Immigration Law

Sessions on Good-Cause Standard for Continuances: Matter of L-A-B-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018)

Matter of L-A-B-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018)

(1) An immigration judge may grant a motion for a continuance of removal proceedings only “for good cause shown.” 8 C.F.R. § 1003.29.
(2) The good-cause standard is a substantive requirement that limits the discretion of immigration judges and prohibits them from granting continuances for any reason or no reason at all.
(3) The good-cause standard requires consideration and balancing of multiple relevant factors when a respondent alien requests a continuance to pursue collateral relief from another authority—for example, a visa from the Department of Homeland Security. See Matter of Hashmi, 24 I&N Dec. 785, 790 (BIA 2009).
(4) When a respondent requests a continuance to pursue collateral relief, the immigration judge must consider primarily the likelihood that the collateral relief will be granted and will materially affect the outcome of the removal proceedings.
(5) The immigration judge should also consider relevant secondary factors, which may include the respondent’s diligence in seeking collateral relief, DHS’s position on the motion for continuance, concerns of administrative efficiency, the length of the continuance requested, the number of hearings held and continuances granted previously, and the timing of the continuance motion.