extend the time within which such brief is to be submitted and may authorize the filing of a brief directly with the Board. A motion shall be deemed unopposed unless a timely response is made. The Board may, in its discretion, consider a brief filed out of time.

(h) Oral argument. A request for oral argument, if desired, shall be incorporated in the motion to reopen or reconsider. The Board, in its discretion, may grant or deny requests for oral argument.

(i) Ruling on motion. Rulings upon motions to reopen or motions to reconsider shall be by written order. Any motion for reconsideration or reopening of a decision issued by a single Board member will be referred to the screening panel for disposition by a single Board member, unless the screening panel member determines, in the exercise of judgment, that the motion for reconsideration or reopening should be assigned to a three-member panel under the standards of §1003.1(e)(6). If the order directs a reopening and further proceedings are necessary, the record shall be returned to the Immigration Court or the officer of the Service having administrative control over the place where the reopened proceedings are to be conducted. If the motion to reconsider is granted, the decision upon such reconsideration shall affirm, modify, or reverse the original decision made in the case.

[61 FR 18904, Apr. 29, 1996; 61 FR 32924, June 26, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 10330, Mar. 6, 1997; 64 FR 56142, Oct. 18, 1999; 67 FR 54904, Aug. 26, 2002]

§ 1003.3   Notice of appeal.
top

(a) Filing—(1) Appeal from decision of an immigration judge. A party affected by a decision of an immigration judge which may be appealed to the Board under this chapter shall be given notice of the opportunity for filing an appeal. An appeal from a decision of an immigration judge shall be taken by filing a Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge (Form EOIR–26) directly with the Board, within the time specified in §1003.38. The appealing parties are only those parties who are covered by the decision of an immigration judge and who are specifically named on the Notice of Appeal. The appeal must reflect proof of service of a copy of the appeal and all attachments on the opposing party. An appeal is not properly filed unless it is received at the Board, along with all required documents, fees or fee waiver requests, and proof of service, within the time specified in the governing sections of this chapter. A Notice of Appeal may not be filed by any party who has waived appeal pursuant to §1003.39.

(2) Appeal from decision of a Service officer. A party affected by a decision of a Service officer that may be appealed to the Board under this chapter shall be given notice of the opportunity to file an appeal. An appeal from a decision of a Service officer shall be taken by filing a Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of an INS Officer (Form EOIR–29) directly with the office of the Service having administrative control over the record of proceeding within 30 days of the service of the decision being appealed. An appeal is not properly filed until it is received at the appropriate office of the Service, together with all required documents, and the fee provisions of §1003.8 are satisfied.

(3) General requirements for all appeals. The appeal must be accompanied by a check, money order, or fee waiver request in satisfaction of the fee requirements of §1003.8. If the respondent or applicant is represented, a Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Board (Form EOIR–27) must be filed with the Notice of Appeal. The appeal and all attachments must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.

(b) Statement of the basis of appeal. The party taking the appeal must identify the reasons for the appeal in the Notice of Appeal (Form EOIR–26 or Form EOIR–29) or in any attachments thereto, in order to avoid summary dismissal pursuant to §1003.1(d)(2)(i). The statement must specifically identify the findings of fact, the conclusions of law, or both, that are being challenged. If a question of law is presented, supporting authority must be cited. If the dispute is over the findings of fact, the specific facts contested must be identified. Where the appeal concerns discretionary relief, the appellant must state whether the alleged error relates to statutory grounds of eligibility or to the exercise of discretion and must identify the specific factual and legal finding or findings that are being challenged. The appellant must also indicate in the Notice of Appeal (Form EOIR–26 or Form EOIR–29) whether he or she desires oral argument before the Board and whether he or she will be filing a separate written brief or statement in support of the appeal. An appellant who asserts that the appeal may warrant review by a three-member panel under the standards of §1003.1(e)(6) may identify in the Notice of Appeal the specific factual or legal basis for that contention.

(c) Briefs—(1) Appeal from decision of an immigration judge. Briefs in support of or in opposition to an appeal from a decision of an immigration judge shall be filed directly with the Board. In those cases that are transcribed, the briefing schedule shall be set by the Board after the transcript is available. In cases involving aliens in custody, the parties shall be provided 21 days in which to file simultaneous briefs unless a shorter period is specified by the Board, and reply briefs shall be permitted only by leave of the Board. In cases involving aliens who are not in custody, the appellant shall be provided 21 days in which to file a brief, unless a shorter period is specified by the Board. The appellee shall have the same period of time in which to file a reply brief that was initially granted to the appellant to file his or her brief. The time to file a reply brief commences from the date upon which the appellant's brief was due, as originally set or extended by the Board. The Board, upon written motion, may extend the period for filing a brief or a reply brief for up to 90 days for good cause shown. In its discretion, the Board may consider a brief that has been filed out of time. All briefs, filings, and motions filed in conjunction with an appeal shall include proof of service on the opposing party.

(2) Appeal from decision of a Service officer. Briefs in support of or in opposition to an appeal from a decision of a Service officer shall be filed directly with the office of the Service having administrative control over the file. The alien and the Service shall be provided 21 days in which to file a brief, unless a shorter period is specified by the Service officer from whose decision the appeal is taken, and reply briefs shall be permitted only by leave of the Board. Upon written request of the alien, the Service officer from whose decision the appeal is taken or the Board may extend the period for filing a brief for good cause shown. The Board may authorize the filing of briefs directly with the Board. In its discretion, the Board may consider a brief that has been filed out of time. All briefs and other documents filed in conjunction with an appeal, unless filed by an alien directly with a Service office, shall include proof of service on the opposing party.

(d) Effect of certification. The certification of a case, as provided in this part, shall not relieve the party affected from compliance with the provisions of this section in the event that he or she is entitled and desires to appeal from an initial decision, nor shall it serve to extend the time specified in the applicable parts of this chapter for the taking of an appeal.

(e) Effect of departure from the United States. Departure from the United States of a person who is the subject of deportation proceedings, prior to the taking of an appeal from a decision in his or her case, shall constitute a waiver of his or her right to appeal.

(f) Application on effective date. All cases and motions pending on September 25, 2002, shall be adjudicated according to the rules in effect on or after that date, except that §1003.1(d)(3)(i) shall not apply to appeals filed before September 25, 2002. A party to an appeal or motion pending on August 26, 2002, may, until September 25, 2002, or the expiration of any briefing schedule set by the Board, whichever is later, submit a brief or statement limited to explaining why the appeal or motion does or does not meet the criteria for three-member review under §1003.1(e)(6).

[61 FR 18906, Apr. 29, 1996, as amended at 66 FR 6445, Jan. 22, 2001; 67 FR 54904, Aug. 26, 2002]

§ 1003.4   Withdrawal of appeal.
top

In any case in which an appeal has been taken, the party taking the appeal may file a written withdrawal thereof with the office at which the notice of appeal was filed. If the record in the case has not been forwarded to the Board on appeal in accordance with §1003.5, the decision made in the case shall be final to the same extent as if no appeal had been taken. If the record has been forwarded on appeal, the withdrawal of the appeal shall be forwarded to the Board and, if no decision in the case has been made on the appeal, the record shall be returned and the initial decision shall be final to the same extent as if no appeal had been taken. If a decision on the appeal has been made by the Board in the case, further action shall be taken in accordance therewith. Departure from the United States of a person who is the subject of deportation proceedings subsequent to the taking of an appeal, but prior to a decision thereon, shall constitute a withdrawal of the appeal, and the initial decision in the case shall be final to the same extent as though no appeal had been taken. Departure from the United States of a person who is the subject of deportation or removal proceedings, except for arriving aliens as defined in §1001.1(q) of this chapter, subsequent to the taking of an appeal, but prior to a decision thereon, shall constitute a withdrawal of the appeal, and the initial decision in the case shall be final to the same extent as though no appeal had been taken.

[61 FR 18907, Apr. 29, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 10331, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.5   Forwarding of record on appeal.
top

(a) Appeal from decision of an immigration judge. If an appeal is taken from a decision of an immigration judge, the record of proceeding shall be forwarded to the Board upon the request or the order of the Board. Where transcription of an oral decision is required, the immigration judge shall review the transcript and approve the decision within 14 days of receipt, or within 7 days after the immigration judge returns to his or her duty station if the immigration judge was on leave or detailed to another location. The Chairman and the Chief Immigration Judge shall determine the most effective and expeditious way to transcribe proceedings before the immigration judges, and take such steps as necessary to reduce the time required to produce transcripts of those proceedings and improve their quality.

(b) Appeal from decision of a Service officer. If an appeal is taken from a decision of a Service officer, the record of proceeding shall be forwarded to the Board by the Service officer promptly upon receipt of the briefs of the parties, or upon expiration of the time allowed for the submission of such briefs. A Service officer need not forward such an appeal to the Board, but may reopen and reconsider any decision made by the officer if the new decision will grant the benefit that has been requested in the appeal. The new decision must be served on the appealing party within 45 days of receipt of any briefs or upon expiration of the time allowed for the submission of any briefs. If the new decision is not served within these time limits or the appealing party does not agree that the new decision disposes of the matter, the record of proceeding shall be immediately forwarded to the Board.

[61 FR 18907, Apr. 29, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 54905, Aug. 26, 2002]

§ 1003.6   Stay of execution of decision.
top

(a) Except as provided under §236.1 of this chapter, §1003.19(i), and paragraph (b) of this section, the decision in any proceeding under this chapter from which an appeal to the Board may be taken shall not be executed during the time allowed for the filing of an appeal unless a waiver of the right to appeal is filed, nor shall such decision be executed while an appeal is pending or while a case is before the Board by way of certification.

(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply to an order of an Immigration Judge under §1003.23 or §242.22 of 8 CFR chapter I denying a motion to reopen or reconsider or to stay deportation, except where such order expressly grants a stay or where the motion was filed pursuant to the provisions of §1003.23(b)(4)(iii). The Board may, in its discretion, stay deportation while an appeal is pending from any such order if no stay has been granted by the Immigration Judge or a Service officer.

[61 FR 18907, Apr. 29, 1996; 61 FR 21065, May 9, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 27448, May 19, 1998]

§ 1003.7   Notice of certification.
top

Whenever, in accordance with the provisions of §1003.1(c), a case is certified to the Board, the alien or other party affected shall be given notice of certification. An Immigration Judge or Service officer may certify a case only after an initial decision has been made and before an appeal has been taken. If it is known at the time the initial decision is rendered that the case will be certified, the notice of certification shall be included in such decision and no further notice of certification shall be required. If it is not known until after the initial decision is rendered that the case will be certified, the office of the Service or the Immigration Court having administrative control over the record of proceeding shall cause a Notice of Certification to be served upon the parties. In either case, the notice shall inform the parties that the case is required to be certified to the Board and that they have the right to make representations before the Board, including the making of a request for oral argument and the submission of a brief. If either party desires to submit a brief, it shall be submitted to the office of the Service or the Immigration Court having administrative control over the record of proceeding for transmittal to the Board within the time prescribed in §1003.3(c). The case shall be certified and forwarded to the Board by the office of the Service or Immigration Court having administrative jurisdiction over the case upon receipt of the brief, or upon the expiration of the time within which the brief may be submitted, or upon receipt of a written waiver of the right to submit a brief. The Board in its discretion may elect to accept for review or not accept for review any such certified case. If the Board declines to accept a certified case for review, the underlying decision shall become final on the date the Board declined to accept the case.

[61 FR 18907, Apr. 29, 1996]

§ 1003.8   Fees before the Board.
top

(a) Appeals and motions before the Board—(1) When a fee is required. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a filing fee prescribed in 8 CFR 1103.7, or a fee waiver request pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, is required in connection with the filing of an appeal, a motion to reopen, or a motion to reconsider before the Board.

(2) When a fee is not required. A filing fee is not required in the following instances:

(i) A custody bond appeal filed pursuant to §1003.1(b)(7);

(ii) A motion to reopen that is based exclusively on an application for relief that does not require a fee;

(iii) A motion to reconsider that is based exclusively on a prior application for relief that did not require a fee;

(iv) A motion filed while an appeal, a motion to reopen, or a motion to reconsider is already pending before the Board;

(v) A motion requesting only a stay of removal, deportation, or exclusion;

(vi) Any appeal or motion filed by the Department of Homeland Security;

(vii) A motion that is agreed upon by all parties and is jointly filed; or

(viii) An appeal or motion filed under a law, regulation, or directive that specifically does not require a filing fee.

(3) When a fee may be waived. The Board has the discretion to waive a fee for an appeal, motion to reconsider, or motion to reopen upon a showing that the filing party is unable to pay the fee. Fee waivers shall be requested through the filing of a Fee Waiver Request (Form EOIR–26A), including the declaration to be signed under penalty of perjury substantiating the filing party's inability to pay the fee. The fee waiver request shall be filed along with the Notice of Appeal or the motion. If the fee waiver request does not establish the inability to pay the required fee, the appeal or motion will not be deemed properly filed.

(4) Method of payment. When a fee is required for an appeal or motion, the fee shall accompany the appeal or motion.

(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, the fee for filing an appeal or motion with the Board shall be paid by check, money order, or electronic payment in a manner and form authorized by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. When paid by check or money order, the fee shall be payable to the “United States Department of Justice,” drawn on a bank or other institution that is located within the United States, and payable in United States currency. The check or money order shall bear the full name and alien registration number of the alien. A payment that is uncollectible does not satisfy a fee requirement.

(ii) Appeals from Department of Homeland Security decisions. The fee for filing an appeal, within the jurisdiction of the Board, from the decision of a Department of Homeland Security officer shall be paid to the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with 8 CFR 103.7(a).

(b) Applications for relief. Fees for applications for relief are not collected by the Board, but instead are paid to the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with 8 CFR 103.7. When a motion before the Board is based upon an application for relief, only the fee for the motion to reopen shall be paid to the Board, and payment of the fee for the application for relief shall not accompany the motion. If the motion is granted and proceedings are remanded to the immigration judge, the application fee shall be paid in the manner specified in 8 CFR 1003.24(c)(1).

[69 FR 44906, July 28, 2004]

Subpart B—Immigration Court
top

Source:  62 FR 10331, Mar. 6, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

§ 1003.9   Chief Immigration Judge.
top

The Chief Immigration Judge shall be responsible for the general supervision, direction, and scheduling of the Immigration Judges in the conduct of the various programs assigned to them. The Chief Immigration Judge shall be assisted by Deputy Chief Immigration Judges and Assistant Chief Immigration Judges in the performance of his or her duties. These shall include, but are not limited to:

(a) Establishment of operational policies; and

(b) Evaluation of the performance of Immigration Courts, making appropriate reports and inspections, and taking corrective action where indicated.

