Comprehensive List of Articles on Attorney General and BIA Precedent Decisions

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.

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

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.

Finally, please see our articles on the precedent decisions of 2016 [part 1 and part 2].

Adam Walsh Act for Family-Based Petitioners

  • 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
  • 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 Jackson and Erandio, 26 I&N Dec. 314 (BIA 2014) [see section of article]
    Adam Walsh Act is not impermissibily retroactive
  • 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 Calcano de Millan, 26 I&N Dec. 904 (BIA 2017) [see article]
    Definition of “conviction” in Adam Walsh Act context

Administrative Closure/Recalendaring

  • Matter of W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017) [see article]
    Standard for when administrative closure/recalendaring is appropriate

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 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))

Cancellation of Removal

  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 and (2) [see article]]
    237(a)(2)(E)(i) — (1) Approach 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


  • 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 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

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 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 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 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 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))

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 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 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 M-H-Z-, 26 I&N Dec. 757 (BIA 2016) [see article]
    212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI) — No implied duress exception to inadmissibility for “material support” inadmissibility ground


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

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


  • 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 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

Persecutor Bar (Asylum/Withholding)

  • 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

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

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: 11/20/17