Comprehensive List of Articles on Attorney General and BIA Precedent Decisions

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

Attorney General and Board of Immigration Appeals administrative precedent decisions play an important role in our system of immigration laws. The first precedent decision, Matter of L, 1 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1940), was published on August 29, 1940. Nearly 77 years of precedent decisions are now collected in 27 volumes. Although most precedent decisions are issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals, a number of precedent decisions are issued by the U.S. Attorney General and by the Administrative Appeals Office. Previously, many were by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District Directors and Regional Commissioners.

Here at, we have a growing collection of dedicated articles on published decisions, including every decision going back to the middle of 2015. In this post, we will keep a running list of all of our dedicated articles on precedent decisions. The decisions are organized by topic with short descriptions and links to the associated articles.

Please note that our dedicated articles on specific decisions are not the only places we discuss precedent decisions. We discuss many precedent decisions in brief in our articles on general immigration issues.

Please also see our full article on the current list of Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) adopted decisions [see article]. These decisions are only binding on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On occasion, an adopted decision of the AAO is subsequently published as a precedent decision.

We have several detailed overviews of BIA decisions issued in calendar years 2016 [part 1 and part 2] and 2017 [part 1 and part 2].

Adam Walsh Act for Family-Based Petitioners

Matter of Calcano de Millan, 26 I&N Dec. 904 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Definition of “conviction” in Adam Walsh Act context

Matter of Izaguirre, 27 I&N Dec. 67 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Conviction for soliciting undercover police officer may qualify notwithstanding no minor victim

Matter of Jackson and Erandio, 26 I&N Dec. 314 (BIA 2014) [see section of article]
Adam Walsh Act is not impermissibily retroactive

Matter of Introcaso, 26 I&N Dec. 304 (BIA 2014) [see section of article]
Petitioner bears burden of establishing conviction was not a “specified offense against a minor”; BIA applies the “circumstance-specific” approach to assessing a conviction

Matter of Aceijas-Quiroz, 26 I&N Dec. 294 (BIA 2014) [see section of article]
BIA has no jurisdiction to review “no risk” determination by USCIS

Adjustment of Status Eligibility

Matter of Arai, 13 I&N Dec. 494 (BIA 1970) [see article]
Where there are adverse factors weighing against approving an application for adjustment of status, an applicant may need to offset those adverse factors through showing “unusual or even outstanding equities.” However, in cases where there are no adverse factors present, adjustment of status will ordinarily be granted. In all cases, the decision to grant or deny adjustment of status is in the exercise of discretion. Matter of Arai modified Matter of Ortiz-Prieto, 11 I&N Dec. 317 (A.G. 1965), which is also discussed extensively in the above article.

Administrative Closure/Recalendaring

Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
The Attorney General published a second decision affirming that immigration judges have no inherent administrative closure authority, consistent with his decision in Matter of Castro-Tum (see below). The decision included additional clarifications and guidance for immigration judges in accordance with Matter of Castro-Tum.

Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) [(1) index article; (2) factual and procedural history; (3) no existing administrative closure authority; and (4) conclusions and new policy]
The Attorney General concluded that immigration judges and the BIA lack administrative closure authority. Subsequently, he declined to afford them administrative closure authority. In so doing, the Attorney General overruled all decisions and policies inconsistent with his decision, including the BIA precedent decisions in Matter of W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017) and Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012).

Matter of E-F-H-L-, 27 I&N Dec. 226 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Attorney General vacated Matter of E-F-H-L-, 26 I&N Dec. 319 (BIA 2014) because BIA remanded for purpose of respondent receiving a full evidentiary hearing for applications for asylum/withholding, but respondent withdrew application with prejudice to seek status on the basis of Form I-130; Attorney General also directed immigration court to recalendar case after case had been administratively closed on joint motion of the parties to allow respondent to pursue the Form I-130 petition

Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 187 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Note: Referral ultimately decided in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) (see above)

Matter of W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Note: Overruled in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) (see above)

Matter of Roussis, 18 I&N Dec. 256 (BIA 1982) [see article]
The Board held that immigration judges lack authority to remand to District Director in order to allow a respondent to apply for adjustment of status over agency objection. The Attorney General found the Board's reasoning persuasive in both Matter of Castro-Tum and Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B- (see above).

