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Immigration Law

Matter of L-S-M-, Adopted Decision 2016-03 (AAO Feb. 23, 2016)

USCIS Policy Memo PM-602-0133 (May 13, 2016) - "This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of L-S-M- as an Adopted Decision. Accordingly, this adopted decision establishes policy guidance that applies to and binds all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees. USCIS personnel are directed to follow the reasoning in this decision in similar cases.

Matter of L-S-M- clarifies that the exception to the civil penalties for failure to comply with an order of voluntary departure, available for certain victims of domestic violence or related abuse, does not extend to U-1 nonimmigrant victims of qualifying criminal activity. See sections 240B(d)(1)-(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That said, the civil penalties only apply if an alien’s failure to timely depart was voluntary. Matter of Zmijewska, 24 I&N Dec. 87
(BIA 2007), followed."