Immigration Judges Regain The Ability to Pause Cases

July 30, 2021


Good news: On July 15, 2021, the U.S. government overturned a decision by the Trump administration that had stopped judges from pausing immigration court cases. The ability to temporarily pause a case in immigration court is called “administrative closure.”

Is administrative closure helpful? 

In some cases, yes — it can be helpful to pause your immigration court case. For example, you might want to ask the judge to pause your immigration court case while you wait for a decision on another type of immigration application, such as an application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or a U-Visa. If a judge granted you administrative closure, then you would not have to go to court hearings and could avoid receiving an order of deportation while you waited for a decision on your application.

However, asking for administrative closure is not necessarily a good option for everyone. If you have questions about whether administrative closure could be a good option for your case, you may want to consult a lawyer. Find legal help here.

If I get administrative closure, does that mean my immigration court case ends? 

No. Administrative closure puts a case on pause, but it is not a final end to the case.

Who can ask for administrative closure? 

If you have a case pending in immigration court or at the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), you may be able to ask for administrative closure. However, if you have already lost your case at the BIA, you cannot ask for administrative closure.

How can I learn more? 

This change happened because of a new legal decision called Matter of Cruz-Valdez. (The earlier decision from the Trump Administration was called Matter of Castro-Tum.) You can read more about the case here.

Note: This information is for asylum seekers and does not substitute for legal advice from a lawyer.