Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

Last Updated

July 27, 2020

Topics

  • Primary Source: Full information about EOIR’s response to COVID-19 can be found on its dedicated webpage.
  • Non-Detained Cases: Unless otherwise noted, all non-detained cases scheduled between March 18 and August 7, inclusive, are postponed. Some courts, including Honolulu, Boston, Buffalo, Dallas, Hartford, Las Vegas, Memphis, and New Orleans, have set their own schedules for reopening. Practitioners should check the websites of the courts for updates. On June 11, 2020, EOIR issued a memorandum describing EOIR practices as courts reopen. The memorandum notes that different EOIR facilities may have different rules for entering the facility, but in general, face coverings and social distancing will be required. Visitors who have had COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or been in contact with someone who has may not enter a facility for two weeks afterward.
  • Recognition and Accreditation: The Department of Justice has announced temporary flexibility for Recognition and Accreditation applications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadlines for the following filings that fall between March 1, 2020, and May 15, 2020, have been automatically extended to 90 calendar days from the original due date:
    • Renewal of Recognition
    • Renewal of Accreditation
    • Request for Reconsideration of an Initial Application
    • Response to a Notice of Intent to Disapprove
    • Response to a Notice of Intent to Terminate
    • Request for an Extension of Time to Submit Recommendation (this extension of time applies to USCIS’s recommendation deadline)
    Organizations filing R&A applications may file them electronically by email to R-A-Info@usdoj.gov. DOJ will accept digital and electronic signatures on all applications regardless of method of submission, as well as electronically reproduced digital, electronic, or wet signatures. The announcement defines digital and electronic signatures and lists requirements; please review the requirements to ensure compliance. Applicants must keep original copies of all documents submitted by email and be prepared to produce them for EOIR upon request.
  • Signatures: An April 3, 2020, EOIR policy memo notes that as of March 31, 2020, EOIR has begun accepting digital and electronic signatures on all documents filed with immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA. EOIR will also accept electronically- reproduced copies of documents containing digital, electronic or “wet” signatures. A memorandum issued June 11, 2020, regarding the reopening of immigration courts indicates that acceptance of digital and electronic signatures will continue unaltered.
  • Filing by Email: On April 7, 2020, EOIR, issued guidelines on email submission of briefs, motions, and other court documents for immigration courts and for the BIA. A memorandum issued June 11, 2020, indicates that courts will stop accepting electronic filing and deactivate the email addresses 60 days after that court has resumed hearing non-detained cases.
  • Telephonic Appearances: Various immigration courts have issued Standing Orders addressing telephonic appearances and motions for continuances. Check Appendix R-1 of the EOIR Immigration Court Practice Manual to review local court Standing Orders.
  • Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP): EOIR and DHS have eextended the temporarily postponed Migrant the Protection Protocols, or MPP. rescheduledHearings are postponed and will be rescheduled when the program reopens. Starting May 10, 2020, in-person document service was suspended EOIR has not set a date when MPP will be resumed, however when the following three criteria are met, theyEOIR will provide 15 days’ notice of resumption of hearings
    • When California, Arizona, and Texas progress to Stage 3 of their reopening plans.
    • When DOS and CDC lower their global health advisories to Level 2, and/or a comparable change in health advisories, regarding Mexico in particular.
    • When the government of Mexico’s “stoplight” system categorizes all Mexican border states (i.e., Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California) as “yellow.”
  • Practitioners can check case status by calling the Automated Case Information Hotline at 1-800-898-7180 or visiting the EOIR Automated Case Information portal.

CLINIC Affiliates: If you are a CLINIC Affiliate and need assistance resolving issues in a case, please contact our Training and Legal Support team by submitting a question to Ask the Experts at cliniclegal.org/find-legal-help/ask-experts. If you have exhausted your case resolution options for a pending case you can also contact our Advocacy team at advocacy@cliniclegal.org. You can also contact advocacy if you are encountering issues in your practice that are not addressed by measures taken by federal agencies.