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By Tatyana Delgado

The BIA recently issued two asylum-related decisions focused on access to merits hearings and evidentiary burdens within the context of asylum terminations based on fraud. 

Merits Hearings in Immigration Court

On June 12, 2014, the BIA issued Matter of E-F-H-L, 26 I&N Dec. 319 (BIA 2014).  The BIA held that, in removal proceedings, asylum or withholding or deferral of removal applicants are entitled to merits hearings without first having to show prima facie eligibility for these forms of relief. 

By Susan Schreiber

On June 27, 2014, USCIS released an interim policy memorandum addressing the legislative changes made by VAWA 2013 to U nonimmigrant status and related applications for adjustment of status.  Each of the four issues addressed by the memorandum is described below.

1. U Nonimmigrant Status and New Qualifying Crimes

By Kristina Karpinski

USCIS recently announced a change in its policy on the validity of the Medical Certification on the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693).  The Form I-693 is used to determine if an adjustment of status applicant is inadmissible under the health-based grounds of inadmissibility found at INA § 212(a)(1).  The medical exam must be performed by a USCIS authorized civil surgeon and must be in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Kelly Kidwell Hughes, Advocacy Intern