§ 1003.10   Immigration Judges.
top

Immigration Judges, as defined in 8 CFR part 1, shall exercise the powers and duties in this chapter regarding the conduct of exclusion, deportation, removal, and asylum proceedings and such other proceedings which the Attorney General may assign them to conduct.

§ 1003.11   Administrative control Immigration Courts.
top

An administrative control Immigration Court is one that creates and maintains Records of Proceedings for Immigration Courts within an assigned geographical area. All documents and correspondence pertaining to a Record of Proceeding shall be filed with the Immigration Court having administrative control over that Record of Proceeding and shall not be filed with any other Immigration Court. A list of the administrative control Immigration Courts with their assigned geographical areas will be made available to the public at any Immigration Court.

Subpart C—Immigration Court—Rules of Procedure
top
§ 1003.12   Scope of rules.
top

These rules are promulgated to assist in the expeditious, fair, and proper resolution of matters coming before Immigration Judges. Except where specifically stated, the rules in this subpart apply to matters before Immigration Judges, including, but not limited to, deportation, exclusion, removal, bond, rescission, departure control, asylum proceedings, and disciplinary proceedings under this part 3. The sole procedures for review of credible fear determinations by Immigration Judges are provided for in §1003.42.

[57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 10331, Mar. 6, 1997; 65 FR 39526, June 27, 2000]

§ 1003.13   Definitions.
top

As used in this subpart:

Administrative control means custodial responsibility for the Record of Proceeding as specified in §1003.11.

Charging document means the written instrument which initiates a proceeding before an Immigration Judge. For proceedings initiated prior to April 1, 1997, these documents include an Order to Show Cause, a Notice to Applicant for Admission Detained for Hearing before Immigration Judge, and a Notice of Intention to Rescind and Request for Hearing by Alien. For proceedings initiated after April 1, 1997, these documents include a Notice to Appear, a Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge, and a Notice of Intention to Rescind and Request for Hearing by Alien.

Filing means the actual receipt of a document by the appropriate Immigration Court.

Service means physically presenting or mailing a document to the appropriate party or parties; except that an Order to Show Cause or Notice of Deportation Hearing shall be served in person to the alien, or by certified mail to the alien or the alien's attorney and a Notice to Appear or Notice of Removal Hearing shall be served to the alien in person, or if personal service is not practicable, shall be served by regular mail to the alien or the alien's attorney of record.

[62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.14   Jurisdiction and commencement of proceedings.
top

(a) Jurisdiction vests, and proceedings before an Immigration Judge commence, when a charging document is filed with the Immigration Court by the Service. The charging document must include a certificate showing service on the opposing party pursuant to §1003.32 which indicates the Immigration Court in which the charging document is filed. However, no charging document is required to be filed with the Immigration Court to commence bond proceedings pursuant to §§1003.19, 1236.1(d) and 1240.2(b) of this chapter.

(b) When an Immigration Judge has jurisdiction over an underlying proceeding, sole jurisdiction over applications for asylum shall lie with the Immigration Judge.

(c) Immigration Judges have jurisdiction to administer the oath of allegiance in administrative naturalization ceremonies conducted by the Service in accordance with §1337.2(b) of this chapter.

(d) The jurisdiction of, and procedures before, immigration judges in exclusion, deportation and removal, rescission, asylum-only, and any other proceedings shall remain in effect as it was in effect on February 28, 2003, until the regulations in this chapter are further modified by the Attorney General. Where a decision of an officer of the Immigration and Naturalization Service was, before March 1, 2003, appealable to the Board or an immigration judge, or an application denied could be renewed in proceedings before an immigration judge, the same authority and procedures shall be followed until further modified by the Attorney General.

[57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997. Redesignated and amended at 68 FR 9830, 9832, Feb. 28, 2003]

§ 1003.15   Contents of the order to show cause and notice to appear and notification of change of address.
top

(a) In the Order to Show Cause, the Service shall provide the following administrative information to the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Omission of any of these items shall not provide the alien with any substantive or procedural rights:

(1) The alien's names and any known aliases;

(2) The alien's address;

(3) The alien's registration number, with any lead alien registration number with which the alien is associated;

(4) The alien's alleged nationality and citizenship;

(5) The language that the alien understands;

(b) The Order to Show Cause and Notice to Appear must also include the following information:

(1) The nature of the proceedings against the alien;

(2) The legal authority under which the proceedings are conducted;

(3) The acts or conduct alleged to be in violation of law;

(4) The charges against the alien and the statutory provisions alleged to have been violated;

(5) Notice that the alien may be represented, at no cost to the government, by counsel or other representative authorized to appear pursuant to 8 CFR 1292.1;

(6) The address of the Immigration Court where the Service will file the Order to Show Cause and Notice to Appear; and

(7) A statement that the alien must advise the Immigration Court having administrative control over the Record of Proceeding of his or her current address and telephone number and a statement that failure to provide such information may result in an in absentia hearing in accordance with §1003.26.

(c) Contents of the Notice to Appear for removal proceedings. In the Notice to Appear for removal proceedings, the Service shall provide the following administrative information to the Immigration Court. Failure to provide any of these items shall not be construed as affording the alien any substantive or procedural rights.

(1) The alien's names and any known aliases;

(2) The alien's address;

(3) The alien's registration number, with any lead alien registration number with which the alien is associated;

(4) The alien's alleged nationality and citizenship; and

(5) The language that the alien understands.

(d) Address and telephone number. (1) If the alien's address is not provided on the Order to Show Cause or Notice to Appear, or if the address on the Order to Show Cause or Notice to Appear is incorrect, the alien must provide to the Immigration Court where the charging document has been filed, within five days of service of that document, a written notice of an address and telephone number at which the alien can be contacted. The alien may satisfy this requirement by completing and filing Form EOIR–33.

(2) Within five days of any change of address, the alien must provide written notice of the change of address on Form EOIR–33 to the Immigration Court where the charging document has been filed, or if venue has been changed, to the Immigration Court to which venue has been changed.

[57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.16   Representation.
top

(a) The government may be represented in proceedings before an Immigration Judge.

(b) The alien may be represented in proceedings before an Immigration Judge by an attorney or other representative of his or her choice in accordance with 8 CFR part 1292, at no expense to the government.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.17   Appearances.
top

(a) In any proceeding before an Immigration Judge in which the alien is represented, the attorney or representative shall file a Notice of Appearance on Form EOIR–28 with the Immigration Court and shall serve a copy of the Notice of Appearance on the Service as required by 8 CFR 3.32(a). Such Notice of Appearance must be filed and served even if a separate Notice of Appearance(s) has previously been filed with the Service for appearance(s) before the Service.

(b) Withdrawal or substitution of an attorney or representative may be permitted by an Immigration Judge during proceedings only upon oral or written motion submitted without fee.

[57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.18   Scheduling of cases.
top

(a) The Immigration Court shall be responsible for scheduling cases and providing notice to the government and the alien of the time, place, and date of hearings.

(b) In removal proceedings pursuant to section 240 of the Act, the Service shall provide in the Notice to Appear, the time, place and date of the initial removal hearing, where practicable. If that information is not contained in the Notice to Appear, the Immigration Court shall be responsible for scheduling the initial removal hearing and providing notice to the government and the alien of the time, place, and date of hearing. In the case of any change or postponement in the time and place of such proceeding, the Immigration Court shall provide written notice to the alien specifying the new time and place of the proceeding and the consequences under section 240(b)(5) of the Act of failing, except under exceptional circumstances as defined in section 240(e)(1) of the Act, to attend such proceeding. No such notice shall be required for an alien not in detention if the alien has failed to provide the address required in section 239(a)(1)(F) of the Act.

[62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.19   Custody/bond.
top

(a) Custody and bond determinations made by the service pursuant to 8 CFR part 1236 may be reviewed by an Immigration Judge pursuant to 8 CFR part 1236.

(b) Application for an initial bond redetermination by a respondent, or his or her attorney or representative, may be made orally, in writing, or, at the discretion of the Immigration Judge, by telephone.

(c) Applications for the exercise of authority to review bond determinations shall be made to one of the following offices, in the designated order:

(1) If the respondent is detained, to the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over the place of detention;

(2) To the Immigration Court having administrative control over the case; or

(3) To the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge for designation of an appropriate Immigration Court.

(d) Consideration by the Immigration Judge of an application or request of a respondent regarding custody or bond under this section shall be separate and apart from, and shall form no part of, any deportation or removal hearing or proceeding. The determination of the Immigration Judge as to custody status or bond may be based upon any information that is available to the Immigration Judge or that is presented to him or her by the alien or the Service.

(e) After an initial bond redetermination, an alien's request for a subsequent bond redetermination shall be made in writing and shall be considered only upon a showing that the alien's circumstances have changed materially since the prior bond redetermination.

(f) The determination of an Immigration Judge with respect to custody status or bond redetermination shall be entered on the appropriate form at the time such decision is made and the parties shall be informed orally or in writing of the reasons for the decision. An appeal from the determination by an Immigration Judge may be taken to the Board of Immigration Appeals pursuant to §1003.38.

(g) While any proceeding is pending before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Service shall immediately advise the Immigration Court having administrative control over the Record of Proceeding of a change in the respondent/applicant's custody location or of release from Service custody, or subsequent taking into Service custody, of a respondent/applicant. This notification shall be in writing and shall state the effective date of the change in custody location or status, and the respondent/applicant's current fixed street address, including zip code.

(h)(1)(i) While the Transition Period Custody Rules (TPCR) set forth in section 303(b)(3) of Div. C of Pub. L. 104–208 remain in effect, an immigration judge may not redetermine conditions of custody imposed by the Service with respect to the following classes of aliens:

(A) Aliens in exclusion proceedings;

(B) Arriving aliens in removal proceedings, including persons paroled after arrival pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of the Act;

(C) Aliens described in section 237(a)(4) of the Act;

(D) Aliens subject to section 303(b)(3)(A) of Pub. L. 104–208 who are not “lawfully admitted” (as defined in §1236.1(c)(2) of this chapter); or

(E) Aliens designated in §1236.1(c) of this chapter as ineligible to be considered for release.

(ii) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as prohibiting an alien from seeking a redetermination of custody conditions by the Service in accordance with part 1235 or 1236 of this chapter. In addition, with respect to paragraphs (h)(1)(i)(C), (D), and (E) of this section, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as prohibiting an alien from seeking a determination by an immigration judge that the alien is not properly included within any of those paragraphs.

(2)(i) Upon expiration of the Transition Period Custody Rules set forth in section 303(b)(3) of Div. C. of Pub. L. 104–208, an immigration judge may not redetermine conditions of custody imposed by the Service with respect to the following classes of aliens:

(A) Aliens in exclusion proceedings;

(B) Arriving aliens in removal proceedings, including aliens paroled after arrival pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of the Act;

(C) Aliens described in section 237(a)(4) of the Act;

(D) Aliens in removal proceedings subject to section 236(c)(1) of the Act (as in effect after expiration of the Transition Period Custody Rules); and

(E) Aliens in deportation proceedings subject to section 242(a)(2) of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997, and as amended by section 440(c) of Pub. L. 104–132).

(ii) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as prohibiting an alien from seeking a redetermination of custody conditions by the Service in accordance with part 1235 or 1236 of this chapter. In addition, with respect to paragraphs (h)(2)(i)(C), (D), and (E) of this section, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as prohibiting an alien from seeking a determination by an immigration judge that the alien is not properly included within any of those paragraphs.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, an alien subject to section 303(b)(3)(A) of Div. C of Pub. L. 104–208 may apply to the Immigration Court, in a manner consistent with paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section, for a redetermination of custody conditions set by the Service. Such an alien must first demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that release would not pose a danger to other persons or to property. If an alien meets this burden, the alien must further demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that the alien is likely to appear for any scheduled proceeding or interview.

(4) Unremovable aliens. A determination of a district director (or other official designated by the Commissioner) regarding the exercise of authority under section 303(b)(3)(B)(ii) of Div. C. of Pub. L. 104–208 (concerning release of aliens who cannot be removed because the designated country of removal will not accept their return) is final, and shall not be subject to redetermination by an immigration judge.

(i) Stay of custody order pending Service appeal—(1) General emergency stay authority. The Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) has the authority to stay the order of an immigration judge redetermining the conditions of custody of an alien when the Service appeals the custody decision. The Service is entitled to seek an emergency stay for the Board in connection with such an appeal at any time.

(2) Automatic stay in certain cases. In any case in which the district director has determined that an alien should not be released or has set a bond of $10,000 or more, any order of the immigration judge authorizing release (on bond or otherwise) shall be stayed upon the Service's filing of a Notice of Service Intent to Appeal Custody Redetermination (Form EOIR–43) with the immigration court within one business day of the issuance of the order, and shall remain in abeyance pending decision of the appeal by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The stay shall lapse if the Service fails to file a notice of appeal with the Board in accordance with §1003.38 within ten business days of the issuance of the order of the immigration judge. If the Board authorizes release (on bond or otherwise), that order shall be automatically stayed for five business days. If, within that five-day period, the Commissioner certifies the Board's custody order to the Attorney General pursuant to §1003.1(h)(1) of this chapter, the Board's order shall continue to be stayed pending the decision of the Attorney General.

[57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997; 63 FR 27448, May 19, 1998; 66 FR 54911, Oct. 31, 2001; 70 FR 4753, Jan. 31, 2005]

§ 1003.20   Change of venue.
top

(a) Venue shall lie at the Immigration Court where jurisdiction vests pursuant to §1003.14.

(b) The Immigration Judge, for good cause, may change venue only upon motion by one of the parties, after the charging document has been filed with the Immigration Court. The Immigration Judge may grant a change of venue only after the other party has been given notice and an opportunity to respond to the motion to change venue.

(c) No change of venue shall be granted without identification of a fixed street address, including city, state and ZIP code, where the respondent/applicant may be reached for further hearing notification.

[57 FR 11572, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.21   Pre-hearing conferences and statement.
top

(a) Pre-hearing conferences may be scheduled at the discretion of the Immigration Judge. The conference may be held to narrow issues, to obtain stipulations between the parties, to exchange information voluntarily, and otherwise to simplify and organize the proceeding.

(b) The Immigration Judge may order any party to file a pre-hearing statement of position that may include, but is not limited to: A statement of facts to which both parties have stipulated, together with a statement that the parties have communicated in good faith to stipulate to the fullest extent possible; a list of proposed witnesses and what they will establish; a list of exhibits, copies of exhibits to be introduced, and a statement of the reason for their introduction; the estimated time required to present the case; and, a statement of unresolved issues involved in the proceedings.

