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e-CFR data is current as of April 13, 2021

Title 8Chapter VSubchapter APart 1003 → Subpart C


Title 8: Aliens and Nationality
PART 1003—EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW


Subpart C—Immigration Court—Rules of Procedure


Contents
§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 of persecution, reasonable possibility of persecution, and reasonable possibility of torture determinations.
§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.

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§1003.12   Scope of rules.

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]

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§1003.13   Definitions.

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]

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§1003.14   Jurisdiction and commencement of proceedings.

(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]

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

(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]

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§1003.16   Representation.

(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]

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§1003.17   Appearances.

(a) In any proceeding before an Immigration Judge in which the alien is represented, the attorney or representative shall file a Notice of Entry of Appearance on Form EOIR-28 with the Immigration Court, and shall serve a copy of the Notice of Entry of Appearance on the DHS as required by 8 CFR 1003.32(a). The entry of appearance of an attorney or representative in a custody or bond proceeding shall be separate and apart from an entry of appearance in any other proceeding before the Immigration Court. An attorney or representative may file an EOIR-28 indicating whether the entry of appearance is for custody or bond proceedings only, any other proceedings only, or for all proceedings. Such Notice of Entry of Appearance must be filed and served even if a separate Notice of Entry of Appearance(s) has previously been filed with the DHS for appearance(s) before the DHS.

(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; 80 FR 59502, Oct. 1, 2015]

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§1003.18   Scheduling of cases.

(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]

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§1003.19   Custody/bond.

(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 appeal by the government—(1) General discretionary 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 Department of Homeland Security appeals the custody decision or on its own motion. DHS is entitled to seek a discretionary stay (whether or not on an emergency basis) from the Board in connection with such an appeal at any time.

(2) Automatic stay in certain cases. In any case in which DHS 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 DHS's filing of a notice of intent to appeal the custody redetermination (Form EOIR-43) with the immigration court within one business day of the order, and, except as otherwise provided in 8 CFR 1003.6(c), shall remain in abeyance pending decision of the appeal by the Board. The decision whether or not to file Form EOIR-43 is subject to the discretion of the Secretary.

[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; 71 FR 57884, Oct. 2, 2006]

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§1003.20   Change of venue.

(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]

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§1003.21   Pre-hearing conferences and statement.

(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]

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§1003.22   Interpreters.

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]

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§1003.23   Reopening or reconsideration before the Immigration Court.

(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. Unless jurisdiction is vested with the Board of Immigration Appeals, an immigration judge may at any time reopen a case in which he or she has rendered a decision on his or her own motion solely in order to correct a ministerial mistake or typographical error in that decision or to reissue the decision to correct a defect in service. Unless jurisdiction is vested with the Board of Immigration Appeals, in all other cases, an immigration judge may only reopen or reconsider any case in which he or she has rendered a decision solely pursuant to a motion filed by one or both parties. Subject to the exceptions in this paragraph (b)(1) 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 (b)(1) 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.

(v) Exceptions to time and numerical limitations. The time and numerical limitations set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall not apply to a motion to reopen proceedings filed when each of the following circumstances is present, provided that a respondent may file only one motion to reopen pursuant to this paragraph (b)(4):

(A) A material change in fact or law underlying a removability ground or grounds specified in section 212 or 237 of the Act occurred after the entry of an administratively final order that vitiates all grounds of removability applicable to the alien; and

(B) The movant exercised diligence in pursuing the motion to reopen.

(vi) Asserted United States citizenship or nationality. The time limitations set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall not apply to a motion to reopen proceedings filed based on specific allegations, supported by evidence, that the respondent is a United States citizen or national.

[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; 85 FR 81655, Dec. 16, 2020]

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

(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 and 8 CFR part 106, 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 and 8 CFR part 106. The fee receipt must accompany the application when it is filed with the immigration court except as provided by 8 CFR 1208.4(d)(3).

(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, as amended at 85 FR 81750, Dec. 16, 2020; 85 FR 82793, Dec. 18, 2020]

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§1003.25   Form of the proceeding.

(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]

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§1003.26   In absentia hearings.

(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]

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§1003.27   Public access to hearings.

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]

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§1003.28   Recording equipment.

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]

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§1003.29   Continuances.

The immigration judge may grant a motion for continuance for good cause shown, provided that nothing in this section shall authorize a continuance that causes the adjudication of an asylum application to exceed 180 days in the absence of exceptional circumstances, consistent with section 208(d)(5)(A)(iii) of the Act and §1003.10(b).

[85 FR 81750, Dec. 16, 2020]

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§1003.30   Additional charges in deportation or removal hearings.

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]

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§1003.31   Filing documents and applications.

(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) and 1208.4(d)(3), all documents or applications requiring the payment of a fee must be accompanied by a fee receipt from the Department of Homeland Security, an alternate proof of payment consistent with §1208.4(d)(3), or by an application for a waiver of fees pursuant to §1003.24. Except as provided in §1003.8(a) and (c), any fee relating to Immigration Judge proceedings shall be paid to, and accepted by, any Department of Homeland Security office authorized to accept fees for other purposes pursuant to §1103.7(a) of this chapter.

(c) Subject to §1208.4(d) of this chapter, the immigration judge may set and extend time limits for the filing of applications and related documents and responses thereto, if any, provided that nothing in this section shall authorize setting or extending time limits for the filing of documents after an asylum application has been filed that would cause the adjudication of an asylum application to exceed 180 days in the absence of exceptional circumstances, consistent with section 208(d)(5)(A)(iii) of the Act and §1003.10(b). 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; 85 FR 81750, Dec. 16, 2020]

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§1003.32   Service and size of documents.

(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 812 × 11 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]

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§1003.33   Translation of documents.

