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USCIS issues policy guidance for Matter of L-E-A-

  1. Date Announced

    Sept. 30, 2019

    The new policy guidance explains the effect of Matter of L-E-A-, which declined to recognize nuclear families as a particular social group. The policy instructs that asylum officers "should no longer recognize family-based particular social groups based only on the general significance of family relationships in the society in question, or the sole fact that a particular family has been the target of private criminal activity." Instead, officers “must be careful to focus on the particular social group as it is defined by the applicant and ask whether that group is distinct in the society in question." To qualify as a particular social group, a specific family must be distinct from society in a "significant" way. [ID #108]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Sept. 30, 2019
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS ICE EOIR

Prior Policies

  • Previous USCIS guidance, no longer valid in light of the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of L-E-A-, instructed officers to recognize particular social groups based on familial relationships so long as the pertinent society perceived the degree of relationship among the family members as so significant that the society distinguished groups based on that type of relationship.

    USCIS RAIO Combined Training Course Lesson Plan: Nexus – Particular Social Group

  1. Associated or Derivative Policies

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