(c) If submission of a pre-hearing statement is ordered under paragraph (b) of this section, an Immigration Judge also may require both parties, in writing prior to the hearing, to make any evidentiary objections regarding matters contained in the pre-hearing statement. If objections in writing are required but not received by the date for receipt set by the Immigration Judge, admission of all evidence described in the pre-hearing statement shall be deemed unopposed.

[57 FR 11572, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.22   Interpreters.
top

Any person acting as an interpreter in a hearing shall swear or affirm to interpret and translate accurately, unless the interpreter is an employee of the United States Government, in which event no such oath or affirmation shall be required.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.23   Reopening or reconsideration before the Immigration Court.
top

(a) Pre-decision motions. Unless otherwise permitted by the Immigration Judge, motions submitted prior to the final order of an Immigration Judge shall be in writing and shall state, with particularity the grounds therefore, the relief sought, and the jurisdiction. The Immigration Judge may set and extend time limits for the making of motions and replies thereto. A motion shall be deemed unopposed unless timely response is made.

(b) Before the Immigration Court—(1) In general. An Immigration Judge may upon his or her own motion at any time, or upon motion of the Service or the alien, reopen or reconsider any case in which he or she has made a decision, unless jurisdiction is vested with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Subject to the exceptions in this paragraph and paragraph (b)(4), a party may file only one motion to reconsider and one motion to reopen proceedings. A motion to reconsider must be filed within 30 days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal, deportation, or exclusion, or on or before July 31, 1996, whichever is later. A motion to reopen must be filed within 90 days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal, deportation, or exclusion, or on or before September 30, 1996, whichever is later. A motion to reopen or to reconsider shall not be made by or on behalf of a person who is the subject of removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings subsequent to his or her departure from the United States. Any departure from the United States, including the deportation or removal of a person who is the subject of exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, occurring after the filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider shall constitute a withdrawal of such motion. The time and numerical limitations set forth in this paragraph do not apply to motions by the Service in removal proceedings pursuant to section 240 of the Act. Nor shall such limitations apply to motions by the Service in exclusion or deportation proceedings, when the basis of the motion is fraud in the original proceeding or a crime that would support termination of asylum in accordance with §1208.22(e) of this chapter.

(i) Form and contents of the motion. The motion shall be in writing and signed by the affected party or the attorney or representative of record, if any. The motion and any submission made in conjunction with it must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. Motions to reopen or reconsider shall state whether the validity of the exclusion, deportation, or removal order has been or is the subject of any judicial proceeding and, if so, the nature and date thereof, the court in which such proceeding took place or is pending, and its result or status. In any case in which an exclusion, deportation, or removal order is in effect, any motion to reopen or reconsider such order shall include a statement by or on behalf of the moving party declaring whether the subject of the order is also the subject of any pending criminal proceeding under the Act, and, if so, the current status of that proceeding.

(ii) Filing. Motions to reopen or reconsider a decision of an Immigration Judge must be filed with the Immigration Court having administrative control over the Record of Proceeding. A motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider shall include a certificate showing service on the opposing party of the motion and all attachments. If the moving party is not the Service, service of the motion shall be made upon the Office of the District Counsel for the district in which the case was completed. If the moving party, other than the Service, is represented, a Form EOIR–28, Notice of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before an Immigration Judge must be filed with the motion. The motion must be filed in duplicate with the Immigration Court, accompanied by a fee receipt.

(iii) Assignment to an Immigration Judge. If the Immigration Judge is unavailable or unable to adjudicate the motion to reopen or reconsider, the Chief Immigration Judge or his or her delegate shall reassign such motion to another Immigration Judge.

(iv) Replies to motions; decision. The Immigration Judge may set and extend time limits for replies to motions to reopen or reconsider. A motion shall be deemed unopposed unless timely response is made. The decision to grant or deny a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider is within the discretion of the Immigration Judge.

(v) Stays. Except in cases involving in absentia orders, the filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider shall not stay the execution of any decision made in the case. Execution of such decision shall proceed unless a stay of execution is specifically granted by the Immigration Judge, the Board, or an authorized officer of the Service.

(2) Motion to reconsider. A motion to reconsider shall state the reasons for the motion by specifying the errors of fact or law in the Immigration Judge's prior decision and shall be supported by pertinent authority. Such motion may not seek reconsideration of a decision denying previous motion to reconsider.

(3) Motion to reopen. A motion to reopen proceedings shall state the new facts that will be proven at a hearing to be held if the motion is granted and shall be supported by affidavits and other evidentiary material. Any motion to reopen for the purpose of acting on an application for relief must be accompanied by the appropriate application for relief and all supporting documents. A motion to reopen will not be granted unless the Immigration Judge is satisfied that evidence sought to be offered is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at the former hearing. A motion to reopen for the purpose of providing the alien an opportunity to apply for any form of discretionary relief will not be granted if it appears that the alien's right to apply for such relief was fully explained to him or her by the Immigration Judge and an opportunity to apply therefore was afforded at the hearing, unless the relief is sought on the basis of circumstances that have arisen subsequent to the hearing. Pursuant to section 240A(d)(1) of the Act, a motion to reopen proceedings for consideration or further consideration of an application for relief under section 240A(a) (cancellation of removal for certain permanent residents) or 240A(b) (cancellation of removal and adjustment of status for certain nonpermanent residents) may be granted only if the alien demonstrates that he or she was statutorily eligible for such relief prior to the service of a notice to appear, or prior to the commission of an offense referred to in section 212(a)(2) of the Act that renders the alien inadmissible or removable under sections 237(a)(2) of the Act or (a)(4), whichever is earliest. The Immigration Judge has discretion to deny a motion to reopen even if the moving party has established a prima facie case for relief.

(4) Exceptions to filing deadlines—(i) Asylum and withholding of removal. The time and numerical limitations set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall not apply if the basis of the motion is to apply for asylum under section 208 of the Act or withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the Act or withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture, and is based on changed country conditions arising in the country of nationality or the country to which removal has been ordered, if such evidence is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at the previous proceeding. The filing of a motion to reopen under this section shall not automatically stay the removal of the alien. However, the alien may request a stay and, if granted by the Immigration Judge, the alien shall not be removed pending disposition of the motion by the Immigration Judge. If the original asylum application was denied based upon a finding that it was frivolous, then the alien is ineligible to file either a motion to reopen or reconsider, or for a stay of removal.

(ii) Order entered in absentia or removal proceedings. An order of removal entered in absentia or in removal proceedings pursuant to section 240(b)(5) of the Act may be rescinded only upon a motion to reopen filed within 180 days after the date of the order of removal, if the alien demonstrates that the failure to appear was because of exceptional circumstances as defined in section 240(e)(1) of the Act. An order entered in absentia pursuant to section 240(b)(5) may be rescinded upon a motion to reopen filed at any time if the alien demonstrates that he or she did not receive notice in accordance with sections 239(a)(1) or (2) of the Act, or the alien demonstrates that he or she was in Federal or state custody and the failure to appear was through no fault of the alien. However, in accordance with section 240(b)(5)(B) of the Act, no written notice of a change in time or place of proceeding shall be required if the alien has failed to provide the address required under section 239(a)(1)(F) of the Act. The filing of a motion under this paragraph shall stay the removal of the alien pending disposition of the motion by the Immigration Judge. An alien may file only one motion pursuant to this paragraph.

(iii) Order entered in absentia in deportation or exclusion proceedings. (A) An order entered in absentia in deportation proceedings may be rescinded only upon a motion to reopen filed:

(1) Within 180 days after the date of the order of deportation if the alien demonstrates that the failure to appear was because of exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the alien (e.g., serious illness of the alien or serious illness or death of an immediate relative of the alien, but not including less compelling circumstances); or

(2) At any time if the alien demonstrates that he or she did not receive notice or if the alien demonstrates that he or she was in federal or state custody and the failure to appear was through no fault of the alien.

(B) A motion to reopen exclusion hearings on the basis that the Immigration Judge improperly entered an order of exclusion in absentia must be supported by evidence that the alien had reasonable cause for his failure to appear.

(C) The filing of a motion to reopen under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) of this section shall stay the deportation of the alien pending decision on the motion and the adjudication of any properly filed administrative appeal.

(D) The time and numerical limitations set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall not apply to a motion to reopen filed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) of this section.

(iv) Jointly filed motions. The time and numerical limitations set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall not apply to a motion to reopen agreed upon by all parties and jointly filed.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987, as amended at 55 FR 30680, July 27, 1990. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 61 FR 18908, Apr. 29, 1996; 61 FR 19976, May 3, 1996; 61 FR 21228, May 9, 1996; 62 FR 10332, Mar. 6, 1997; 62 FR 15362, Apr. 1, 1997; 62 FR 17048, Apr. 9, 1997; 64 FR 8487, Feb. 19, 1999]

§ 1003.24   Fees pertaining to matters within the jurisdiction of an immigration judge.
top

(a) Generally. All fees for the filing of motions and applications in connection with proceedings before the immigration judges are paid to the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with 8 CFR 103.7, including fees for applications published by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The immigration court does not collect fees.

(b) Motions to reopen or reconsider—(1) When a fee is required. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a filing fee prescribed in 8 CFR 1103.7, or a fee waiver request pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, is required in connection with the filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider.

(2) When a fee is not required. A filing fee is not required in the following instances:

(i) A motion to reopen that is based exclusively on an application for relief that does not require a fee;

(ii) A motion to reconsider that is based exclusively on a prior application for relief that did not require a fee;

(iii) A motion filed while proceedings are already pending before the immigration court;

(iv) A motion requesting only a stay of removal, deportation, or exclusion;

(v) A motion to reopen a deportation or removal order entered in absentia if the motion is filed pursuant to section 242B(c)(3)(B) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1252b(c)(3)(B)), as it existed prior to April 1, 1997, or section 240(b)(5)(C)(ii) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii)), as amended;

(vi) Any motion filed by the Department of Homeland Security;

(vii) A motion that is agreed upon by all parties and is jointly filed; or

(viii) A motion filed under a law, regulation, or directive that specifically does not require a filing fee.

(c) Applications for relief—(1) When filed during proceedings. When an application for relief is filed during the course of proceedings, the fee for that application must be paid in advance to the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with 8 CFR 103.7. The fee receipt must accompany the application when it is filed with the immigration court.

(2) When submitted with a motion to reopen. When a motion to reopen is based upon an application for relief, the fee for the motion to reopen shall be paid to the Department of Homeland Security and the fee receipt shall accompany the motion. Payment of the fee for the application for relief must be paid to the Department of Homeland Security within the time specified by the immigration judge.

(d) Fee waivers. The immigration judge has the discretion to waive a fee for a motion or application for relief upon a showing that the filing party is unable to pay the fee. The request for a fee waiver must be accompanied by a properly executed affidavit or unsworn declaration made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746 substantiating the filing party's inability to pay the fee. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, the application or motion will not be deemed properly filed.

[69 FR 44906, July 28, 2004]

§ 1003.25   Form of the proceeding.
top

(a) Waiver of presence of the parties. The Immigration Judge may, for good cause, and consistent with section 240(b) of the Act, waive the presence of the alien at a hearing when the alien is represented or when the alien is a minor child at least one of whose parents or whose legal guardian is present. When it is impracticable by reason of an alien's mental incompetency for the alien to be present, the presence of the alien may be waived provided that the alien is represented at the hearing by an attorney or legal representative, a near relative, legal guardian, or friend.

(b) Stipulated request for order; waiver of hearing. An Immigration Judge may enter an order of deportation, exclusion or removal stipulated to by the alien (or the alien's representative) and the Service. The Immigration Judge may enter such an order without a hearing and in the absence of the parties based on a review of the charging document, the written stipulation, and supporting documents, if any. If the alien is unrepresented, the Immigration Judge must determine that the alien's waiver is voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. The stipulated request and required waivers shall be signed on behalf of the government and by the alien and his or her attorney or representative, if any. The attorney or representative shall file a Notice of Appearance in accordance with §1003.16(b). A stipulated order shall constitute a conclusive determination of the alien's deportability or removability from the United States. The stipulation shall include:

(1) An admission that all factual allegations contained in the charging document are true and correct as written;

(2) A concession of deportability or inadmissibility as charged;

(3) A statement that the alien makes no application for relief under the Act;

(4) A designation of a country for deportation or removal under section 241(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Act;

(5) A concession to the introduction of the written stipulation of the alien as an exhibit to the Record of Proceeding;

(6) A statement that the alien understands the consequences of the stipulated request and that the alien enters the request voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently;

(7) A statement that the alien will accept a written order for his or her deportation, exclusion or removal as a final disposition of the proceedings; and

(8) A waiver of appeal of the written order of deportation or removal.

(c) Telephonic or video hearings. An Immigration Judge may conduct hearings through video conference to the same extent as he or she may conduct hearings in person. An Immigration Judge may also conduct a hearing through a telephone conference, but an evidentiary hearing on the merits may only be conducted through a telephone conference with the consent of the alien involved after the alien has been advised of the right to proceed in person or, where available, through a video conference, except that credible fear determinations may be reviewed by the Immigration Judge through a telephone conference without the consent of the alien.

[62 FR 10334, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.26   In absentia hearings.
top

(a) In any exclusion proceeding before an Immigration Judge in which the applicant fails to appear, the Immigration Judge shall conduct an in absentia hearing if the Immigration Judge is satisfied that notice of the time and place of the proceeding was provided to the applicant on the record at a prior hearing or by written notice to the applicant or to the applicant's counsel of record on the charging document or at the most recent address in the Record of Proceeding.

(b) In any deportation proceeding before an Immigration Judge in which the respondent fails to appear, the Immigration Judge shall order the respondent deported in absentia if: (1) The Service establishes by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence that the respondent is deportable; and (2) the Immigration Judge is satisfied that written notice of the time and place of the proceedings and written notice of the consequences of failure to appear, as set forth in section 242B(c) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1252b(c)), were provided to the respondent in person or were provided to the respondent or the respondent's counsel of record, if any, by certified mail.

(c) In any removal proceeding before an Immigration Judge in which the alien fails to appear, the Immigration Judge shall order the alien removed in absentia if:

(1) The Service establishes by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that the alien is removable; and

(2) The Service establishes by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that written notice of the time and place of proceedings and written notice of the consequences of failure to appear were provided to the alien or the alien's counsel of record.

(d) Written notice to the alien shall be considered sufficient for purposes of this section if it was provided at the most recent address provided by the alien. If the respondent fails to provide his or her address as required under §1003.15(d), no written notice shall be required for an Immigration Judge to proceed with an in absentia hearing. This paragraph shall not apply in the event that the Immigration Judge waives the appearance of an alien under §1003.25.