Admissibility of Evidence

Matter of D-R-, 25 I&N Dec. 445 (BIA 2010) [(1) see article and (2) see article]
(1) Facts and procedural history for Matter of D-R-; and (2) Board's analysis of admissibility of expert testimony and other issues including determining if an interpreter was incompetent (see “Inadmissibility” section for other issues addressed in Matter of D-R-)

Aggravated Felonies

Matter of Ding, 27 I&N Dec. 295 (BIA 2018) [see article]
INA 101(a)(43)(K)(i) — The term “prostitution” in section 101(a)(43)(K)(i) is not limited to offenses involving sexual intercourse, but rather is defined “as engaging in, or agreeing or offering to engage in, sexual conduct for anything of value”

Matter of Cervantes Nunez, 27 I&N Dec. 238 (BIA 2018) [see article]
INA 101(a)(43)(F) — Conviction for attempted voluntary manslaughter in California in violation of sections 192(a) and 664 of the California Penal Code is categorically an aggravated felony crime of violence even though the completed offense of voluntary manslaughter is not; Board reasoned that attempted voluntary manslaughter necessarily required that the defendant act with the specific intent to cause the death of another person whereas the completed offense allowed for a conviction with a less culpable mental state

Matter of Rosa, 27 I&N Dec. 228 (BIA 2018) [see article]
INA 101(a)(43)(B) — In determining whether a state drug offense is punishable under the Controlled Substances Act, and accordingly whether it is an aggravated felony drug trafficking crime, adjudicators are not limited to looking at the provision of the Controlled Substance Act that is most similar to the statute of conviction; conviction under section 2C:35-7 of the New Jersey Statutes for possession with intent to distribute cocaine within 1,000 feet of school property is for an aggravated felony drug trafficking crime

Matter of Jasso Arangure, 27 I&N Dec. 178 (BIA 2017) [(1) see article and (2) see article]
INA 101(a)(43)(G) — (1) The DHS is not precluded by res judicata from initiating removal proceedings against alien based on 101(a)(43)(G) charge that is based on same conviction upon which DHS had brought charges based on 101(a)(43)(F) in a prior proceeding; and (2) Analysis of section 101(a)(43)(G) as applied to a violation of Michigan Compiled Laws section 750.110a(2) (aggravated felony burglary)

Matter of Delgado, 27 I&N Dec. 100 (BIA 2017) [see article]
101(a)(43)(G) — Theft statute with asportation of property element that may reach aiders and abettors is a categorical aggravated felony (see also Matter of Ibarra. 26 I&N Dec. 809 (BIA 2016) for discussion of same state statute)

Matter of Deang, 27 I&N Dec. 57 (BIA 2017) [see article]
101(a)(43)(G) — Mens rea and receipt of stolen property offense

Matter of Alday-Dominguez, 27 I&N Dec. 48 (BIA 2017) [see article]
101(a)(43)(G) — Receipt of stolen property does not require that property was obtained through common law theft or larceny

Matter of Chairez, 27 I&N Dec. 21 (BIA 2017) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — Rules for “peeking” at record of conviction (see also Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819))

Matter of Kim, 26 I&N Dec. 912 (BIA 2017) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — California mayhem convictim categorical crime of violence

Matter of Alvarado, 26 I&N Dec. 895 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(S) — Definition of “purjury” in aggravated felony context

Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — Adjudicative approach for evaluating whether conviction is crime of violence (see also Matter of Chairez, 27 I&N Dec. 21 (BIA 2017))

Matter of Ibarra, 26 I&N Dec. 809 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(G) — Aggravated felony theft includes extortionate takings (see also Matter of Delgado, 27 I&N Dec. 100 (BIA 2017) for discussion of same state statute)

Matter of Guzman-Polanco, 26 I&N Dec. 806 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — Clarifying Matter of Guzman-Polanco, 26 I&N Dec. 713 (BIA 2016)

Matter of Chairez & Sama, 26 I&N Dec. 796 (A.G. 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — Attorney General lifted stay from Matter of Chairez & Sama, 26 I&N Dec. 686 (A.G. 2015), leading to Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 2016)

Matter of Garza-Oliveres, 26 I&N Dec. 736 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(T) — Approach to considering whether offense is aggravated felony failure to appear under court order to answer to charge of certain felonies

Matter of Adeniye, 26 I&N Dec. 726 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(Q) — Actual sentence imposed not relevant to whether conviction is aggravated felony failure to appear for sentencing

Matter of Guzman-Polanco, 26 I&N Dec. 713 (BIA 2016) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — “Use of force” requirement for conviction to be aggravated felony crime of violence

Matter of Calvillo-Garcia, 26 I&N Dec. 697 (BIA 2015) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — When “term of confinement” in substance abuse facility is “term of confinement” under INA 101(a)(48)(B)

Matter of Chairez & Sama, 26 I&N Dec. 686 (A.G. 2015) [see article]
101(a)(43)(F) — Attorney General stayed two decisions; please see Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 2016) for ultimate resolution of the issue

Matter of Esquivel-Quintana, 26 I&N Dec. 469 (BIA 2015) [see article]*
Note: Central holding no longer good law; see Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, 581 U.S. ___ (2017) [see article]

