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Since 1980, administrative closure has been a mechanism managed by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and immigration judges to hear certain cases.

At our New Jersey immigration law firm, we encourage all of our clients to contact us to help resolve their immigration issues. 

What Is Administrative Closure In US Immigration Law 

Administrative closure is a management tool used by immigration judges and BIAs to temporarily halt removal proceedings. Likewise, when a case is considered administratively closed, the following occurs:

  • The removal process is stopped.
  • The case is removed from the active file, and 
  • The defendant will not have future hearing dates scheduled. 

Generally, removal proceedings will remain suspended until one party successfully moves to reschedule. For example, the immigrant or the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

This legal mechanism does not end the case, nor does it grant any immigration status. Additionally, the individual may continue to be in removal proceedings. 

Until a final deportation order is issued, either party may request administrative closure at any time during the processing of the case.

how to find out if i have a deportation order

Although it is possible to request this tool, what happens when immigrants do not know if they have a deportation order? We invite you to learn more about this in our publication: “How to find out if I have a deportation order in the US”.

Administrative Closure Considerations

In accordance with the law 33 CFR § 52.32, it should be noted that:

The President Can Administratively Close A Case

This may occur after the case has been recorded or at any time prior to its consideration by the board, provided the chair determines that:

  1. The application was erroneously registered because the requirements established by the law 33 CFR § 52.21 were not met .
  2. The board does not have the necessary jurisdiction to determine the issues raised, or the applicant has not used an available administrative relief under 33 CFR § 52.13.
  3. The board is unable to grant effective relief, or
  4. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has provided the applicant with satisfactory and effective relief.

Administrative Closure Does Not Lead To A Denial Of Relief

Applicants who believe their cases should not have been closed by the president may reapply. However, they must submit a statement explaining why they believe the case should be registered and considered.

The Applicant Will Receive Information On The Reason And Their Rights

If the chair administratively closes the case, the applicant will be informed of the reason for the closure and their rights to resubmit another application.

Immigrants who are at risk of being deported from the country often qualify for some immigration relief. For example, cancellation of removal or stay of deportation.

What Is The Difference Between Motion to terminate And Administrative Closure?

One of the main differences between the administrative closure and the motion to terminate the case, is that when it is administratively closed, the case remains active but is paused. In addition, it is not prioritized by the court and the individual can retake it.

However, the termination of the case means that the case is over in its entirety and the individual is no longer in removal proceedings. 

In this instance, it is good to finish the case when the immigrant can adjust status in the United States and obtain a Green Card . Otherwise, and if you only have a discretionary protection, then administrative closure is better. 

Aspects To Consider

In simpler words, with administrative closure, the case will go into a state of hibernation and will not have a clear future court date. This can occur in a variety of contexts, but is generally used so that the defendant:

  1. Proceed with a Collateral Application, or
  2. If you have a pending application, allow sufficient time for the application to be properly adjudicated.

Taking this second point for example, it is possible to administratively close the case of aliens to allow them to request:

As a result, in other cases, the court may close the case for someone to adjust their status. Although the administrative closure can be very useful in certain scenarios, this is not immigration relief.

Other Examples Of Administratively Closing The Case

Another good example that frequently occurs when administratively closing a case is when the immigrant seeks relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

In the same way, it is also usually presented for:

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If you are about to apply for naturalization, we invite you to learn the right ways to avoid mistakes when completing the N-400 naturalization application .

What Are The Benefits Of The Immigration Administrative Closure?

The biggest benefit that administrative closure offers is that it can give an immigrant more time while they wait for other pending applications in their case. For example, if you have a pending procedure with USCIS, such as the Special Juvenile Immigrant Status or some type of American visa.

Additionally, if the immigrant has applied for political asylum in the United States with the immigration court and has a work permit, this permit can be renewed indefinitely. However, the case must remain administratively closed for this.

As we have commented, this administrative closure is not an immigration relief or benefit, but it can grant certain advantages to immigrants, depending on your situation. For example, the renewal of your work permit. 

Now, what if you are undocumented and don’t have a permit? Is it possible to get a job in the United States being illegal? Find out the answer in our blog.

What Does It Mean When An Immigration Case Is Closed?

When an immigration case is closed, it means that the government is no longer trying to remove the immigrant from the United States and that the case in court is about to end.

If the immigrant applied for asylum in immigration court and their case was dismissed, their asylum case may also have ended without a final decision. However, they can still continue to seek asylum by filing a new application with USCIS.

In most immigration case denials in the US, immigrants may be able to request an appeal. Find out how to appeal an immigration case decision in our blog.

Previous Decision In The Administrative Closure

On July 15, 2021, the United States Attorney General issued a precedent decision regarding the Cruz Valdez case, Dec. 28 I&N. 326 (AG 2021). In this decision, the prosecutor restored the ability of immigration judges and BIAs to close cases administratively. 

This memorandum examines the full implications of the prosecutor’s decision regarding the pending cases of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

The Closure After The Matter of Cruz-Valdez 

Subsequent to the closure having been restored, the EORI adjudicators will have the ability, according to the jurisprudence of the board, to administratively close a wide variety of cases.

While awaiting the enactment of a regulation addressing administrative closure, adjudicators will have to evaluate requests to close cases. This is under Avetis matter and WYU matter.

What Is A Motion For Administrative Closure In Immigration Court?

Although some immigration cases are listed as “closed,” certain individuals may need to file a motion with the court to reschedule the case. This is because the judge will end the case. 

For example, when the court closes the case to allow the defendants to continue with their Form I-130, or what is the same, a request for relatives to the United States.

If the family petition is approved, the immigrant may need to restore their case so that additional immigration relief can be obtained. 

This means that at the end of the case, the immigrant will be able to adjust their status before USCIS or file Form I-485, application to register permanent residence or adjustment of status, with the court .

Other cases where such scenarios may be involved is when requesting an immigration waiver of inadmissibility in the United States. For example, Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence.

Curbelo Law Helps You In Matters Related To Administrative Closure

Although administrative closure is often useful in certain scenarios, doing any type of application or paperwork on your own is not recommended. Therefore, we recommend that before sending any immigration documents, you first contact us.

Our team of professionals at Curbelo Law have helped hundreds of aliens successfully navigate the difficult US immigration processes. Our attorney Carolina T. Curbelo is available to review your case and help you understand your situation.

We emphasize that the information presented in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Therefore, for more personalized advice on your situation, do not hesitate to contact our team. To do this, you can do it by:

  • A call.
  • Email, or
  • Scheduling an appointment with the office.

In case you schedule an appointment, our office is located in Ridgewood, New Jersey, but we handle cases related to US immigration law globally.