[59 FR 1899, Jan. 13, 1994, as amended at 62 FR 10334, Mar. 6, 1997; 62 FR 15362, Apr. 1, 1997]

§ 1003.27   Public access to hearings.
top

All hearings, other than exclusion hearings, shall be open to the public except that:

(a) Depending upon physical facilities, the Immigration Judge may place reasonable limitations upon the number in attendance at any one time with priority being given to the press over the general public;

(b) For the purpose of protecting witnesses, parties, or the public interest, the Immigration Judge may limit attendance or hold a closed hearing.

(c) In any proceeding before an Immigration Judge concerning an abused alien spouse, the hearing and the Record of Proceeding shall be closed to the public unless the abused spouse agrees that the hearing and the Record of Proceeding shall be open to the public. In any proceeding before an Immigration Judge concerning an abused alien child, the hearing and the Record of Proceeding shall be closed to the public.

(d) Proceedings before an Immigration Judge shall be closed to the public if information subject to a protective order under §1003.46, which has been filed under seal pursuant to §1003.31(d), may be considered.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated and amended at 57 FR 11571, 11572, Apr. 6, 1992; 62 FR 10334, Mar. 6, 1997; 67 FR 36802, May 28, 2002]

§ 1003.28   Recording equipment.
top

The only recording equipment permitted in the proceeding will be the equipment used by the Immigration Judge to create the official record. No other photographic, video, electronic, or similar recording device will be permitted to record any part of the proceeding.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.29   Continuances.
top

The Immigration Judge may grant a motion for continuance for good cause shown.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.30   Additional charges in deportation or removal hearings.
top

At any time during deportation or removal proceedings, additional or substituted charges of deportability and/or factual allegations may be lodged by the Service in writing. The alien shall be served with a copy of these additional charges and/or allegations and the Immigration Judge shall read them to the alien. The Immigration Judge shall advise the alien, if he or she is not represented by counsel, that the alien may be so represented. The alien may be given a reasonable continuance to respond to the additional factual allegations and charges. Thereafter, the provision of §1240.10(b) of this chapter relating to pleading shall apply to the additional factual allegations and charges.

[62 FR 10335, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.31   Filing documents and applications.
top

(a) All documents and applications that are to be considered in a proceeding before an Immigration Judge must be filed with the Immigration Court having administrative control over the Record of Proceeding.

(b) Except as provided in 8 CFR 1240.11(f), all documents or applications requiring the payment of a fee must be accompanied by a fee receipt from the Service or by an application for a waiver of fees pursuant to 8 CFR 3.24. Except as provided in §1003.8(a) and (c), any fee relating to Immigration Judge proceedings shall be paid to, and accepted by, any Service office authorized to accept fees for other purposes pursuant to §1103.7(a) of this chapter.

(c) The Immigration Judge may set and extend time limits for the filing of applications and related documents and responses thereto, if any. If an application or document is not filed within the time set by the Immigration Judge, the opportunity to file that application or document shall be deemed waived.

(d) The Service may file documents under seal by including a cover sheet identifying the contents of the submission as containing information which is being filed under seal. Documents filed under seal shall not be examined by any person except pursuant to authorized access to the administrative record.

[57 FR 11572, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 61 FR 18908, Apr. 29, 1996; 61 FR 19976, May 3, 1996; 61 FR 21228, May 9, 1996; 61 FR 46374, Sept. 3, 1996; 62 FR 45149, Aug. 26, 1997; 67 FR 36802, May 28, 2002]

§ 1003.32   Service and size of documents.
top

(a) Except in in absentia hearings, a copy of all documents (including proposed exhibits or applications) filed with or presented to the Immigration Judge shall be simultaneously served by the presenting party on the opposing party or parties. Such service shall be in person or by first class mail to the most recent address contained in the Record of Proceeding. A certification showing service on the opposing party or parties on a date certain shall accompany any filing with the Immigration Judge unless service is made on the record during the hearing. Any documents or applications not containing such certification will not be considered by the Immigration Judge unless service is made on the record during a hearing.

(b) Unless otherwise permitted by the Immigration Judge, all written material presented to Immigration Judges including offers of evidence, correspondence, briefs, memoranda, or other documents must be submitted on 81/2&inch;×11&inch; size paper. The Immigration Judge may require that exhibits and other written material presented be indexed, paginated, and that a table of contents be provided.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated and amended at 57 FR 11571, 11572, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.33   Translation of documents.
top

Any foreign language document offered by a party in a proceeding shall be accompanied by an English language translation and a certification signed by the translator that must be printed legibly or typed. Such certification must include a statement that the translator is competent to translate the document, and that the translation is true and accurate to the best of the translator's abilities.

[59 FR 1900, Jan. 13, 1994]

§ 1003.34   Testimony.
top

Testimony of witnesses appearing at the hearing shall be under oath or affirmation.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.35   Depositions and subpoenas.
top

(a) Depositions. If an Immigration Judge is satisfied that a witness is not reasonably available at the place of hearing and that said witness' testimony or other evidence is essential, the Immigration Judge may order the taking of deposition either at his or her own instance or upon application of a party. Such order shall designate the official by whom the deposition shall be taken, may prescribe and limit the content, scope, or manner of taking the deposition, and may direct the production of documentary evidence.

(b) Subpoenas issued subsequent to commencement of proceedings—(1) General. In any proceeding before an Immigration Judge, other than under 8 CFR part 335, the Immigration Judge shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or for the production of books, papers and other documentary evidence, or both. An Immigration Judge may issue a subpoena upon his or her own volition or upon application of the Service or the alien.

(2) Application for subpoena. A party applying for a subpoena shall be required, as a condition precedent to its issuance, to state in writing or at the proceeding, what he or she expects to prove by such witnesses or documentary evidence, and to show affirmatively that he or she has made diligent effort, without success, to produce the same.

(3) Issuance of subpoena. Upon being satisfied that a witness will not appear and testify or produce documentary evidence and that the witness' evidence is essential, the Immigration Judge shall issue a subpoena. The subpoena shall state the title of the proceeding and shall command the person to whom it is directed to attend and to give testimony at a time and place specified. The subpoena may also command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, or documents specified in the subpoena.

(4) Appearance of witness. If the witness is at a distance of more than 100 miles from the place of the proceeding, the subpoena shall provide for the witness' appearance at the Immigration Court nearest to the witness to respond to oral or written interrogatories, unless there is no objection by any party to the witness' appearance at the proceeding.

(5) Service. A subpoena issued under this section may be served by any person over 18 years of age not a party to the case.

(6) Invoking aid of court. If a witness neglects or refuses to appear and testify as directed by the subpoena served upon him or her in accordance with the provisions of this section, the Immigration Judge issuing the subpoena shall request the United States Attorney for the district in which the subpoena was issued to report such neglect or refusal to the United States District Court and to request such court to issue an order requiring the witness to appear and testify and to produce the books, papers or documents designated in the subpoena.

[62 FR 10335, Mar. 6, 1997]

§ 1003.36   Record of proceeding.
top

The Immigration Court shall create and control the Record of Proceeding.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995]

§ 1003.37   Decisions.
top

(a) A decision of the Immigration Judge may be rendered orally or in writing. If the decision is oral, it shall be stated by the Immigration Judge in the presence of the parties and a memorandum summarizing the oral decision shall be served on the parties. If the decision is in writing, it shall be served on the parties by first class mail to the most recent address contained in the Record of Proceeding or by personal service.

(b) A written copy of the decision will not be sent to an alien who has failed to provide a written record of an address.

[57 FR 11573, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 1900, Jan. 13, 1994]

§ 1003.38   Appeals.
top

(a) Decisions of Immigration Judges may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals as authorized by 8 CFR 3.1(b).

(b) The Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals of Decision of Immigration Judge (Form EOIR–26) shall be filed directly with the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 calendar days after the stating of an Immigration Judge's oral decision or the mailing of an Immigration Judge's written decision. If the final date for filing falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, this appeal time shall be extended to the next business day. A Notice of Appeal (Form EOIR–26) may not be filed by any party who has waived appeal.

(c) The date of filing of the Notice of Appeal (Form EOIR–26) shall be the date the Notice is received by the Board.

(d) A Notice of Appeal (Form EOIR–26) must be accompanied by the appropriate fee or by an Appeal Fee Waiver Request (Form EOIR–26A). If the fee is not paid or the Appeal Fee Waiver Request (Form EOIR–26A) is not filed within the specified time period indicated in paragraph(b) of this section, the appeal will not be deemed properly filed and the decision of the Immigration Judge shall be final to the same extent as though no appeal had been taken.

(e) Within five working days of any change of address, an alien must provide written notice of the change of address on Form EOIR–33 to the Board. Where a party is represented, the representative should also provide to the Board written notice of any change in the representative's business mailing address.

(f) Briefs may be filed by both parties pursuant to 8 CFR 3.3(c).

(g) In any proceeding before the Board wherein the respondent/applicant is represented, the attorney or representative shall file a notice of appearance on the appropriate form. Withdrawal or substitution of an attorney or representative may be permitted by the Board during proceedings only upon written motion submitted without fee.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34089, June 30, 1995; 61 FR 18908, Apr. 29, 1996]

§ 1003.39   Finality of decision.
top

Except when certified to the Board, the decision of the Immigration Judge becomes final upon waiver of appeal or upon expiration of the time to appeal if no appeal is taken whichever occurs first.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated and amended at 57 FR 11571, 11573, Apr. 6, 1992]

§ 1003.40   Local operating procedures.
top

An Immigration Court having administrative control over Records of Proceedings may establish local operating procedures, provided that:

(a) Such operating procedure(s) shall not be inconsistent with any provision of this chapter;

(b) A majority of the judges of the local Immigration Court shall concur in writing therein; and

(c) The Chief Immigration Judge has approved the proposed operating procedure(s) in writing.

[52 FR 2936, Jan. 29, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 11571, Apr. 6, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 34090, June 30, 1995]

§ 1003.41   Evidence of criminal conviction.
top

In any proceeding before an Immigration Judge,

(a) Any of the following documents or records shall be admissible as evidence in proving a criminal conviction:

(1) A record of judgment and conviction;

(2) A record of plea, verdict and sentence;

(3) A docket entry from court records that indicates the existence of a conviction;

(4) Minutes of a court proceeding or a transcript of a hearing that indicates the existence of a conviction;

(5) An abstract of a record of conviction prepared by the court in which the conviction was entered, or by a state official associated with the state's repository of criminal justice records, that indicates the following: The charge or section of law violated, the disposition of the case, the existence and date of conviction, and the sentence;

(6) Any document or record prepared by, or under the direction of, the court in which the conviction was entered that indicates the existence of a conviction.

(b) Any document or record of the types specified in paragraph (a) of this section may be submitted if it complies with the requirement of §287.6(a) of this chapter, or a copy of any such document or record may be submitted if it is attested in writing by an immigration officer to be a true and correct copy of the original.

(c) Any record of conviction or abstract that has been submitted by electronic means to the Service from a state or court shall be admissible as evidence to prove a criminal conviction if it:

(1) Is certified by a state official associated with the state's repository of criminal justice records as an official record from its repository or by a court official from the court in which conviction was entered as an official record from its repository. Such certification may be by means of a computer-generated signature and statement of authenticity; and,

(2) Is certified in writing by a Service official as having been received electronically from the state's record repository or the court's record repository.

(d) Any other evidence that reasonably indicates the existence of a criminal conviction may be admissible as evidence thereof.

[58 FR 38953, July 21, 1993]

§ 1003.42   Review of credible fear determination.
top

(a) Referral. Jurisdiction for an Immigration Judge to review an adverse credible fear finding by an asylum officer pursuant to section 235(b)(1)(B) of the Act shall commence with the filing by the Service of Form I–863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge. The Service shall also file with the notice of referral a copy of the written record of determination as defined in section 235(b)(1)(B)(iii)(II) of the Act, including a copy of the alien's written request for review, if any.

(b) Record of proceeding. The Immigration Court shall create a Record of Proceeding for a review of an adverse credible fear determination. This record shall not be merged with any later proceeding pursuant to section 240 of the Act involving the same alien.

(c) Procedures and evidence. The Immigration Judge may receive into evidence any oral or written statement which is material and relevant to any issue in the review. The testimony of the alien shall be under oath or affirmation administered by the Immigration Judge. If an interpreter is necessary, one will be provided by the Immigration Court. The Immigration Judge shall determine whether the review shall be in person, or through telephonic or video connection (where available). The alien may consult with a person or persons of the alien's choosing prior to the review.

(d) Standard of review. The immigration judge shall make a de novo determination as to whether there is a significant possibility, taking into account the credibility of the statements made by the alien in support of the alien's claim and such other facts as are known to the immigration judge, that the alien could establish eligibility for asylum under section 208 of the Act or withholding under section 241(b)(3) of the Act or withholding under the Convention Against Torture.

(e) Timing. The Immigration Judge shall conclude the review to the maximum extent practicable within 24 hours, but in no case later than 7 days after the date the supervisory asylum officer has approved the asylum officer's negative credible fear determination issued on Form I–869, Record of Negative Credible Fear Finding and Request for Review.

(f) Decision. If an immigration judge determines that an alien has a credible fear of persecution or torture, the immigration judge shall vacate the order entered pursuant to section 235(b)(1)(B)(iii)(I) of the Act. Subsequent to the order being vacated, the Service shall issue and file Form I–862, Notice to Appear, with the Immigration Court to commence removal proceedings. The alien shall have the opportunity to apply for asylum and withholding of removal in the course of removal proceedings pursuant to section 240 of the Act. If an immigration judge determines that an alien does not have a credible fear of persecution or torture, the immigration judge shall affirm the asylum officer's determination and remand the case to the Service for execution of the removal order entered pursuant to section 235(b)(1)(B)(iii)(I) of the Act. No appeal shall lie from a review of an adverse credible fear determination made by an immigration judge.

(g) Custody. An Immigration Judge shall have no authority to review an alien's custody status in the course of a review of an adverse credible fear determination made by the Service.

(h) Safe third country agreement—(1) Arriving alien. An immigration judge has no jurisdiction to review a determination by an asylum officer that an arriving alien is not eligible to apply for asylum pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement (the Agreement) under section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act and should be returned to a safe third country to pursue his or her claims for asylum or other protection under the laws of that country. See 8 CFR 208.30(e)(6). However, in any case where an asylum officer has found that an arriving alien qualifies for an exception to the Agreement, an immigration judge does have jurisdiction to review a negative credible fear finding made thereafter by the asylum officer as provided in this section.

(2) Aliens in transit. An immigration judge has no jurisdiction to review any determination by DHS that an alien being removed from Canada in transit through the United States should be returned to Canada to pursue asylum claims under Canadian law, under the terms of a safe third country agreement with Canada.