Asylee Adjustment

Matter of N-A-I-, 27 I&N Dec. 72 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Adjustment of status terminates asylee status (see also Matter of C-J-H-, 26 I&N Dec. 284 (BIA 2014))

Matter of L-T-P-, 26 I&N Dec. 862 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Individual must be “asylee” or “refugee” to adjust status under section 209; parolee from Mariel Boatlift was ineligible

Matter of C-J-H-, 26 I&N Dec. 284 (BIA 2014) [see article]
INA 209(b) does not permit readjustment of status (clarified by Matter of N-A-I-, 27 I&N Dec. 72 (BIA 2017))

Asylum Eligibility

Matter of L-M-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 265 (BIA 2018) [see article]
An alien who is in withholding of removal proceedings and subject to a reinstated removal order under section 241(a)(5) of the INA is not eligible for asylum (see also L-M-P-'s conclusion that the DHS may file motions to reconsider in immigration court in “Motions to Reconsider”)

Cancellation of Removal

Matter of Castillo-Perez, 27 I&N Dec. 495 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
The Acting Attorney General referred case to review what the appropriate legal standard is for evaluating whether an applicant for cancellation of removal lacks good moral character, what effect multiple DUI convictions should have on a cancellation applicant’s ability to establish good moral character, and what impact multiple DUI convictions should have on determining whether an applicant for cancellation should be granted relief in the exercise of discretion

Matter of Castillo Angulo, 27 I&N Dec. 194 (BIA 2018) [see article]
Outside of the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, an alien who is “waved through” a port of entry has not been “admitted in any status” for purpose of section 240A(a)(2) of the INA by virtue of the “wave through” entry; please see our article on the concurring/dissenting opinion [see article]

Matter of Garcia-Ramierez, 26 I&N Dec. 674 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Notification required in order for voluntary departure to break continuous physical presence (see also Matter of Castrejon -Colino, 26 I&N Dec. 667 (BIA 2015))

Matter of Castro-Lopez, 26 I&N Dec. 693 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Counting “continuous physical presence” in context of NACARA cancellation of removal application

Matter of Castrejon -Colino, 26 I&N Dec. 667 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Same as Matter of Garcia-Ramierez, 26 I&N Dec. 674 (BIA 2015)

Matter of Ordaz, 26 I&N Dec. 637 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Notice to appear that did not lead to commencement of proceedings does not “stop time” for purpose of establishing eligibility for cancellation of removal


Matter of L-A-B-R-, et al., 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Attorney General concluded that continuances may be granted to allow a respondent to pursue collateral relief, provided that the respondent shows good cause for the continuance. The Attorney General discussed what constitutes “good cause” and effectively narrowed the circumstances in which a continuance may be granted to allow a respondent to pursue collateral relief.

Matter of L-A-B-R-, et al., 27 I&N Dec. 245 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Attorney General referred case to himself for review and requested briefing on when there is “good cause” to grant a continuance for a collateral matter to be adjudicated (decided in Matter of L-A-B-R-, et al., 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018) [see article and above entry])

Matter of W-A-F-C-, 26 I&N Dec. 880 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Continuance appropriate to allow DHS to properly serve notice to appear on a minor

Matter of Silva-Rodriguez, 20 I&N Dec. 448 (BIA 1992) [see article]
The Board vacated the decision of an immigration judge to grant a 1-year continuance to allow a respondent to establish genuine rehabilitation for purpose of showing that he merited relief under former section 212(c) of the INA because the respondent did not establish “good cause” for the continuance.

Matter of Sibrun, 18 I&N Dec. 354 (BIA 1983) [see section of article]
When seeking a continuance due to lack of preparation, respondent must at a minimum show that the lack of preparation occurred despite a reasonable good faith effort to prepare for the hearing and that the missing evidence would be probative, noncumulative, and favorable to his or her claims.

Matter of Quintero, 18 I&N Dec. 348 (BIA 1982) [see article]
Continuance not warranted to allow alien to seek relief in the form of prosecutorial discretion. Furthermore, continuances should not be granted where the prospect of relief is so far in the future that it is rendered merely speculative.

Matter of Kotte, 16 I&N Dec. 449 (BIA 1978) [see article]
Pending adjustment of status application does not necessitate continuance. Continuance may not be warranted in cases where prospect of relief remains speculative.

Matter of M-, 5 I&N Dec. 622 (BIA 1954) [see article]
Respondent is not warranted to adjournment of proceedings solely on the basis of a pending adjustment of status application

Matter of P-, 4 I&N Dec. 484 (BIA 1952) [see section of article]
Delay in proceedings not appropriate to allow respondent to obtain evidence that would have no bearing on the question of whether he was deportable.

