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Homeland Security

Ombudsman Recommendations to Improve the Quality and Consistency in Notices to Appear (NTAs)

Impact on the Public

Stakeholders report that the process of requesting NTA issuance is sometimes unclear and inconsistent across field offices, often resulting in denial of a request for an individual to be placed in removal proceedings. Legal sufficiency review and training would promote among USCIS officers a better understanding of the relationship between charges and allegations; the evidence required to substantiate specific charges; case analysis in light of the Department’s stated enforcement priorities; and how to evaluate whether an individual who appears to be removable or who has already been ordered removed may also be eligible for affirmative relief before USCIS.


  1. Provide additional guidance for NTA issuance with input from ICE and EOIR;
  2. Require USCIS attorneys to review NTAs prior to their issuance and provide comprehensive legal training; and,
  3. Create a working group with representation from ICE and EOIR to improve tracking, information-sharing, and coordination of NTA issuance.


  • USCIS Response issued on September 30, 2014 (PDF 4 pgs.)


Last Update Date: 
Fri, 04/17/2015
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