[62 FR 10335, Mar. 6, 1997, as amended at 64 FR 8487, Feb. 19, 1999; 69 FR 69496, Nov. 29, 2004]

§ 1003.43   Motions to reopen for suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal pursuant to section 203(c) of NACARA and section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments.
top

(a) Standard for Adjudication. Except as provided in this section, a motion to reopen proceedings under section 309(g) or (h) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (Pub. L. 104–208) (IIRIRA), as amended by section 203(c) of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (Pub. L. 105–100) (NACARA) and by section 1505(c) of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act Amendments (Pub. L. 106–554) (LIFE Act Amendments), respectively, will be adjudicated under applicable statutes and regulations governing motions to reopen.

(b) Aliens eligible to reopen proceedings under section 203 of NACARA. A motion to reopen proceedings to apply for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal under the special rules of section 309(g) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(c) of NACARA, must establish that the alien:

(1) Is prima facie eligible for suspension of deportation pursuant to former section 244(a) of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997) or the special rule for cancellation of removal pursuant to section 309(f) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(b) of NACARA;

(2) Was or would be ineligible:

(i) For suspension of deportation by operation of section 309(c)(5) of IIRIRA (as in effect prior to November 19, 1997); or

(ii) For cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A of the Act, but for operation of section 309(f) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(b) of NACARA;

(3) Has not been convicted at any time of an aggravated felony; and

(4) Is within one of the six classes of aliens described in paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(6) of this section.

(c) Aliens eligible to reopen proceedings under section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments. A motion to reopen proceedings to apply for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal under the special rules of section 309(h) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments, must establish that the alien:

(1) Is prima facie eligible for suspension of deportation pursuant to former section 244(a) of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997) or cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A(b) of the Act and section 309(f) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(b) of NACARA;

(2) Was or would be ineligible, by operation of section 241(a)(5) of the Act, for suspension of deportation pursuant to former section 244(a) of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997) or cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A(b) of the Act and section 309(f) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(b) of NACARA, but for enactment of section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments;

(3) Has not been convicted at any time of an aggravated felony; and

(4) Is within one of the eight classes of aliens described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) Classes of Eligible Aliens—(1) Class 1. A national of El Salvador who:

(i) First entered the United States on or before September 19, 1990;

(ii) Registered for benefits pursuant to the settlement agreement in American Baptist Churches, et al. v. Thornburgh, 760 F. Supp. 796 (N.D. Cal. 1991) (ABC) on or before October 31, 1991, or applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on or before October 31, 1991; and

(iii) Was not apprehended after December 19, 1990, at time of entry.

(2) Class 2. A national of Guatemala who:

(i) First entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990;

(ii) Registered for ABC benefits on or before December 31, 1991; and

(iii) Was not apprehended after December 19, 1990, at time of entry.

(3) Class 3. A national of Guatemala or El Salvador who applied for asylum with the Service on or before April 1, 1990.

(4) Class 4. An alien who:

(i) Entered the United States on or before December 31, 1990;

(ii) Applied for asylum on or before December 31, 1991; and

(iii) At the time of filing such application for asylum was a national of the Soviet Union, Russia, any republic of the former Soviet Union, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, East Germany, Yugoslavia, or any state of the former Yugoslavia.

(5) Class 5. The spouse or child of a person who is described in paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(4) of this section and such person is prima facie eligible for and has applied for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal under section 203 of NACARA.

(6) Class 6. An unmarried son or daughter of a person who is described in paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(4) of this section and such person is prima facie eligible for and has applied for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal under section 203 of NACARA. If the son or daughter is 21 years of age or older, the son or daughter must have entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990.

(7) Class 7. An alien who was issued an Order to Show Cause or was in deportation proceedings before April 1, 1997, and who applied for suspension of deportation as a battered alien under former section 244(a)(3) of the Act (as in effect before September 30, 1996).

(8) Class 8. An alien:

(i) Who is or was the spouse or child of a person described in paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(4) of this section:

(A) At the time a decision is rendered to suspend deportation or cancel removal of that person;

(B) At the time that person filed an application for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal; or

(C) At the time that person registered for ABC benefits, applied for TPS, or applied for asylum; and

(ii) Who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty (or the spouse described in paragraph (d)(8)(i) of this section has a child who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty) by the person described in paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(4) of this section.

(e) Motion to reopen under section 203 of NACARA. (1) An alien filing a motion to reopen proceedings pursuant to section 309(g) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(c) of NACARA, may initially file a motion to reopen without an application for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal and supporting documents, but the motion must be filed no later than September 11, 1998. An alien may file only one motion to reopen pursuant to section 309(g) of IIRIRA. In such motion to reopen, the alien must address each of the four requirements for eligibility described in paragraph (b) of this section and establish that the alien satisfies each requirement.

(2) A motion to reopen filed pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section shall be considered complete at the time of submission of an application for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal and accompanying documents. Such application must be submitted no later than November 18, 1999. Aliens described in paragraphs (d)(5) or (d)(6) of this section must include, as part of their submission, proof that their parent or spouse is prima facie eligible and has applied for relief under section 203 of NACARA.

(3) The Service shall have 45 days from the date the alien serves the Immigration Court with either the Form EOIR–40 or the Form I–881 application for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal to respond to that completed motion. If the alien fails to submit the required application on or before November 18, 1999, the motion will be denied as abandoned.

(f) Motion to reopen under section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments. (1) An alien filing a motion to reopen proceedings pursuant to section 309(h) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments, must file a motion to reopen with an application for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal and supporting documents, on or before October 16, 2001. An alien may file only one motion to reopen proceedings pursuant to section 309(h) of IIRIRA. In such motion to reopen, the alien must address each of the four requirements for eligibility described in paragraph (c) of this section and establish that the alien satisfies each requirement.

(2) A motion to reopen and the accompanying application and supporting documents filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section must be submitted on or before October 16, 2001. Aliens described in paragraphs (d)(5) and (d)(6) of this section must include, as part of their submission, proof that their parent or spouse is prima facie eligible and has applied for relief under section 203 of NACARA.

(3) The Service shall have 45 days from the date the alien serves the Immigration Court to respond to that motion to reopen.

(g) Fee for motion to reopen waived. No filing fee is required for a motion to reopen to apply for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal under the special rules of section 309(g) or (h) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(c) of NACARA and by section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments, respectively.

(h) Jurisdiction over motions to reopen under section 203 of NACARA and remand of appeals. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions, any motion to reopen filed pursuant to the special rules of section 309(g) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203(c) of NACARA, shall be filed with the Immigration Court, even if the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) issued an order in the case. The Immigration Court that last had jurisdiction over the proceedings will adjudicate the motion.

(2) The Board will remand to the Immigration Court any presently pending appeal in which the alien appears eligible to apply for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal under the special rules of section 309(g) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 203 of NACARA, and appears prima facie eligible for that relief. The alien will then have the opportunity to apply for suspension or cancellation under the special rules of NACARA before the Immigration Court.

(i) Jurisdiction over motions to reopen under section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments and remand of appeals. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions, any motion to reopen filed pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section to apply for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal under section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments shall be filed with the Immigration Court or the Board, whichever last held jurisdiction over the case. Only an alien with a reinstated final order, or an alien with a newly issued final order that was issued based on the alien having reentered the United States illegally after having been removed or having departed voluntarily under a prior order of removal that was subject to reinstatement under section 241(a)(5) of the Act, may file a motion to reopen with the Immigration Court or the Board pursuant to this section. An alien whose final order has not been reinstated and as to whom a newly issued final order, as described in this section, has not been issued may apply for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal before the Service pursuant to section 309(h)(1) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments, according to the jurisdictional provisions for applications before the Service set forth in 8 CFR 240.62(a) or before the Immigration Court as set forth in 8 CFR 240.62(b).

(2) If the Immigration Court has jurisdiction and grants only the motion to reopen filed pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, the scope of the reopened proceeding shall be limited to a determination of the alien's eligibility for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal pursuant to section 309(h)(1) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments.

(3) If the Board has jurisdiction and grants only the motion to reopen filed pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, it shall remand the case to the Immigration Court solely for adjudication of the application for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal pursuant to section 309(h)(1) of IIRIRA, as amended by section 1505(c) of the LIFE Act Amendments.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to preclude or restrict the applicability of any other exceptions regarding motions to reopen that are provided for in 8 CFR 3.2(c)(3) and 3.23(b).

[66 FR 37123, July 17, 2001]

§ 1003.44   Special motion to seek section 212(c) relief for aliens who pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to certain crimes before April 1, 1997.
top

(a) Standard for adjudication. This section applies to certain aliens who formerly were lawful permanent residents, who are subject to an administratively final order of deportation or removal, and who are eligible to apply for relief under former section 212(c) of the Act and 8 CFR 1212.3 with respect to convictions obtained by plea agreements reached prior to a verdict at trial prior to April 1, 1997. A special motion to seek relief under section 212(c) of the Act will be adjudicated under the standards of this section and 8 CFR 1212.3. This section is not applicable with respect to any conviction entered after trial.

(b) General eligibility. The alien has the burden of establishing eligibility for relief, including the date on which the alien and the prosecution agreed on the plea of guilt or nolo contendere. Generally, a special motion under this section to seek section 212(c) relief must establish that the alien:

(1) Was a lawful permanent resident and is now subject to a final order of deportation or removal;

(2) Agreed to plead guilty or nolo contendere to an offense rendering the alien deportable or removable, pursuant to a plea agreement made before April 1, 1997;

(3) Had seven consecutive years of lawful unrelinquished domicile in the United States prior to the date of the final administrative order of deportation or removal; and

(4) Is otherwise eligible to apply for section 212(c) relief under the standards that were in effect at the time the alien's plea was made, regardless of when the plea was entered by the court.

(c) Aggravated felony definition. For purposes of eligibility to apply for section 212(c) relief under this section and 8 CFR 1212.3, the definition of aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43) of the Act is that in effect at the time the special motion or the application for section 212(c) relief is adjudicated under this section. An alien shall be deemed to be ineligible for section 212(c) relief if he or she has been charged and found deportable or removable on the basis of a crime that is an aggravated felony, except as provided in 8 CFR 1212.3(f)(4).

(d) Effect of prior denial of section 212(c) relief. A motion under this section will not be granted with respect to any conviction where an alien has previously been denied section 212(c) relief by an immigration judge or by the Board on discretionary grounds.

(e) Scope of proceedings. Proceedings shall be reopened under this section solely for the purpose of adjudicating the application for section 212(c) relief, but if the immigration judge or the Board grants a motion by the alien to reopen the proceedings on other applicable grounds under 8 CFR 1003.2 or 1003.23 of this chapter, all issues encompassed within the reopened proceedings may be considered together, as appropriate.

(f) Procedure for filing a special motion to seek section 212(c) relief. An eligible alien shall file a special motion to seek section 212(c) relief with the immigration judge or the Board, whichever last held jurisdiction over the case. An eligible alien must submit a copy of the Form I–191 application, and supporting documents, with the special motion. The motion must contain the notation “special motion to seek section 212(c) relief.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall have 45 days from the date of filing of the special motion to respond. In the event the DHS does not respond to the motion, the DHS retains the right in the proceedings to contest any and all issues raised.

(g) Relationship to motions to reopen or reconsider on other grounds. (1) Other pending motions to reopen or reconsider. An alien who has previously filed a motion to reopen or reconsider that is still pending before an immigration judge or the Board, other than a motion for section 212(c) relief, must file a separate special motion to seek section 212(c) relief pursuant to this section. The new motion shall specify any other motions currently pending before an immigration judge or the Board. An alien who has previously filed a motion to reopen under 8 CFR 1003.2 or 1003.23 based on INS v. St. Cyr is not required to file a new special motion under this section, but he or she may supplement the previous motion if it is still pending. Any motion for section 212(c) relief described in this section pending before the Board or an immigration judge on the effective date of this rule that would be barred by the time or number limitations on motions shall be deemed to be a motion filed pursuant to this section, and shall not count against the number restrictions for other motions to reopen.

(2) Motions previously filed pursuant to prior provision. If an alien previously filed a motion to apply for section 212(c) relief with an immigration judge or the Board pursuant to the prior provisions of this section, as in effect before October 28, 2004, and the motion is still pending, the motion will be adjudicated pursuant to the standards of this section, both as revised and as previously in effect, and the alien does not need to file a new special motion pursuant to paragraph (g)(1) of this section. However, if a motion filed under the prior provisions of this section was denied because the alien did not satisfy the requirements contained therein, the alien must file a new special motion pursuant to this section, if eligible, in order to apply for section 212(c) relief based on the requirements established in this section.

(3) Effect of a prior denial of a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider filed after the St. Cyr decision. A motion under this section will not be granted where an alien has previously submitted a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider based on the St. Cyr decision and that motion was denied by an immigration judge or the Board (except on account of time or number limitations for such motions).

(4) Limitations for motions. The filing of a special motion under this section has no effect on the time and number limitations for motions to reopen or reconsider that may be filed on grounds unrelated to section 212(c).

(h) Deadline to file a special motion to seek section 212(c) relief under this section. An alien subject to a final administrative order of deportation or removal must file a special motion to seek section 212(c) relief on or before April 26, 2005. An eligible alien may file one special motion to seek section 212(c) relief under this section.

(i) Fees. No filing fee is required at the time the alien files a special motion to seek section 212(c) relief under this section. However, if the special motion is granted, and the alien has not previously filed an application for section 212(c) relief, the alien will be required to submit the appropriate fee receipt at the time the alien files the Form I–191 with the immigration court.

(j) Remands of appeals. If the Board has jurisdiction and grants the motion to apply for section 212(c) relief pursuant to this section, it shall remand the case to the immigration judge solely for adjudication of the section 212(c) application.

(k) Limitations on eligibility under this section. This section does not apply to:

(1) Aliens who have departed the United States and are currently outside the United States;

(2) Aliens issued a final order of deportation or removal who then illegally returned to the United States; or

(3) Aliens who have not been admitted or paroled.

[69 FR 57833, Sept. 28, 2004]

§ 1003.46   Protective orders, sealed submissions in Immigration Courts.
top

(a) Authority. In any immigration or bond proceeding, Immigration Judges may, upon a showing by the Service of a substantial likelihood that specific information submitted under seal or to be submitted under seal will, if disclosed, harm the national security (as defined in section 219(c)(2) of the Act) or law enforcement interests of the United States, issue a protective order barring disclosure of such information.

(b) Motion by the service. The Service may at any time after filing a Notice to Appear, or other charging document, file with the Immigration Judge, and serve upon the respondent, a motion for an order to protect specific information it intends to submit or is submitting under seal. The motion shall describe, to the extent practical, the information that the Service seeks to protect from disclosure. The motion shall specify the relief requested in the protective order. The respondent may file a response to the motion within ten days after the motion is served.