Convention Against Toruture

Matter of J-R-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 482 (BIA 2018) [see article]
IJ did not err in denying convention against torture claim based on squalid conditions in pretrial detention, prison, or mental health facilities where the record indicated that these conditions were the result of neglect, a lack of resources, or insufficient education rather than the specific intent to inflict torture.


Matter of Marquez Conde, 27 I&N Dec. 251 (BIA 2018) [see article]
The Board reaffirmed its precedent from Matter of Pickerling, 23 I&N Dec. 621 (BIA 2003), holding that a conviction that is vacated solely for reasons relating to the defendants rehabilitation or immigration hardship still qualifies as a “conviction” under section 101(a)(48)(A) of the INA. However, a conviction that is vacated due to a substantive or procedural defect in the underlying criminal proceedings is not a “conviction” under section 101(a)(48)(A).

Matter of Mohamed, 27 I&N Dec. 92 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Entry into a pretrial diversion agreement qualifies as a conviction under section 101(a)(48)(A) of the INA where alien admits to sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt and a judge authorizes the agreement with certain requirements (please see our companion article on a related district court decision [see article])

Credibility Determinations

Matter of J-C-H-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 211 (BIA 2018) [see article]
When deciding whether to rely upon a border or airport interview in making a credibility determination, immigration judge should base decision on the totality of the circumstances

Matter of R-K-K-, 26 I&N Dec. 667 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Similarities between testimony of asylum applicants in separate proceedings may support adverse credibility determination

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

Matter of Mendez, 27 I&N Dec. 219 (BIA 2018) [see article]
Misprision of a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. 4 is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude outside of the Ninth Circuit

Matter of Tavdidishvili, 27 I&N Dec. 142 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Conviction for criminally negligent homicide in violation of section 125.10 of the New York Penal Law is not a CIMT because it does not require a sufficiently culpable mental state

Matter of J-G-D-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 82 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Burglary of a dwelling statute that requires that dwelling be “intermittenly occupied” is a CIMT (see also J-G-D-F-'s analysis of respondent's asylum claim in “Particular Social Group” section)

Matter of Wu, 27 I&N Dec. 8 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Assault with a deadly weapon conviction in California is a CIMT

Matter of Jimenez-Cedillo, 27 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Dertermining when a sexual offense involving children conviction is a CIMT

Matter of Obeya, 26 I&N Dec. 856 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Conviction for petit larceny in violation of section 155.25 of the New York Penal Law (see also Matter of Diaz-Lizarraga, 26 I&N Dec. 847)

Matter of Diaz-Lizarraga, 26 I&N Dec. 847 (BIA 2016) [see article]
When a theft offense is a CIMT

Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 826 (BIA 2016) [(1) see article and (2) see article]
(1) Approach for determining whether criminal conviction is a CIMT; and (2) No heightened standard for establishing eligibility for relief if convicted of sexual offense involving a child

Matter of Zaragoza-Vaquero, 26 I&N Dec. 814 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Criminal copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(A) (2012) and 18 U.S.C. § 2319(b)(1) is a CIMT

Matter of Gonzalez-Romo, 26 I&N Dec. 743 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Arizona conviction for solicitation to possess marijuana CIMT under rules of Ninth Circuit

Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 550 (A.G. 2015) [see article]
Attorney General vacates Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 687 (A.G. 2008); see Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 826 (BIA 2016) for ultimate resolution of case

Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 687 (A.G. 2008) [see article]
NOTE: No longer good law. Vacated in Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 550 (A.G. 2015), ultimately resolved in Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 826 (BIA 2016)

Matter of Gaglioti, 10 I&N Dec. 719 (BIA 1964) [see article]
Held that gambling offenses typically do not involve moral turpitude; also discusses Matter of G-, 1 I&N Dec. 59 (BIA 1941) in some detail

Criminal Deportability Provisions

Matter of Medina-Jumenez, 27 I&N Dec. 399 (BIA 2018) [see article]
237(a)(2)(E)(ii) — The Board followed Matter of Obshatko, 27 I&N Dec. 173 (BIA 2017) (see below) in holding that the categorical approach does not govern whether an alien is ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the INA due to a conviction that falls under section 237(a)(2)(E)(ii).

Matter of Sanchez-Lopez, 27 I&N Dec. 256 (BIA 2018) [see article]
237(a)(2)(E)(i) — A “crime of stalking” requires that the victim have feared physical harm. The Board overruled its prior decision in Matter of Sanchez-Lopez, 26 I&N Dec. 71 (BIA 2012) to the extent which it held that a conviction under a particular California statute was a crime of stalking under section 237(a)(2)(E)(i). However, the Board stood by its definition of a generic stalking offense from its 2012 decision, which is discussed extensively in our full article.

