On November 19, 2018, USCIS began the second stage of its implementation of its new policy guidance, which was first issued on June 28, 2018, that will lead to an increase in the number of Notices to Appear (NTAs) for immigration court proceedings issued to applicants before USCIS. Per a September 27, 2018, teleconference, USCIS has indicated that it intends to implement the new policy in stages.
As previously discussed on this blog, USCIS implemented the new NTA policy for family-based cases on October 1, 2018. Under the policy, if certain petitions before USCIS are denied and the petitioner or applicant is otherwise removable, USCIS will issue an NTA. USCIS will also now issue NTAs where it suspects fraud or misrepresentation, where an applicant has been convicted of or charged with a criminal offense (or has committed acts that are chargeable as a criminal offense), in naturalization cases where applicants are deportable, ineligible to naturalize, or denied on good moral character grounds, and in cases where an applicant would be unlawfully present in the United States when the petition or application is denied.
Starting November 19, 2018, USCIS may also issue NTAs based on denials of applications for T visas and U visas, as well as for Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status based on the above-noted underlying form types.
For now, USCIS is not targeting employment-based applications or petitions, though that is coming at a later date.