(c) Sealed annex to motion. In the Service's discretion, the Service may file the specific information as a sealed annex to the motion, which shall not be served upon the respondent. If the Service files a sealed annex, or the Immigration Judge, in his or her discretion, instructs that the information be filed as a sealed annex in order to determine whether to grant or deny the motion, the Immigration Judge shall consider the information only for the purpose of determining whether to grant or deny the motion.

(d) Due deference. The Immigration Judge shall give appropriate deference to the expertise of senior officials in law enforcement and national security agencies in any averments in any submitted affidavit in determining whether the disclosure of information will harm the national security or law enforcement interests of the United States.

(e) Denied motions. If the motion is denied, any sealed annex shall be returned to the Service, and the Immigration Judge shall give no weight to such information. The Service may immediately appeal denial of the motion to the Board, which shall have jurisdiction to hear the appeal, by filing a Notice of Appeal and the sealed annex with the Board. The Immigration Judge shall hold any further proceedings in abeyance pending resolution of the appeal by the Board.

(f) Granted motions. If the motion is granted, the Immigration Judge shall issue an appropriate protective order.

(1) The Immigration Judge shall ensure that the protective order encompasses such witnesses as the respondent demonstrates are reasonably necessary to the presentation of his case. If necessary, the Immigration Judge may impose the requirements of the protective order on any witness before the Immigration Judge to whom such information may be disclosed.

(2) The protective order may require that the respondent, and his or her attorney or accredited representative, if any:

(i) Not divulge any of the information submitted under the protective order, or any information derived therefrom, to any person or entity, other than authorized personnel of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Service, or such other persons approved by the Service or the Immigration Judge;

(ii) When transmitting any information under a protective order, or any information derived therefrom, to the Executive Office for Immigration Review or the Service, include a cover sheet identifying the contents of the submission as containing information subject to a protective order under this section;

(iii) Store any information under a protective order, or any information derived therefrom, in a reasonably secure manner, and return all copies of such information to the Service upon completion of proceedings, including judicial review; and

(iv) Such other requirements as the Immigration Judge finds necessary to protect the information from disclosure.

(3) Upon issuance of such protective order, the Service shall serve the respondent with the protective order and the sealed information. A protective order issued under this section shall remain in effect until vacated by the Immigration Judge.

(4) Further review of the protective order before the Board shall only be had pursuant to review of an order of the Immigration Judge resolving all issues of removability and any applications for relief pending in the matter pursuant to 8 CFR 3.1(b). Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Immigration Judge shall retain jurisdiction to modify or vacate a protective order upon motion of the Service or the respondent. An Immigration Judge may not grant a motion by the respondent to modify or vacate a protective order until either: the Service files a response to such motion or 10 days after service of such motion on the Service.

(g) Admissibility as evidence. The issuance of a protective order shall not prejudice the respondent's right to challenge the admissibility of the information subject to a protective order. The Immigration Judge may not find the information inadmissible solely because it is subject to a protective order.

(h) Seal. Any submission to the Immigration Judge, including any briefs, referring to information subject to a protective order shall be filed under seal. Any information submitted subject to a protective order under this paragraph shall remain under seal as part of the administrative record.

(i) Administrative enforcement. If the Service establishes that a respondent, or the respondent's attorney or accredited representative, has disclosed information subject to a protective order, the Immigration Judge shall deny all forms of discretionary relief, except bond, unless the respondent fully cooperates with the Service or other law enforcement agencies in any investigation relating to the noncompliance with the protective order and disclosure of the information; and establishes by clear and convincing evidence either that extraordinary and extremely unusual circumstances exist or that failure to comply with the protective order was beyond the control of the respondent and his or her attorney or accredited representative. Failure to comply with a protective order may also result in the suspension of an attorney's or an accredited representative's privilege of appearing before the Executive Office for Immigration Review or before the Service pursuant to 8 CFR part 3, subpart G.

[67 FR 36802, May 28, 2002]

§ 1003.47   Identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations relating to applications for immigration relief, protection, or restriction on removal.
top

(a) In general. The procedures of this section are applicable to any application for immigration relief, protection, or restriction on removal that is subject to the conduct of identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations as described in paragraph (b) of this section, in order to ensure that DHS has completed the appropriate identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations before the adjudication of the application.

(b) Covered applications. The requirements of this section apply to the granting of any form of immigration relief in immigration proceedings which permits the alien to reside in the United States, including but not limited to the following forms of relief, protection, or restriction on removal to the extent they are within the authority of an immigration judge or the Board to grant:

(1) Asylum under section 208 of the Act.

(2) Adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident under sections 209 or 245 of the Act, or any other provision of law.

(3) Waiver of inadmissibility or deportability under sections 209(c), 212, or 237 of the Act, or any provision of law.

(4) Permanent resident status on a conditional basis or removal of the conditional basis of permanent resident status under sections 216 or 216A of the Act, or any other provision of law.

(5) Cancellation of removal or suspension of deportation under section 240A or former section 244 of the Act, or any other provision of law.

(6) Relief from removal under former section 212(c) of the Act.

(7) Withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the Act or under the Convention Against Torture.

(8) Registry under section 249 of the Act.

(9) Conditional grants relating to the above, such as for applications seeking asylum pursuant to section 207(a)(5) of the Act or cancellation of removal in light of section 240A(e) of the Act.

(c) Completion of applications for immigration relief, protection, or restriction on removal. Failure to file necessary documentation and comply with the requirements to provide biometrics and other biographical information in conformity with the applicable regulations, the instructions to the applications, the biometrics notice, and instructions provided by DHS, within the time allowed by the immigration judge's order, constitutes abandonment of the application and the immigration judge may enter an appropriate order dismissing the application unless the applicant demonstrates that such failure was the result of good cause. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the provisions in 8 CFR 1208.4 regarding the timely filing of asylum applications or the determination of a respondent's compliance with any other deadline for initial filing of an application, including the consequences of filing under the Child Status Protection Act.

(d) Biometrics and other biographical information. At any hearing at which a respondent expresses an intention to file or files an application for relief for which identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations are required under this section, unless DHS advises the immigration judge that such information is unnecessary in the particular case, DHS shall notify the respondent of the need to provide biometrics and other biographical information and shall provide a biometrics notice and instructions to the respondent for such procedures. The immigration judge shall specify for the record when the respondent receives the biometrics notice and instructions and the consequences for failing to comply with the requirements of this section. Whenever required by DHS, the applicant shall make arrangements with an office of DHS to provide biometrics and other biographical information (including for any other person covered by the same application who is required to provide biometrics and other biographical information) before or as soon as practicable after the filing of the application for relief in the immigration proceedings. Failure to provide biometrics or other biographical information of the applicant or any other covered individual within the time allowed will constitute abandonment of the application or of the other covered individual's participation unless the applicant demonstrates that such failure was the result of good cause. DHS is responsible for obtaining biometrics and other biographical information with respect to any alien in detention.

(e) Conduct of investigations or examinations. DHS shall endeavor to initiate all relevant identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations concerning the alien or beneficiaries promptly, to complete those investigations or examinations as promptly as is practicable (considering, among other things, increased demands placed upon such investigations), and to advise the immigration judge of the results in a timely manner, on or before the date of a scheduled hearing on any application for immigration relief filed in the proceedings. The immigration judges, in scheduling hearings, shall allow a period of time for DHS to undertake the necessary identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations prior to the date that an application is scheduled for hearing and disposition, with a view to minimizing the number of cases in which hearings must be continued.

(f) Continuance for completion of investigations or examinations. If DHS has not reported on the completion and results of all relevant identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations for an applicant and his or her beneficiaries by the date that the application is scheduled for hearing and disposition, after the time allowed by the immigration judge pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, the immigration judge may continue proceedings for the purpose of completing the investigations or examinations, or hear the case on the merits. DHS shall attempt to give reasonable notice to the immigration judge of the fact that all relevant identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations have not been completed and the amount of time DHS anticipates is required to complete those investigations or examinations.

(g) Adjudication after completion of investigations or examinations. In no case shall an immigration judge grant an application for immigration relief that is subject to the conduct of identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations under this section until after DHS has reported to the immigration judge that the appropriate investigations or examinations have been completed and are current as provided in this section and DHS has reported any relevant information from the investigations or examinations to the immigration judge.

(h) Adjudication upon remand from the Board. In any case remanded pursuant to 8 CFR 1003.1(d)(6), the immigration judge shall consider the results of the identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations subject to the provisions of this section. If new information is presented, the immigration judge may hold a further hearing if necessary to consider any legal or factual issues, including issues relating to credibility, if relevant. The immigration judge shall then enter an order granting or denying the immigration relief sought.

(i) Procedures when immigration relief granted. At the time that the immigration judge or the Board grants any relief under this section that would entitle the respondent to a new document evidencing such relief, the decision granting such relief shall include advice that the respondent will need to contact an appropriate office of DHS. Information concerning DHS locations and local procedures for document preparation shall be routinely provided to EOIR and updated by DHS. Upon respondent's presentation of a final order from the immigration judge or the Board granting such relief and submission of any biometric and other information necessary, DHS shall prepare such documents in keeping with section 264 of the Act and regulations thereunder and other relevant law.

(j) Voluntary departure. The procedures of this section do not apply to the granting of voluntary departure prior to the conclusion of proceedings pursuant to 8 CFR 1240.26(b) or at the conclusion of proceedings pursuant to 8 CFR 1240.26(c). If DHS seeks a continuance in order to complete pending identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations, the immigration judge may grant additional time in the exercise of discretion, and the 30-day period for the immigration judge to grant voluntary departure, as provided in §1240.26(b)(1)(ii), shall be extended accordingly.

(k) Custody hearings. The foregoing provisions of this section do not apply to proceedings seeking the redetermination of conditions of custody of an alien during the pendency of immigration proceedings under section 236 of the Act. In scheduling an initial custody redetermination hearing, the immigration judge shall, to the extent practicable consistent with the expedited nature of such cases, take account of the brief initial period of time needed for DHS to conduct the automated portions of its identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations with respect to aliens detained in connection with immigration proceedings. If at the time of the custody hearing DHS seeks a brief continuance in an appropriate case based on unresolved identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations, the immigration judge in the exercise of discretion may grant one or more continuances for a limited period of time which is reasonable under the circumstances.

[70 FR 4753, Jan. 31, 2005]

Subpart D [Reserved]
top
Subpart E—List of Free Legal Services Providers
top

Source:  62 FR 9073, Feb. 28, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

§ 1003.61   List.
top

(a) The Chief Immigration Judge shall maintain a current list of organizations and attorneys qualified under this subpart which provide free legal services. This list, which shall be updated not less than quarterly, shall be provided to aliens in immigration proceedings. The Chief Immigration Judge may designate an employee or employees to carry out his or her responsibilities under this subpart. Organizations and attorneys may be included on the list of free legal services providers if they qualify under one of the following categories:

(1) Organizations recognized under §1292.2 of this chapter that meet the qualifications set forth in §1003.62(a) and whose representatives, if any, are authorized to practice before the Board and Immigration Courts;

(2) Organizations not recognized under §1292.2 of this chapter that meet the qualifications set forth in §1003.62(b);

(3) Bar associations that meet the qualifications set forth in §1003.62(c); and

(4) Attorneys, as defined in §1001.1(f) of this chapter, who meet the qualifications set forth in §1003.62(d).

(b) The listing of an organization qualified under this subpart is not equivalent to recognition under §292.2 of this chapter.

§ 1003.62   Qualifications.
top

(a) Organizations recognized under §1292.2. An organization that is recognized under §1292.2 of this chapter that seeks to have its name appear on the list of free legal services providers maintained by the Chief Immigration Judge must have on its staff:

(1) An attorney, as defined in §1001.1(f) of this chapter; or

(2) At least one accredited representative, as defined in §1292.1(a)(4) of this chapter, who is authorized to practice before the Board and Immigration Courts.

(b) Organizations not recognized under §1292.2. An organization that is not recognized under §1292.2 of this chapter that seeks to have its name appear on the list of free legal services providers maintained by the Chief Immigration Judge must declare that:

(1) It is established in the United States;

(2) It provides free legal services to indigent aliens; and

(3) It has on its staff, or retains at no expense to the alien, an attorney, as defined in §1001.1(f) of this chapter, who is available to render such free legal services by representation in immigration proceedings.

(c) Bar associations. A bar association that provides a referral service of attorneys who render pro bono assistance to aliens in immigration proceedings may apply to have its name appear on the list of free legal services providers maintained by the Chief Immigration Judge. Any other organization that provides such a referral service may also apply to have its name appear on the list of free legal services providers, and may, in the sole discretion of the Chief Immigration Judge, be included on the list.

(d) Attorneys. An attorney, as defined in §1001.1(f) of this chapter, who seeks to have his or her name appear on the list of free legal services providers maintained by the Chief Immigration Judge must declare in his or her application that he or she provides free legal services to indigent aliens and that he or she is willing to represent indigent aliens in immigration proceedings pro bono. An attorney under this section may not receive any direct or indirect remuneration from indigent aliens for representation in immigration proceedings, although the attorney may be regularly compensated by the firm or organization with which he or she is associated.

§ 1003.63   Applications.
top

(a) Generally. In order to qualify to appear on the list of free legal services providers maintained by the Chief Immigration Judge under this subpart, an organization or attorney must file an application requesting to be placed on the list. This application must be filed with the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, along with proof of service on the Court Administrator of the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over each locality where the organization or attorney provides free legal services. Each submission must be identified by the notation “Application for Free Legal Services Providers List” on the envelope, and must also indicate if the organization or attorney is willing to represent indigent aliens in asylum proceedings.

(b) Organizations recognized under §292.2. An organization that is recognized under §292.2 of this chapter must submit a declaration signed by an authorized officer of the organization which states that the organization complies with all of the qualifications set forth in §1003.62(a).

(c) Organizations not recognized under §292.2. An organization that is not recognized under §292.2 of this chapter must submit a declaration signed by an authorized officer of the organization which states that the organization complies with all of the qualifications set forth in §1003.62(b).

(d) Attorneys. An attorney must:

(1) Submit a declaration that states that:

(i) He or she provides free legal services to indigent aliens;

(ii) He or she is willing to represent indigent aliens in immigration proceedings pro bono; and

(iii) He or she is not under any order of any court suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting him or her in the practice of law; and

(2) Include the attorney's bar number, if any, from each bar of the highest court of the state, possession, territory, or commonwealth in which he or she is admitted to practice law.

(e) Changes in addresses or status. Organizations and attorneys referred to in this subpart are under a continuing obligation to notify the Chief Immigration Judge, in writing, within ten business days, of any change of address, telephone number, or qualifying or professional status. Failure to notify the Chief Immigration Judge of any such change may result in the name of the organization or attorney being removed from the list.

