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Immigration Court Practice Manual Is Effective July 1
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The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) reminds parties appearing in immigration court that beginning on July 1, 2008, the Immigration Court Practice Manual will be effective nationwide, and the local operating procedures for immigration courts will no longer be used. The Practice Manual is available on EOIR’s website at http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/.

The Immigration Court Practice Manual provides uniform procedures, requirements, and recommendations for parties who present cases before the immigration courts. Specifically, the Immigration Court Practice Manual addresses:
  • How attorneys and representatives enter appearances before the immigration court,
  • How parties file documents and forms with the immigration court,
  • How parties file and respond to motions before the immigration court,
  • How parties appeal immigration judge decisions,
  • Removal hearings and other proceedings before immigration judges,
  • Detention and bond issues,
  • Stays of removal orders,
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and
  • Discipline of immigration attorneys and representatives.
The Practice Manual also includes useful resources:
  • Samples of commonly submitted documents,
  • Guidelines on formatting legal citations when filing papers in immigration court,
  • A glossary of terms and abbreviations commonly used in immigration court,
  • Contact information for immigration courts and EOIR offices, and
  • A word index for Practice Manual topics and a citation index for statutes, cases, and regulations.
EOIR’s Operating Policies and Procedures Memorandum 08-03 explain how the Immigration Court Practice Manual applies to cases that are pending on July 1, 2008. This OPPM is available on EOIR’s website http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/efoia/ocij/oppm08/08-03.pdf .

The Immigration Court Practice Manual is a “living document.” EOIR will continue to update the manual online to reflect legal and policy changes, as well as input provided by the parties who use it. Information on how to submit comments and suggested changes is included in Chapter 13 of the Practice Manual.

The Immigration Court Practice Manual complements the existing Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual in providing important “how to” information to the people EOIR serves. The Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual is available on EOIR’s website at http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/vll/qapracmanual/apptmtn4.htm.

EOIR, an agency within the Department of Justice, is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases. Specifically, under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR interprets and administers federal immigration laws by conducting immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. EOIR consists of three components: the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is responsible for managing the numerous immigration courts located throughout the United States where immigration judges adjudicate individual cases; the Board of Immigration Appeals, which primarily conducts appellate reviews of immigration judge decisions; and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, which adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to providing the fair, expeditious, and uniform interpretation and application of immigration law in all cases.


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