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EOIR final rule leaves AWOs intact but allows three Board Member review of complex cases

  1. Date Announced

    July 2, 2019

    EOIR's final rule on BIA case management did not change existing requirements for affirmances without opinion (AWOs), choosing to retain the language that makes AWOs mandatory and not discretionary. The rule also does not change the requirement that a precedent decision must be approved by the en banc Board.

    However, the rule does modify the regulations to authorize cases being reassigned to a three Board Member panel when they involve "a complex, novel, unusual, or recurring issue of law or fact." The rule also "clarifies that the BIA is presumed to have considered all of the parties’ relevant issues and claims of error on appeal regardless of the type of the BIA’s decision, and that the parties are obligated to raise issues and exhaust claims of error before the BIA."

    Finally, the rule reassigns the BIA's authority to publish precedent decisions on Recognition and Accreditation (R&A) issues to the Director, tracking the reassignment of R&A review authority to the Director pursuant to 81 Fed. Reg. 92346 (Dec. 19, 2017).

    [ID #204]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Sept. 3, 2019

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