Matter of Obshatko, 27 I&N Dec. 173 (BIA 2017) [see article]
237(a)(2)(E)(ii) — Consideration of whether alien violated a protection order for purpose of INA 237(a)(2)(E)(ii) is not governed by the categorical approach; an adjudicator “should consider the probative and reliable evidence regarding what a State court has determined about the alien's violation”

Matter of Flores-Abarca, 26 I&N Dec. 922 (BIA 2017) [see article]
237(a)(2)(C) — Oklahoma conviction for transporting a loaded firearm falls under 237(a)(2)(C) despite “transporting” not appearing in the statute

Matter of H. Estrada, 26 I&N Dec. 749 (BIA 2016) [(1) see article, (2) see article and (2) [see article]]
237(a)(2)(E)(i) — (1) Factual and procedural history; (2) Modified categorical approach applies for considering whether conviction is a crime of domestic violence; and (2) Use of clarifying orders to determine length of imprisonment

Matter of Mendoza-Osorio, 26 I&N Dec. 703 (BIA 2016) [see article]
237(a)(2)(E)(i) — Conviction for endangering the welfare of a child in violation of section 260.10(1) of the New York Penal Law is categorically crime of child abuse, neglect, or child abandonment

Deficiencies in Proof

Matter of Soriano, 19 I&N Dec. 764 (BIA 1988) [see article]
Where a visa petition is denied based on deficiencies in proof and the petitioner was not given a reasonable opportunity to address the deficiencies before the denial, the record will ordinarily be remanded to the DHS to initially consider and address the new evidence; where the petitioner was provided notice of deficiencies prior to denial and petitioner had prior opportunity to submit new evidence, case will be adjudicated based on the record considered in adjudicating the petition (see also “Family Petitions Based on Marriage)

Matter of Obiagbena, 19 I&N Dec. 533 (BIA 1988) [see article]
Petitioner must be afforded reasonable opportunity to rebut derogatory evidence cited to in a notice of intention to deny his visa petition; however, note that other particulars in this decision with regard to responding to notice of intent to deny have been superseded by subsequent regulations (see also “Evidence” and “Family Petitions Based on Marriage)


Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 476 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Attorney General certified case for review of whether an alien screened from expedited removal proceedings into section 240 removal proceedings after establishing a credible fear or persecution or torture are eligible for bond – Attorney General later concluded that they were not in Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 509 (A.G. 2019) [resolved in Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 509 (A.G. 2019)]

Matter of M-G-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 469 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Same issue as Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 476

Matter of Siniauskas, 27 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2018) [see article]
An IJ should consider a variety of factors in considering whether to set bond, but an alien's family or community ties generally do not mitigate dangerousness; and driving under the influence is a serious adverse consideration in determining whether an alien presents a danger to the community

Matter of Fatahi, 26 I&N Dec. 791 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Factors to consider in determining whether alien seeking release on bond is a danger to the community

Deportability for Failure to Register an Address

Matter of B-, 5 I&N Dec. 694 (BIA 1954) [see section]
Former 241(a)(5); Current 237(a)(3)(A) — Defined terms in “reasonably excusable or not willful” exception to this deportability ground

Matter of T-, 5 I&N Dec. 459 (BIA 1953) [see section]
Former 241(a)(5); Current 237(a)(3)(A) — The Board held that an alien must actually be charged and found deportable under provision in order to be ineligible for voluntary departure; this precedent applies in other cases involving section 237 grounds [see section]

Matter of M-, 5 I&N Dec. 216 (BIA 1953) [see section]
Former 241(a)(5); Current 237(a)(3)(A) — Board concluded that wanting to avoid deportation did not make failure to register “reasonably excusable”

Deportability on Public Charge Grounds

Matter of B, 3 I&N Dec. 323 (BIA and A.G. 1948) [see article (part of larger article)]
237(a)(5) — Test for determining whether individual is deportable as a public charge (note this is different than inadmissibility on public charge grounds and it is applied rarely)

Dual Nationals

Matter of B-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 119 (BIA 2013) [see article]
A citizen or national of multiple countries who does not fear persecution in one of the countries is not a “refugee” under section 101(a)(42) of the INA

Matter of Ognibene, 18 I&N Dec. 453 (BIA 1983) [(1) see article and (2) [see article]]
(1) Operative nationality for dual national E visa applicant seeking change of status; and (2) An examination of how Ognibene has been applied in the TPS context

Matter of Damioli, 17 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 1980) [see article]
Operative nationality for E visa employer (same article as Matter of Ognibene, 18 I&N Dec. 453 (BIA 1983))

Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Petitions

Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016) [see article]
Standard for eligibility for employment-based second preference National Interest Waiver


Matter of Obiagbena, 19 I&N Dec. 533 (BIA 1988) [see article]
Assertions of counsel are not evidence

