If you are already in the immigration proceedings and believe that you may be eligible to apply for V nonimmigrant status, you should request before the immigration judge or the Board that the proceedings be administratively closed. If you have a motion pending before the Board, you should request that the motion be indefinitely continued in order to allow you to pursue an application for V nonimmigrant status.
If you appear eligible for V nonimmigrant status, the immigration judge or the Board, whichever has jurisdiction, shall administratively close the proceeding or continue the motion indefinitely. If USCIS finds you eligible for the V classification, they will adjudicate the application for change of status. If you are found ineligible for V status, USCIS will recommence proceedings by filing a motion to re-calendar.
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Removal, Deportation, and Exclusion
The LIFE Act Amendments do not contain any special provisions for reopening proceedings where an alien is already the subject of a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion because that alien is now eligible for V nonimmigrant status. Therefore, motions to reopen will be governed by the current rules regarding motions to reopen, either before the Immigration Judge or before the Board of Immigration Appeals, which contain time and numerical limitations on the filing of such motions.
The rules, however, do provide for limited exceptions to these time and numerical limitations, among which is a motion to reopen filed jointly by the alien and the Service counsel in the case. Such aliens should contact the Service counsel to request the filing of a joint motion to reopen. USCIS will exercise its discretion in considering such a request. Their discretion to join in motions to reopen, however, cannot provide or restore eligibility for discretionary relief that is otherwise barred by the statute (such as in the case of aliens whose orders were entered in absentia for failure to appear, or aliens who failed to voluntarily depart the U.S. within the time period specified).
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