Refugees currently undergo the most rigorous security screening process of anyone who comes to the United States.
AILA Doc No. 07092410 | Dated September 19, 1997
Section 245(i) is currently scheduled to sunset on September 30, 1997. Although Congress is considering this provision in the FY98 Commerce Justice State Appropriations Bill, you must be prepared to accept all applications which have been delivered to your offices up until midnight to September 30th. Please prepare for last minute filings under section 245(i) by taking the following measures:
1) You will need to either extend your normal business hours, or make other provisions to accept applications, in order to accommodate last minute 245(i) filings through midnight, September 30th. One option is to utilize an authorized drop box for applications. If you do so, you must ensure that the appropriate number of authorized INS personnel are present until you close the door at midnight. Service Centers, while exempt from the above requirements, must ensure that they document all mail received up through the evening of September 30th as having been received prior to October 1st.
2) You must post a notice in your lobby, or outside of your building, and notify your local voluntary agencies, congressional offices, media, and all other interested parties as to the provisions you have made to service last minute applications.
3) You may not pre-screen, or turn away any applicant who believes that he/she has a claim of eligibility under section 245(i), as long as you receive his/her application in your office before the midnight deadline.
4) For all 245(i) applications received prior to midnight of September 30th, you must record the date of receipt as the filing date, not the date that you fee-in the application. However, you must not consider the date of receipt as the legal filing date until you determine that the application meets all of the requirements for proper filing. (See 8 CFR Section 103.2(a)(7)(i) and (ii).) Therefore, we strongly recommend that every office segregate and date stamp all applications, or the envelopes containing mailed in applications, which you receive prior to October 1st. If you anticipate an overwhelming number of last minute applications, you may want to utilize a metered date stamp in your process.
5) When you begin to process the 245(i) applications you receive prior to October 1st, do not process them out of order, but follow your normal procedures. Once you begin to fee-in and review these applications, you may find many which were filed improperly, or whose applicants are ineligible under 245(i). Treat these applications as you would any others which do not meet the criteria for filing. However, these applicants will not be able to reapply at a later date. Also, after September 30th, any applicant who has filed previously under 245(a) will no longer be able to amend his/her application in order to file under 245(i).
6) If you determine that an application for 245(i) benefits has been properly filed, but requires further evidence, do not reject the application for further evidence. Rather, as provided in 8 CFR Section 103.2(b)(8) and (10), hold the application and request that the applicant provide the further evidence.
7) If you receive any 245(i) applications after midnight of September 30th which you consider properly filed except for the fact that the sunset date has passed, do not fee them in, but date stamp and hold them pending further instructions.
You will receive further information with regard to Section 245(i). We are attaching a "Sample Template" which you may use to inform outside organizations about the provisions you have made to serve last minute applicants (see Attachment 1). Also, we are attaching "245(i) Adjustment of Status and Grounds of Inadmissibility, Questions and Answers" (see Attachment 2). Attachment 2 is for internal use only to assist you in responding to queries on this issue. Do not distribute it out of your office. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact either Ray Sleeper 202/514-8620 or Janis Wood 202/514-8347.
Mark K. Reed
Acting Executive Associate Commissioner
[Editors Note: The Attachments will be posted at a later date.]
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 07092410.