Extreme Hardship

Matter of Cervantes, 22 I&N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999) [see article]
Approach for considering extreme hardship in 212(i) waiver application (applies generally)

Family-Based Immigrant Visa Petitions

Matter of Ruzku, 26 I&N Dec. 731 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Sibling-to-sibling DNA tests can be probative evidence of family relationship

Matter of Aldecoaotalora, 18 I&N Dec. 430 (BIA 1983) [see article]
Petition can be properly denied if beneficiary admits that he or she procured a divorce for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits

Matter of Abdoulin, 17 I&N Dec. 458 (BIA 1980) [see article]
Evidence that LPR petitioner abandoned LPR status may be considered

Matter of Ah San, 15 I&N Dec. 315 (BIA 1975) [see article]
Noncitizen national need not reside in the geographic United States to file second-preference petition (see also Matter of B—-, 6 I&N Dec. 655 (BIA 1955))

Matter of B—-, 6 I&N Dec. 655 (BIA 1955) [see article]
Noncitizen nationals may file second-preference family-based petitions (same article as Matter of Ah San, 15 I&N Dec. 315 (BIA 1975))

Family Petitions Based on Marriage

Matter of Song, 27 I&N Dec. 488 (BIA 2018) [see article]
Adjustment applicant who had been admitted as K1, fulfilled obligation to marry petitioner, and subsequently divorced must submit an affidavit of support from the petitioner in order to establish that he or she is not inadmissible on public charge grounds

Matter of Christos, Inc., 26 I&N Dec. 537 (AAO 2015) [see article]
An alien who submitted false documents in support of fictitious marriage for Form I-130 petition is not subject to the subsequent immigrant visa petition bar in section 204(c) of the INA, provided that he or she never entered into, attempted to enter into, or conspired to enter into the marriage. However, alien may be inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) for fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact to procure any benefit under the INA.

Matter of Pazandeh, 19 I&N Dec. 884 (BIA 1989) [see article]
In the case of an LPR petitioner for a spouse who obtained his or her own LPR status through marriage, bona fides of petitioner's first marriage will not be assessed under clear and convincing evidence standard if more five years elapsed since petitioner became an LPR; new regulations suggest standard will be applied of petitioner's marriage ended within previous five years

Matter of Soriano, 19 I&N Dec. 764 (BIA 1988) [see article]
Where marriage based petition is denied based on finding that marriage was entered into for sole purpose of procuring immigration benefits, respondent bears heavy burden of proof with respect to any subsequent petition filed on behalf of the beneficiary (see also “Deficiencies in Proof”)

Matter of Obiagbena, 19 I&N Dec. 533 (BIA 1988) [see article]
See “Deficiencies in Proof”

Matter of Laureano, 19 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1983) [see article]
Board provided a detailed analysis of what constitutes a bona fide marriage, including the requirement that the parties have intended to establish a life together at the time of the marriage

Matter of Balodis, 17 I&N Dec. 428 (Reg. Comm. 1980) [see article]
Marriage is valid for purposes of a K1 fiancé(e) nonimmigrant  visa petition if the state of residence would recognize the marriage as valid, even if the couple could not have solemnized their marriage in the state of residence

Matter of Da Silva, 15 I&N Dec. 778 (BIA 1976) [see article]
Marriage is valid for purposes of a spousal immigrant visa petition if it is not contrary to the public policy of the state where the couple would reside, even if the couple could not have solemnized the marriage in the state of residence

Matter of Manjoukis, 13 I&N Dec. 705 (D.D. 1971) [see article]
Marriage invalid for K1 purposes if the petitioner is too young to marry in the state of residence at the time the petition is filed

Matter of Peterson, 12 I&N Dec. 663 (BIA 1968) [see article]
Consummation not required to establish bona fide marriage

Matter of Zappia, 12 I&N Dec. 439 (BIA 1967) [see article]
Marriage is invalid for immigration purposes if it goes against the public policy of the state of residence

Matter of Brantigan, 11 I&N Dec. 493 (BIA 1966) [see article]
Petitioner for spouse has burden of proof for showing previous marriage was dissolved; this decision is relevant regarding “burden of proof” in benefits applications in general

Matter of T-S-Y-, 7 I&N Dec. 582 (BIA 1957) [see section of article on Matter of Brantigan]
Similar to Matter of Brantigan, 11 I&N Dec. 493 (BIA 1966)

Matter of P-, 4 I&N Dec. 610 (A.G. 1952) [see article]
The validity of a marriage is governed by the law of the place where the marriage was solemnized

Frivolous Asylum Applications

Matter of M-S-B-, 26 I&N Dec. 872 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Untimely filed asylum application can be found to be frivolous