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]

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§1003.34   Testimony.

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]

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§1003.35   Depositions and subpoenas.

(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]

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§1003.36   Record of proceeding.

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]

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§1003.37   Decisions.

(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]

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§1003.38   Appeals.

(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]

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§1003.39   Finality of decision.

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]

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§1003.40   Local operating procedures.

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]

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§1003.41   Evidence of criminal conviction.

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]

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§1003.42   Review of credible fear of persecution, reasonable possibility of persecution, and reasonable possibility of torture determinations.

Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 84196, Dec. 23, 2020.

This amendment was delayed until Mar. 22, 2021, at 86 FR 6847, Jan. 25, 2021.

This amendment was further delayed until Dec. 31, 2021, at 86 FR 15076, Mar. 22, 2021.

(a) Referral. Jurisdiction for an immigration judge to review a negative fear determination by an asylum officer pursuant to section 235(b)(1)(B) of the Act shall commence with the filing by DHS of the Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge. DHS 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 a negative fear determination. This record shall not be merged with any later proceeding 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. (1) 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, whether the alien is subject to any mandatory bars to applying for asylum or being eligible for asylum under section 208(a)(2)(B)-(D) and (b)(2) of the Act, including any bars established by regulation under section 208(b)(2)(C) of the Act, and such other facts as are known to the immigration judge, that the alien could establish his or her ability to apply for or be granted asylum under section 208 of the Act. The immigration judge shall make a de novo determination as to whether there is a reasonable possibility, taking into account the credibility of the statements made by the alien in support of the alien's claim, whether the alien is subject to any mandatory bars to eligibility for withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3)(B) of the Act, and such other facts as are known to the immigration judge, that the alien would be persecuted on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion in the country of removal, consistent with the criteria in 8 CFR 1208.16(b). The immigration judge shall also make a de novo determination as to whether there is a reasonable 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 would be tortured in the country of removal, consistent with the criteria in 8 CFR 1208.16(c), 8 CFR 1208.17, and 8 CFR 1208.18.

(2) If the alien is determined to be an alien described in 8 CFR208.13(c)(3) or 8 CFR 1208.13(c)(3) and is determined to lack a reasonable possibility of persecution or torture under 8 CFR 208.30(e)(5)(ii), the Immigration Judge shall first review de novo the determination that the alien is described in 8 CFR 208.13(c)(3) or 8 CFR 1208.13(c)(3) prior to any further review of the asylum officer's negative fear determination.

(3) If the alien is determined to be an alien described in 8 CFR 208.13(c)(4) or 8 CFR 1208.13(c)(4) and is determined to lack a reasonable possibility of persecution or torture under 8 CFR 208.30(e)(5)(iii), the immigration judge shall first review de novo the determination that the alien is described in 8 CFR 208.13(c)(4) or 8 CFR 1208.13(c)(4) prior to any further review of the asylum officer's negative fear determination.

(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 the Record of Negative Credible Fear Finding and Request for Review.

(f) Decision. (1) The decision of the immigration judge shall be rendered in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 1208.30(g)(2). In reviewing the negative fear determination by DHS, the immigration judge shall apply relevant precedent issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Attorney General, the Federal circuit court of appeals having jurisdiction over the immigration court where the Request for Review is filed, and the Supreme Court.

(2) No appeal shall lie from a review of a negative fear determination made by an Immigration Judge, but the Attorney General, in the Attorney General's sole and unreviewable discretion, may direct that the Immigration Judge refer a case for the Attorney General's review following the Immigration Judge's review of a negative fear determination.

(3) In any case the Attorney General decides, the Attorney General's decision shall be stated in writing and shall be transmitted to the Board for transmittal and service as provided in 8 CFR 1003.1(f). Such decision by the Attorney General may be designated as precedent as provided in 8 CFR 1003.1(g).

(g) Custody. An immigration judge shall have no authority to review an alien's custody status in the course of a review of a negative fear determination made by DHS.

(h) Asylum cooperative 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 the 2002 U.S.-Canada Agreement formed under section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act and should be returned to Canada to pursue his or her claims for asylum or other protection under the laws of Canada. 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 that Agreement, an immigration judge does have jurisdiction to review a negative 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 the 2002 U.S.-Canada Agreement.

(3) Applicants for admission. An immigration judge has no jurisdiction to review a determination by an asylum officer that an alien is not eligible to apply for asylum pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement with a third country under section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act and should be removed to the 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)(7). However, if the asylum officer has determined that the alien may not or should not be removed to a third country under section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act and subsequently makes a negative fear determination, an immigration judge has jurisdiction to review the negative fear finding as provided in this section.

(4) Aliens in transit through the United States from countries other than Canada. An immigration judge has no jurisdiction to review any determination by DHS that an alien being removed from a receiving country in transit through the United States should be returned to pursue asylum claims under the receiving country's law, under the terms of the applicable cooperative agreement. See 8 CFR 208.30(e)(7).

(i) Severability. The provisions of part 1003 are separate and severable from one another. In the event that any provision in part 1003 is stayed, enjoined, not implemented, or otherwise held invalid, the remaining provisions shall nevertheless be implemented as an independent rule and continue in effect.

[62 FR 10335, Mar. 6, 1997, as amended at 64 FR 8487, Feb. 19, 1999; 69 FR 69496, Nov. 29, 2004; 83 FR 55952, Nov. 9, 2018; 84 FR 33844, July 16, 2019; 84 FR 64009, Nov. 19, 2019; 85 FR 80393, Dec. 11, 2020]

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§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.

(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]

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§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.

(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]

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§1003.46   Protective orders, sealed submissions in Immigration Courts.

(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]

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

(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]

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