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COVID-19: EOIR sets immigration court practices during outbreak

  1. Date Announced

    March 18, 2020

    EOIR releases guidance on how the immigration courts will operate during the COVID-19 outbreak. Pursuant to that guidance, an individual is not allowed to enter court space if that person

    • has entered a country falling under a Level 3 Public Health Notice or subject to a Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory within the past 14 days
    • has been asked to self-quarantine by a local health authority or medical provider, or
    • has been diagnosed with COVID-19 - or has been in contact with someone else who has been - within the past 14 days.

    The guidance also suggests that IJs consider televideo and telephonic hearings and authorizes them to digress from the instructions of the Immigration Court Practice Manual as needed. It also discourages in-person hearings, encouraging IJs and parties to resolve cases without a hearing where possible. The guidance also reminds IJs that they may waive the presence of the respondent in represented cases and grant continuances upon a showing of good cause.

    [ID #240]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    March 18, 2020
  3. Subsequent Action

    June 11, 2020

    EOIR updates memo on June 11, 2020, superseding prior guidance. The new guidance includes a new requirement that all visitors wear masks. The memo also provides that, once non-detained hearings resume at a given court, it will no longer accept email filings and will deactivate the email address 60 days thereafter.

    PM 20-13: EOIR Practices Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak
  4. Subsequent Action

    September 11, 2020

    Through an addendum, PM 20-13 is modified to clarify the language as it applies to the Ulster Immigration Court specifically and to rescind certain language involving OCAHO email filings.

    Addendum to Policy Memorandum 20-13
  5. Subsequent Action

    EOIR updates that “[a]s previously announced, certain immigration courts have resumed non-detained hearings. Hearings in non-detained cases at courts without an announced date are postponed through, and including, October 16, 2020.”

    EOIR Operational Status

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