Good Moral Character

Matter of Castillo-Perez, 27 I&N Dec. 495 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
The Acting Attorney General referred case to review what the appropriate legal standard is for evaluating whether an applicant for cancellation of removal lacks good moral character, what effect multiple DUI convictions should have on a cancellation applicant’s ability to establish good moral character

Matter of Gomez-Beltran, 26 I&N Dec. 765 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Alien cannot establish good moral character if he or she provides false testimony to IJ to obtain immigration benefits during statutory period


Matter of A.J. Valdez and Z. Valdez, 27 I&N Dec. 496 (BIA 2018) [see article]
The existence of an alien’s signature on an application filed on his or her behalf establishes a strong presumption that the alien knows of and asserts to the contents of the application – but presumption can be rebutted by establishing fraud, deceit, or other wrongful acts by another person

Matter of Pangan-Sis, 27 I&N Dec. 130 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Individual must meet all requirements for section 212(a)(6)(A)(ii) exception to section 212(a)(6)(A)(i) inadmissiblity for entry without inspection, including being a VAWA self-petitioner

Matter of D-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 105 (BIA 2017) [(1) [see article], (2) [see article], and (3) [see article]]
212(a)(6)(C)(i) and 212(a)(3)(E)(iii)(II) — (1) Facts and procedural history as set forth in Matter of D-R-, 25 I&N Dec. 445 (BIA 2011); (2) Definition of “material” in the section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) context (note the case involved removal for having been inadmissible at the time of admission); and (3) Meaning of phrase “assisted, or otherwise participated in” extrajudicial killings (note that this case involved removal under section 237(a)(4)), may also be applicable in the persecutor bar to asylum/withholding context

Matter of Richmond, 26 I&N Dec. 779 (BIA 2016) [see article]
212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I) — Comprehensive analysis of inadmissibility for false claim to U.S. citizenship

Matter of Kai Hing Hui, 15 I&N Dec. 228 [see article]
Alien who obtained border crossing card by misrepresenting his identity, date of birth, and nationality was ineligible for adjustment of status because he was excludable for having obtained his border crossing card through willful misrepresentation of material facts

Jurisdiction Over Removal Proceedings

Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018) [see article]
IJ has initial jurisdiction over asylum application filed by a respondent who had been previously determined to be an unaccompanied alien child but who turned 18 before filing the asylum application

Matter of Bermudez-Cota, 27 I&N Dec. 441 (BIA 2018) [see article]
Where an alien was served with a notice to appear which did not include the time and place of the initial removal proceedings, an Immigration Judge has jurisdiction over the removal proceedings so long as the alien was subsequently sent a notice of hearing which specifies the time and place of the initial hearing. In this decision, the Board distinguished the issue from that decided by the Supreme Court in Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S.Ct. 2105 (2018) [see index].


Matter of Villalobos, 26 I&N Dec. 719 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Concerning eligibility for 245A(b)(1) adjustment of status under legalization provisions

Material Support Bar/Inadmissibility

Matter of A-C-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018) [see article]
The Board held that there is no de minimis requirement for triggering the material support bar, meaning that the term “material support” encompasses any act that “has a logical and reasonably foreseeable tendency to promote, sustain, or maintain the organization,” including “cooking, cleaning, and washing” clothes for members of a terrorist organization

Matter of M-H-Z-, 26 I&N Dec. 757 (BIA 2016) [see article]
The Board found that there is no implied duress exception to the material support bar

Mental Competency in Removal Proceedings

Matter of M-J-K-, 26 I&N Dec. 773 (BIA 2016) [see article]
Immigration Judge has discretion to implement safeguards in cases involving issues of mental incompetency; the BIA may review safeguards de novo

Matter of J-S-S-, 26 I&N Dec. 679 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Neither party bears burden of proof for establishing that respondent is mentally incompetent, but perponderance of the evidence standard applies where indicia of incompetency are identified

Motions to Reconsider

Matter of L-M-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 265 (BIA 2018) [see article]
The Board held that the DHS has the authority to file motions to reconsider in immigration court under 8 C.F.R. 1003.23(b)(1) (see also L-M-P-'s analysis of whether an alien is subject to reinstatement of removal is eligible for asylum (see Asylum Eligibility))

Nonimmigrant Work Visa Status

Matter of Simeio Solutions LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) [see article] [see index]
The Administrative Appeals Office held that a change in the place of employment of an H1B worker outside of the geographical area listed on his or her corresponding labor certification application is a “material change” in the terms or conditions of H1B employment requiring a new or amended H1B petition with a new labor condition application.