§ 1003.64   Approval and denial of applications.
top

The Court Administrator of the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over each locality where an organization or attorney provides free legal services shall forward a recommendation for approval or denial of each application submitted by the organization or attorney, and the reasons therefor, to the Chief Immigration Judge. The Chief Immigration Judge shall have the authority to approve or deny an application submitted by an organization or an attorney pursuant to §1003.63. If an application is denied, the organization or attorney shall be notified of the decision in writing, at the organization's or attorney's last known address, and shall be given a written explanation of the grounds for such denial. A denial must be based on the failure of the organization or attorney to meet the qualifications and/or to comply with the procedures set forth in this subpart. The organization or attorney shall be advised of its, his or her right to appeal this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals in accordance with §1003.1(b) and §1103.3(a)(1)(ii) of this chapter.

§ 1003.65   Removal of an organization or attorney from list.
top

(a) Involuntary removal. If the Chief Immigration Judge believes that an organization or attorney included on the list of free legal services providers no longer meets the qualifications set forth in this subpart, he or she shall promptly notify the organization or attorney in writing, at the organization's or attorney's last known address, of his or her intention to remove the name of the organization or attorney from the list. The organization or attorney may submit an answer within 30 days from the date the notice is served. The organization or attorney must establish by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that the organization's or attorney's name should not be removed from the list. If, after consideration of any answer submitted by the organization or attorney, the Chief Immigration Judge determines that the organization or attorney no longer meets the qualifications set forth in this subpart, the Chief Immigration Judge shall promptly remove the name of the organization or attorney from the list of free legal service providers, the removal of which will be reflected in the next quarterly update, and shall notify the organization or attorney of such removal in writing, at the organization's or attorney's last known address. Organizations and attorneys shall be advised of their right to appeal this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals in accordance with §1003.1(b) and §1103.3(a)(1)(ii) of this chapter.

(b) Voluntary removal. Any organization or attorney qualified under this subpart may, at any time, submit a written request to have its, his or her name removed from the list of free legal service providers. Such a request shall be honored, and the name of the organization or attorney shall promptly be removed from the list, the removal of which will be reflected in the next quarterly update.

Subpart F [Reserved]
top
Subpart G—Professional Conduct for Practitioners—Rules and Procedures
top

Source:  65 FR 39526, June 27, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

§ 1003.101   General provisions.
top

(a) Authority to sanction. An adjudicating official or the Board of Immigration Appeals (the Board) may impose disciplinary sanctions against any practitioner if it finds it to be in the public interest to do so. It will be in the public interest to impose disciplinary sanctions against a practitioner who is authorized to practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts when such person has engaged in criminal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct, or in frivolous behavior, as set forth in §1003.102. In accordance with the disciplinary proceedings set forth in this subpart and outlined below, an adjudicating official or the Board may impose any of the following disciplinary sanctions:

(1) Expulsion, which is permanent, from practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts or the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the Service), or before all three authorities;

(2) Suspension, including immediate suspension, from practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts or the Service, or before all three authorities;

(3) Public or private censure; or

(4) Such other disciplinary sanctions as the adjudicating official or the Board deems appropriate.

(b) Persons subject to sanctions. Persons subject to sanctions include any practitioner. A practitioner is any attorney as defined in §1001.1(f) of this chapter who does not represent the federal government, or any representative as defined in §1001.1(j) of this chapter. Attorneys employed by the Department of Justice shall be subject to discipline pursuant to §1003.109. Nothing in this regulation shall be construed as authorizing persons who do not meet the definition of practitioner to represent individuals before the Board and the Immigration Courts or the Service.

§ 1003.102   Grounds.
top

It is deemed to be in the public interest for an adjudicating official or the Board to impose disciplinary sanctions against any practitioner who falls within one or more of the categories enumerated in this section, but these categories do not constitute the exclusive grounds for which disciplinary sanctions may be imposed in the public interest. Nothing in this regulation should be read to denigrate the practitioner's duty to represent zealously his or her client within the bounds of the law. A practitioner who falls within one of the following categories shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions in the public interest if he or she:

(a) Charges or receives, either directly or indirectly:

(1) In the case of an attorney, any fee or compensation for specific services rendered for any person that shall be deemed to be grossly excessive. The factors to be considered in determining whether a fee or compensation is grossly excessive include the following: The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly; the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the attorney; the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services; the amount involved and the results obtained; the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances; the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client; and the experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney or attorneys performing the services,

(2) In the case of an accredited representative as defined in §1292.1(a)(4) of this chapter, any fee or compensation for specific services rendered for any person, except that an accredited representative may be regularly compensated by the organization of which he or she is an accredited representative, or

(3) In the case of a law student or law graduate as defined in §1292.1(a)(2) of this chapter, any fee or compensation for specific services rendered for any person, except that a law student or law graduate may be regularly compensated by the organization or firm with which he or she is associated as long as he or she is appearing without direct or indirect remuneration from the client he or she represents;

(b) Bribes, attempts to bribe, coerces, or attempts to coerce, by any means whatsoever, any person (including a party to a case or an officer or employee of the Department of Justice) to commit any act or to refrain from performing any act in connection with any case;

(c) Knowingly or with reckless disregard makes a false statement of material fact or law, or willfully misleads, misinforms, threatens, or deceives any person (including a party to a case or an officer or employee of the Department of Justice), concerning any material and relevant matter relating to a case, including knowingly or with reckless disregard offering false evidence. If a practitioner has offered material evidence and comes to know of its falsity, the practitioner shall take appropriate remedial measures;

(d) Solicits professional employment, through in-person or live telephone contact or through the use of runners, from a prospective client with whom the practitioner has no family or prior professional relationship, when a significant motive for the practitioner's doing so is the practitioner's pecuniary gain. If the practitioner has no family or prior professional relationship with the prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter, the practitioner must include the words “Advertising Material” on the outside of the envelope of any written communication and at the beginning and ending of any recorded communication. Such advertising material or similar solicitation documents may not be distributed by any person in or around the premises of any building in which an Immigration Court is located;

(e) Is subject to a final order of disbarment or suspension, or has resigned with an admission of misconduct.

(1) In the jurisdiction of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, or in any Federal court in which the practitioner is admitted to practice, or

(2) Before any executive department, board, commission, or other governmental unit;

(f) Knowingly or with reckless disregard makes a false or misleading communication about his or her qualifications or services. A communication is false or misleading if it:

(1) Contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading, or,

(2) Contains an assertion about the practitioner or his or her qualifications or services that cannot be substantiated. A practitioner shall not state or imply that he or she has been recognized or certified as a specialist in immigration and/or nationality law unless such certification is granted by the appropriate state regulatory authority or by an organization that has been approved by the appropriate state regulatory authority to grant such certification;

(g) Engages in contumelious or otherwise obnoxious conduct, with regard to a case in which he or she acts in a representative capacity, which would constitute contempt of court in a judicial proceeding;

(h) Has been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, a serious crime, in any court of the United States, or of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia. A serious crime includes any felony and also includes any lesser crime, a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of such crime in the jurisdiction where the judgment was entered, involves interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, willful failure to file income tax returns, deceit, dishonesty, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt, or a conspiracy or solicitation of another, to commit a serious crime. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction after a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section;

(i) Knowingly or with reckless disregard falsely certifies a copy of a document as being a true and complete copy of an original;

(j) Engages in frivolous behavior in a proceeding before an Immigration Court, the Board, or any other administrative appellate body under title II of the Immigration and Nationality Act, provided:

(1) A practitioner engages in frivolous behavior when he or she knows or reasonably should have known that his or her actions lack an arguable basis in law or in fact, or are taken for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay. Actions that, if taken improperly, may be subject to disciplinary sanctions include, but are not limited to, the making of an argument on any factual or legal question, the submission of an application for discretionary relief, the filing of a motion, or the filing of an appeal. The signature of a practitioner on any filing, application, motion, appeal, brief, or other document constitutes certification by the signer that the signer has read the filing, application, motion, appeal, brief, or other document and that, to the best of the signer's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after inquiry reasonable under the circumstances, the document is well-grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or by a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law, and is not interposed for any improper purpose.

(2) The imposition of disciplinary sanctions for frivolous behavior under this section in no way limits the authority of the Board to dismiss an appeal summarily pursuant to §1003.1(d)(1-a);

(k) Engages in conduct that constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel, as previously determined in a finding by the Board or an Immigration Judge in an immigration proceeding, and a disciplinary complaint is filed within one year of the finding;

(l) Repeatedly fails to appear for scheduled hearings in a timely manner without good cause; or

(m) Assists any person, other than a practitioner as defined in §1003.101(b), in the performance of activity that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

§ 1003.103   Immediate suspension and summary disciplinary proceedings; duty of practitioner to notify EOIR of conviction or discipline.
top

(a) Immediate suspension—(1) Petition. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR shall file a petition with the Board to suspend immediately from practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts any practitioner who has been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, a serious crime, as defined in §1003.102(h), or any practitioner who has been disbarred or suspended on an interim or final basis by, or has resigned with an admission of misconduct from, the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, or any Federal court. A copy of the petition shall be forwarded to the Office of the General Counsel of the Service, which may submit a written request to the Board that entry of any order immediately suspending a practitioner before the Board or the Immigration Courts also apply to the practitioner's authority to practice before the Service. Proof of service on the practitioner of the Service's request to broaden the scope of any immediate suspension must be filed with the Board.

(2) Immediate suspension. Upon the filing of a petition for immediate suspension by the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR, together with a certified copy of a court record finding that a practitioner has been so found guilty of a serious crime, or has been so disciplined or has so resigned, the Board shall forthwith enter an order immediately suspending the practitioner from practice before the Board, the Immigration Courts, and/or the Service, notwithstanding the pendency of an appeal, if any, of the underlying conviction or discipline, pending final disposition of a summary disciplinary proceeding as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. Such immediate suspension will continue until imposition of a final administrative decision. Upon good cause shown, the Board may set aside such order of immediate suspension when it appears in the interest of justice to do so. If a final administrative decision includes the imposition of a period of suspension, time spent by the practitioner under immediate suspension pursuant to this paragraph may be credited toward the period of suspension imposed under the final administrative decision.

(b) Summary disciplinary proceedings. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR shall promptly initiate summary disciplinary proceedings against any practitioner described in paragraph (a) of this section. Summary proceedings shall be initiated by the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline, accompanied by a certified copy of the order, judgment, and/or record evidencing the underlying criminal conviction, discipline, or resignation. Summary proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions set forth in §§1003.105 and 1003.106. Any such summary proceeding shall not be concluded until all direct appeals from an underlying criminal conviction shall have been completed.

(1) In matters concerning criminal convictions, a certified copy of the court record, docket entry, or plea shall be conclusive evidence of the commission of the crime in any summary disciplinary proceeding based thereon.

(2) In the case of a summary proceeding based upon a final order of disbarment or suspension, or a resignation with an admission of misconduct, (i.e., reciprocal discipline), a certified copy of a judgment or order of discipline shall establish a rebuttable presumption of the professional misconduct. Disciplinary sanctions shall follow in such a proceeding unless the attorney can rebut the presumption by demonstrating by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that:

(i) The underlying disciplinary proceeding was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process;

(ii) There was such an infirmity of proof establishing the attorney's professional misconduct as to give rise to the clear conviction that the adjudicating official could not, consistent with his or her duty, accept as final the conclusion on that subject; or

(iii) The imposition of discipline by the adjudicating official would result in grave injustice.

(c) Duty of practitioner to notify EOIR of conviction or discipline. Any practitioner who has been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, a serious crime, as defined in §1003.102(h), or who has been disbarred or suspended by, or who has resigned with an admission of misconduct from, the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, or by any Federal court, must notify the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR of any such conviction or disciplinary action within 30 days of the issuance of the initial order, even if an appeal of the conviction or discipline is pending. Failure to do so may result in immediate suspension as set forth in paragraph (a) of this section and other final discipline. This duty to notify applies only to convictions for serious crimes and to orders imposing discipline for professional misconduct entered on or after August 28, 2000.

§ 1003.104   Filing of complaints; preliminary inquiries; resolutions; referral of complaints.
top

(a) Filing of complaints—(1) Practitioners authorized to practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts. Complaints of criminal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct, or of frivolous behavior by a practitioner who is authorized to practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts, shall be filed with the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR. Disciplinary complaints must be submitted in writing and must state in detail the information that supports the basis for the complaint, including, but not limited to, the names and addresses of the complainant and the practitioner, the date(s) of the conduct or behavior, the nature of the conduct or behavior, the individuals involved, the harm or damages sustained by the complainant, and any other relevant information. Any individual may file a complaint with the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR using the Form EOIR–44. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR shall notify the Office of the General Counsel of the Service of any disciplinary complaint that pertains, in whole or in part, to a matter involving the Service.

(2) Practitioners authorized to practice before the Service. Complaints of criminal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct, or of frivolous behavior by a practitioner who is authorized to practice before the Service, shall be filed with the Office of the General Counsel of the Service pursuant to the procedures set forth in §292.3(d) of this chapter.

(b) Preliminary inquiry. Upon receipt of a disciplinary complaint or on its own initiative, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR will initiate a preliminary inquiry. If a complaint is filed by a client or former client, the complainant thereby waives the attorney-client privilege and any other applicable privilege, to the extent necessary to conduct a preliminary inquiry and any subsequent proceedings based thereon. If the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR determines that a complaint is without merit, no further action will be taken. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR may, in its discretion, close a preliminary inquiry if the complainant fails to comply with reasonable requests for assistance, information, or documentation. The complainant and the practitioner shall be notified of any such determination in writing.

(c) Resolutions reached prior to the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR, in its discretion, may issue warning letters and admonitions, and may enter into agreements in lieu of discipline, prior to the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline.

(d) Referral of complaints of criminal conduct. If the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR receives credible information or allegations that a practitioner has engaged in criminal conduct, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR shall refer the matter to the Inspector General and, if appropriate, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In such cases, in making the decision to pursue disciplinary sanctions, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR shall coordinate in advance with the appropriate investigative and prosecutorial authorities within the Department to ensure that neither the disciplinary process nor criminal prosecutions are jeopardized.

§ 1003.105   Notice of Intent to Discipline.
top

(a) Issuance of Notice to practitioner. If, upon completion of the preliminary inquiry, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR determines that sufficient prima facie evidence exists to warrant charging a practitioner with professional misconduct as set forth in §1003.102, it will issue a Notice of Intent to Discipline to the practitioner named in the complaint. This notice will be served upon the practitioner by personal service as defined in §103.5a of 8 CFR chapter I. Such notice shall contain a statement of the charge(s), a copy of the preliminary inquiry report, the proposed disciplinary sanctions to be imposed, the procedure for filing an answer or requesting a hearing, and the mailing address and telephone number of the Board.

