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Practice Alert: Updates to the BIA Practice Manual, Briefing Extensions Now Disfavored

Updates to the BIA Practice Manual, Briefing Extensions Now Disfavored (AILA update provided on December 3, 2019, last updated on December 11, 2019)

Throughout 2019, EOIR has made numerous changes to its Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Practice Manual. The BIA Practice Manual was last updated on September 23, 2019. For a list of the specific provisions that have been amended, view the BIA Practice Manual “Table of Changes” starting on pg. 219.

Please see the following notable update from June 7, 2019:

  • Prior to June 7, 2019, the BIA Practice Manual contained language stating, “It is the Board’s policy to grant one briefing extension per case, if requested in a timely fashion.” On June 7, 2019, EOIR removed this language. The updated language in the policy manual now states that “extension requests are not favored.” Additionally, EOIR added language establishing that the BIA does not grant second briefing extensions requests and they “are only granted in rare circumstances.” (See BIA Practice Manual page 65; Chapters 4.7(c)(i)(A) and (c)(i)(B)).

AILA members should also be aware that EOIR issued PM 20-01, Case Processing at the Board of Immigration Appeals, on October 1, 2019. This memo significantly impacts the workings of the BIA. Among the many changes, this memo states that “extension requests [of briefing schedules] are not favored” and “they should not be granted as a matter of course…” (See pg. 4).

"In the interest of fairness and the efficient use of administrative resources, extension requests [of briefing schedules] are not favored." Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual, § 4.7(c)(i). Because extension requests are not favored, they should not be granted as a matter of course, and there is no automatic entitlement to an extension of the briefing schedule by either party. Extension requests filed the same day as a brief is due are particularly disfavored and should be granted only in the most compelling of circumstances.


Updates to the BIA Practice Manual (AILA update provided on October 19, 2018)

On October 17, 2018, DOJ sent the following email to stakeholders:

EOIR has updated the Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual to amend the provisions concerning (1) the maximum number of pages for the body of briefs or motions and (2) the granting of briefing extensions for appeals from non-detained cases. These changes affected pages 40 and 65. These updates did not otherwise affect the pagination of the Practice Manual.

For a list of the specific provisions that have been amended, you may also reference the Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual online here and view the “Table of Changes.”

AILA’s EOIR Liaison Committee identified the following changes that practitioners should be aware of:

  • Parties must limit the body of their briefs or motions to 25 pages. Parties may make a motion with the BIA to increase the page limit. (BIA Practice Manual page 40; Chapter 3.3(c)(iii)).
  • Briefing extensions are generally limited to one request per case of 21 days. Briefing extension requests must be received by the BIA by the brief’s original due date or they will not be granted. Until the request is granted by the BIA, the original deadline remains in effect. (BIA Practice Manual page 65; Chapter 4.7(c)).
  • All parties have an ethical obligation to avoid delay. The BIA’s deadlines are designed to provide ample opportunity for filing, and a conscientious party should be able to meet these deadlines. (BIA Practice Manual page 65; Chapter 4.7(c)).

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18101971.