Matter of C-C-, 3 I&N Dec. 221 (BIA 1948) [see article]
Alien prevented from departing in accord with his or her status cannot be deported as an overstay (does not apply if prevention was due to being found guilty of a criminal act)

Permissible Activities for Visitors

Matter of Lett, 17 I&N Dec. 312 (BIA 1980) [see article (part of larger article)]
Management of investment by qualified investor is not unauthorized employment

Particular Social Group (Asylum/Withholding)

Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 494 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Acting Attorney General stayed Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017) and referred the matter to himself for review – Review to examine whether an alien may establish persecution on account of membership in a particular social group based on the alien’s membership in a family unit

Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 225 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Attorney General requested briefing on whether (and if so, when) a victim of private criminal activity can establish persecution based on membership in a particular social group (case decided in Matter of A-B-, 17 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018) [limited particular social groups on reviewed grounds]

Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 189 (BIA 2018) [see article]
The Board held that an applicant seeking asylum must clearly indicate on the record before the Immigration Judge (rather than in the first instance on appeal) the exact delineation of any proposed particular social group; the Board also held that it will generally not address newly articulated particular social groups that were not advanced before the Immigration Judge

Matter of J-G-D-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 82 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Rejecting claim based on fear that respondent would be recognized as having lived for a long time in the United States

Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Determining whether particular social group composed of family members is cognizable (stayed by the Attorney General in Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 494 (A.G. 2018))

Persecutor Bar (Asylum/Withholding)

Matter of Negusie, 27 I&N Dec. 481 (A.G. 2018) [see article]
Attorney General stayed BIA’s decision in Matter of Negusie, 27 I&N Dec. 347 (BIA 2018) [see section] to review whether there is a duress defense to the persecution of others bar to asylum and withholding of removal

Matter of J.M. Alvarado, 27 I&N Dec. 27 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Political motive for participating in persecution is irrelevent

Revocation of Certificate of Citizenship (not Certificate of Naturalization)

Matter of Falodun, 27 I&N Dec. 52 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Certificate of citizenship may be revoked without judicial proceedings

Sentence Length Determinations

Matter of Velasquez-Rios, 27 I&N Dec. 470 (BIA 2018) [see article]
Length of actual sentence imposed is calculated at the time the sentence was imposed — retroactive amendment to the law changing the maximum sentence length has no bearing.

Matter of S-, 3 I&N Dec. 460 (BIA 1948) [see article]
General sentence for multiple counts in federal sentencing may be presumed to apply to each count in full. Please see our related article for a discussion on possible limitations on this ruling as applied to general military sentences in certain jurisdictions [see article].

Terminating Proceedings

Matter of J-A-B- & I-J-V-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 168 (BIA 2017) [see article]
Immigration Judges do not have the authority to terminate removal proceedings for the purpose of allowing an arriving alien the opportunity to present an asylum claim to DHS in the first instance

Matter of Sanchez-Herbert, 26 I&N Dec. 43 (BIA 2012) [see article]
Termination of proceedings is not appropriate for an alien who departs the United States and accordingly fails to appear provided that the alien received proper notice of the hearing and remains removable as charged

Matter of Brown, 18 I&N Dec. 324 (BIA 1982) [see article]
Departure and return between proceedings does not compel termination and a new Order to Show Cause (deportation) or Notice to Appear (removal) is not required (see also “Waivers of Inadmissibility”)

Testimony in Proceedings

Matter of Y-S-L-C-, 26 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Federal rules of evidence requirements don't apply to alien testifying about his or her own experiences

Unlawful Voters

Matter of Fitzpatrick, 26 I&N Dec. 559 (BIA 2015) [see article]
Unlawful voting in an election involving Federal candidates (as described in 18 U.S.C. 611) renders alien removable under INA 237(a)(6)(A) regardless of whether the alien knew that the voting was unlawful

Waivers Deportability/Removability

Matter of M-B-C-, 27 I&N Dec. 31 (BIA 2017) [see article]
237(a)(1)(H) — When evidence suggests that a mandatory denial ground applies, applicant has burden of proof of showing that the ground does not apply

Matter of Tima, 26 I&N Dec. 839 (BIA 2016) [see article]
237(a)(1)(H) — Cannot waive CIMT even if CIMT is based on the same underlying fraud as the deportability ground that can be waived

Matter of Brown, 18 I&N Dec. 324 (BIA 1982) [see article]
Departure and return does not moot application for relief under former section 212(c) in deportation proceedings (see also “Terminating Proceedings”)

Waivers of Inadmissibility

Matter of Khan, 26 I&N Dec. 797 (BIA 2016) [see article]
212(d)(3)(A)(ii) — Immigration Judge cannot adjudicate waiver application by U visa petitioner

Matter of Hranka, 16 I&N Dec. 491 (BIA 1978) [see article]
212(d)(3)(A) — Lists three factors that adjudicators must consider regarding applications for 212(d)(3) relief

Last Updated: Apr. 22, 2019