(b) Copy of Notice to the Service; reciprocity of disciplinary sanctions. A copy of the Notice of Intent to Discipline shall be forwarded to the Office of the General Counsel of the Service. The Office of the General Counsel of the Service may submit a written request to the Board or the adjudicating official requesting that any discipline imposed upon a practitioner which restricts his or her authority to practice before the Board or the Immigration Courts also apply to the practitioner's authority to practice before the Service. Proof of service on the practitioner of any request to broaden the scope of the proposed discipline must be filed with the adjudicating official.

(c) Answer—(1) Filing. The practitioner shall file a written answer to the Notice of Intent to Discipline with the Board within 30 days of the date of service of the Notice of Intent to Discipline unless, on motion to the Board, an extension of time to answer is granted for good cause. A motion for an extension of time to answer must be received by the Board no later than three (3) working days before the time to answer has expired. A copy of the answer and any such motion shall be served by the practitioner on the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR (or the Office of the General Counsel of the Service with respect to a Notice of Intent to Discipline issued by the Service).

(2) Contents. The answer shall contain a statement of facts which constitute the grounds of defense and shall specifically admit or deny each allegation set forth in the Notice of Intent to Discipline. Every allegation in the Notice of Intent to Discipline which is not denied in the answer shall be deemed to be admitted and may be considered as proved, and no further evidence in respect of such allegation need be adduced. The practitioner may also state affirmatively special matters of defense and may submit supporting documents, including affidavits or statements, along with the answer.

(3) Request for hearing. The practitioner shall also state in the answer whether he or she requests a hearing on the matter. If no such request is made, the opportunity for a hearing will be deemed waived.

(d) Failure to file an answer. (1) Failure to file an answer within the time period prescribed in the Notice of Intent to Discipline, except where the time to answer is extended by the Board, shall constitute an admission of the allegations in the Notice of Intent to Discipline and no further evidence with respect to such allegations need be adduced.

(2) Upon such a default by the practitioner, the Office of the General Counsel shall submit to the Board proof of personal service of the Notice of Intent to Discipline. The practitioner shall be precluded thereafter from requesting a hearing on the matter. The Board shall issue a final order adopting the recommended disciplinary sanctions in the Notice of Intent to Discipline unless to do so would foster a tendency toward inconsistent dispositions for comparable conduct, or would otherwise be unwarranted or not in the interest of justice. Any final order imposing discipline shall not become effective sooner than 15 days from the date of the order to provide the practitioner opportunity to comply with the terms of such order, including, but not limited to, withdrawing from pending immigration matters and notifying immigration clients of the imposition of any sanction. A practitioner may file a motion to set aside a final order of discipline issued pursuant to this paragraph, with service of such motion on the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR, provided:

(i) Such a motion is filed within 15 days of the date of service of the final order; and

(ii) His or her failure to file an answer was due to exceptional circumstances (such as serious illness of the practitioner or death of an immediate relative of the practitioner, but not including less compelling circumstances) beyond the control of the practitioner.

§ 1003.106   Hearing and disposition.
top

(a) Hearing—(1) Procedure. (i) The Chief Immigration Judge shall, upon the filing of an answer, appoint an Immigration Judge as an adjudicating official. At the request of the Chief Immigration Judge or in the interest of efficiency, the Director of EOIR may appoint an Administrative Law Judge as an adjudicating official. An Immigration Judge or Administrative Law Judge shall not serve as the adjudicating official in any case in which he or she is also the complainant. An Immigration Judge shall not serve as the adjudicating official in any case involving a practitioner who regularly appears before him or her.

(ii) Upon the practitioner's request for a hearing, the adjudicating official shall designate the time and place of the hearing with due regard to the location of the practitioner's practice or residence, the convenience of witnesses, and any other relevant factors. Such notice shall be served upon the practitioner by personal service as defined in §103.5a of 8 CFR chapter I. The practitioner shall be afforded adequate time to prepare his or her case in advance of the hearing. Pre-hearing conferences may be scheduled at the discretion of the adjudicating official in order to narrow issues, to obtain stipulations between the parties, to exchange information voluntarily, and otherwise to simplify and organize the proceeding. Settlement agreements reached after the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline are subject to final approval by the adjudicating official or if the practitioner has not filed an answer, subject to final approval by the Board.

(iii) The practitioner may be represented at the hearing by counsel at no expense to the government. Counsel for the practitioner shall file a Notice of Entry of Appearance on Form EOIR–28 in accordance with the procedures set forth in this Part 3. At the hearing, the practitioner shall have a reasonable opportunity to examine and object to evidence presented by the government, to present evidence on his or her own behalf, and to cross-examine witnesses presented by the government.

(iv) In rendering a decision, the adjudicating official shall consider the following: the complaint, the preliminary inquiry report, the Notice of Intent to Discipline, the answer and any supporting documents, and any other evidence presented at the hearing (or, if the practitioner files an answer but does not request a hearing, any pleading, brief, or other materials submitted by counsel for the government). Counsel for the government shall bear the burden of proving the grounds for disciplinary sanctions enumerated in the Notice of Intent to Discipline by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence.

(v) The record of the hearing, regardless of whether the hearing is held before an Immigration Judge or an Administrative Law Judge, shall conform to the requirements of 8 CFR part 3, subpart C and 8 CFR 1240.9. Disciplinary hearings shall be conducted in the same manner as Immigration Court proceedings as is appropriate, and shall be open to the public, except that:

(A) Depending upon physical facilities, the adjudicating official may place reasonable limitations upon the number of individuals in attendance at any one time, with priority being given to the press over the general public, and

(B) For the purposes of protecting witnesses, parties, or the public interest, the adjudicating official may limit attendance or hold a closed hearing.

(2) Failure to appear at the hearing. If the practitioner fails to appear at the hearing, the adjudicating official shall then proceed and decide the case in the absence of the practitioner, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, based upon the available record, including any additional evidence or arguments presented by EOIR or the Service at the hearing. In such a proceeding, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR or the Office of the General Counsel of the Service shall submit to the adjudicating official proof of personal service of the Notice of Intent to Discipline as well as the Notice of the Hearing. The practitioner shall be precluded thereafter from participating further in the proceedings. Any final order imposing discipline entered in absentia shall be a final order, but shall not become effective sooner than 15 days from the date of the order to provide the practitioner opportunity to comply with the terms of such order, including, but not limited to, withdrawing from pending immigration matters and notifying immigration clients of the imposition of any sanction. A final order of discipline issued pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to further review, except that the practitioner may file a motion to set aside the order, with service of such motion on the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR (or the Office of the General Counsel of the Service), provided:

(i) Such a motion is filed within 15 days of the date of issuance of the final order; and

(ii) His or her failure to appear at the hearing was due to exceptional circumstances (such as serious illness of the practitioner or death of an immediate relative of the practitioner, but not including less compelling circumstances) beyond the control of the practitioner.

(b) Decision. The adjudicating official shall consider the entire record, including any testimony and evidence presented at the hearing, and, as soon as practicable after the hearing, render a decision. If the adjudicating official finds that one or more of the grounds for disciplinary sanctions enumerated in the Notice of Intent to Discipline have been established by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence, he or she shall rule that the disciplinary sanctions set forth in the Notice of Intent to Discipline be adopted, modified, or otherwise amended. If the adjudicating official determines that the practitioner should be suspended, the time period for such suspension shall be specified. Any grounds for disciplinary sanctions enumerated in the Notice of Intent to Discipline that have not been established by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence shall be dismissed. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the adjudicating official's decision becomes final only upon waiver of appeal or expiration of the time for appeal to the Board, whichever comes first, nor does it take effect during the pendency of an appeal to the Board as provided in §1003.6.

(c) Appeal. Upon the issuance of a decision by the adjudicating official, either party or both parties may appeal to the Board to conduct a de novo review of the record. Parties must comply with all pertinent provisions for appeals to the Board, including provisions relating to forms and fees, as set forth in this Part 3, and must use the Form EOIR–45. The decision of the Board is a final administrative order as provided in §1003.1(d)(2), and shall be served upon the practitioner by personal service as defined in §103.5a of 8 CFR chapter I. Any final order imposing discipline shall not become effective sooner than 15 days from the date of the order to provide the practitioner opportunity to comply with the terms of such order, including, but not limited to, withdrawing from any pending immigration matters and notifying immigration clients of the imposition of any sanction. A copy of the final administrative order of the Board shall be served upon the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR and the Office of the General Counsel of the Service. If disciplinary sanctions are imposed against a practitioner (other than a private censure), the Board may require that notice of such sanctions be posted at the Board, the Immigration Courts, or the Service for the period of time during which the sanctions are in effect, or for any other period of time as determined by the Board.

(d) Referral. In addition to, or in lieu of, initiating disciplinary proceedings against a practitioner, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR may notify any appropriate Federal and/or state disciplinary or regulatory authority of any complaint filed against a practitioner. Any final administrative decision imposing sanctions against a practitioner (other than a private censure) shall be reported to any such disciplinary or regulatory authority in every jurisdiction where the disciplined practitioner is admitted or otherwise authorized to practice. In addition, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR shall transmit notice of all public discipline imposed under this rule to the National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank maintained by the American Bar Association.

§ 1003.107   Reinstatement after expulsion or suspension.
top

(a) Expiration of suspension. Upon notice to the Board, a practitioner who has been suspended will be reinstated to practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts or the Service, or before all three authorities, once the period of suspension has expired, provided that he or she meets the definition of attorney or representative as set forth in §1001.1(f) and (j), respectively, of this chapter. If a practitioner cannot meet the definition of attorney or representative, the Board shall decline to reinstate the practitioner.

(b) Petition for reinstatement. A practitioner who has been expelled or who has been suspended for one year or more may file a petition for reinstatement directly with the Board after one-half of the suspension period has expired or one year has passed, whichever is greater, provided that he or she meets the definition of attorney or representative as set forth in §1001.1(f) and (j), respectively, of this chapter. A copy of such petition shall be served on the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR. In matters in which the practitioner was ordered expelled or suspended from practice before the Service, a copy of such petition shall be served on the Office of the General Counsel of the Service.

(1) The practitioner shall have the burden of demonstrating by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that he or she possesses the moral and professional qualifications required to appear before the Board and the Immigration Courts or the Service, or before all three authorities, and that his or her reinstatement will not be detrimental to the administration of justice. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR, and in matters in which the practitioner was ordered expelled or suspended from practice before the Service, the Office of the General Counsel of the Service, may reply within 30 days of service of the petition in the form of a written response to the Board, which may include documentation of any complaints filed against the expelled or suspended practitioner subsequent to his or her expulsion or suspension.

(2) If a practitioner cannot meet the definition of attorney or representative as set forth in §1001.1(f) and (j), respectively, of this chapter, the Board shall deny the petition for reinstatement without further consideration. If the petition for reinstatement is found to be otherwise inappropriate or unwarranted, the petition shall be denied. Any subsequent petitions for reinstatement may not be filed before the end of one year from the date of the Board's previous denial of reinstatement. If the petition for reinstatement is determined to be timely, the practitioner meets the definition of attorney or representative, and the petitioner has otherwise set forth by the requisite standard of proof that he or she possesses the qualifications set forth herein, and that reinstatement will not be detrimental to the administration of justice, the Board shall grant the petition and reinstate the practitioner. The Board, in its discretion, may hold a hearing to determine if the practitioner meets all of the requirements for reinstatement.

§ 1003.108   Confidentiality.
top

(a) Complaints and preliminary inquiries. Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, information concerning complaints or preliminary inquiries is confidential. A practitioner whose conduct is the subject of a complaint or preliminary inquiry, however, may waive confidentiality, except that the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR may decline to permit a waiver of confidentiality if it is determined that an ongoing preliminary inquiry may be substantially prejudiced by public disclosure before the filing of a Notice of Intent to Discipline.

(1) Disclosure of information for the purpose of protecting the public. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR may disclose information concerning a complaint or preliminary inquiry for the protection of the public when the necessity for disclosing information outweighs the necessity for preserving confidentiality in circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

(i) A practitioner has caused, or is likely to cause, harm to client(s), the public, or the administration of justice, such that the public or specific individuals should be advised of the nature of the allegations. If disclosure of information is made pursuant to this paragraph, the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR may define the scope of information disseminated and may limit the disclosure of information to specified individuals or entities;

(ii) A practitioner has committed criminal acts or is under investigation by law enforcement authorities;

(iii) A practitioner is under investigation by a disciplinary or regulatory authority, or has committed acts or made omissions that may reasonably result in investigation by such authorities;

(iv) A practitioner is the subject of multiple disciplinary complaints and the Office of the General Counsel of EOIR has determined not to pursue all of the complaints. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR may inform complainants whose allegations have not been pursued of the status of any other preliminary inquiries or the manner in which any other complaint(s) against the practitioner have been resolved.

(2) Disclosure of information for the purpose of conducting a preliminary inquiry. The Office of the General Counsel of EOIR, in the exercise of discretion, may disclose documents and information concerning complaints and preliminary inquiries to the following individuals or entities:

(i) To witnesses or potential witnesses in conjunction with a complaint or preliminary inquiry;

(ii) To other governmental agencies responsible for the enforcement of civil or criminal laws;

(iii) To agencies and other jurisdictions responsible for disciplinary or regulatory investigations and proceedings;

(iv) To the complainant or a lawful designee;

(v) To the practitioner who is the subject of the complaint or preliminary inquiry or the practitioner's counsel of record.

(b) Resolutions reached prior to the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline. Resolutions, such as warning letters, admonitions, and agreements in lieu of discipline, reached prior to the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline, will remain confidential. However, such resolutions may become part of the public record if the practitioner becomes subject to a subsequent Notice of Intent to Discipline.

(c) Notices of Intent to Discipline and action subsequent thereto. Notices of Intent to Discipline and any action that takes place subsequent to their issuance, except for the imposition of private censures, may be disclosed to the public, except that private censures may become part of the public record if introduced as evidence of a prior record of discipline in any subsequent disciplinary proceeding. Settlement agreements reached after the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline may be disclosed to the public upon final approval by the adjudicating official or the Board. Disciplinary hearings are open to the public, except as noted in §1003.106(a)(1)(v).

§ 1003.109   Discipline of government attorneys.
top

Complaints regarding the conduct or behavior of Department attorneys, Immigration Judges, or Board Members shall be directed to the Office of Professional Responsibility, United States Department of Justice. If disciplinary action is warranted, it shall be administered pursuant to the Department's attorney discipline procedures.

Browse Previous

chanrobles.com