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Frequently Asked Questions

ECAS Program

ECAS is part of an overarching information technology modernization effort at EOIR. ECAS was first introduced in July 2018 to phase out paper filing and processing, and to retain all records and case-related documents in electronic format. Now fully implemented at all immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), ECAS supports the full life cycle of an immigration case including: electronic filing of court and appeals documents, processing and receiving filings, maintaining electronic Records of Proceedings (eROPs), preparing case information, conducting a hearing, and adjudicating appeals, while providing cost and time savings for all parties.

ECAS is composed of multiple applications dedicated to different stakeholders, including:

  • ECAS Case Portal for attorneys and fully accredited representatives.
  • ECAS DHS Portal for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) users.
  • Respondent Access for unrepresented (pro se) individuals.

Under the e-Government Act of 2002 and Office of Management and Budget Directive M-19-21, Transition of Electronic Records (June 28, 2019), all permanent records in Federal agencies will be managed electronically by December 31, 2022.

With 24 hours/7 days a week self-service access to ECAS, authorized Department of Homeland Security (DHS) users can:

  • Submit court and appeal documents electronically, such as Notices to Appear (NTAs), Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge (Form EOIR-26), briefings, and motions;
  • Review accepted/rejected status of submitted documents; and
  • Schedule an initial master hearing for non-detained cases.

DHS ICE OPLA employees who are authorized can also:

  • View, download, and print electronic Records of Proceedings (eROPs) and case details; and
  • Access orders, decisions, and notifications.

ECAS also enhances case status communication by:

  • Providing authorized respondents’ representatives, DHS ICE OPLA, the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ), and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) with a shared, accurate, and current understanding of the evidence and latest decisions and orders; and
  • Allowing parties to view a common set of documents during hearings simultaneously.

DHS users must contact their IT Service Desk to request to be added to the active group of DHS Portal users. Once added and authorized, users can access DHS Portal using single sign-on.

All cases initiated in an immigration court after ECAS was launched (at that court) have an eROP that is the official record for all case-related documents.

Yes. As of February 11, 2022, DHS and all attorneys and fully accredited representatives are required to electronically file all documents with the immigration courts and the BIA in all cases eligible for electronic filing. For DHS, the application is ECAS DHS Portal. For attorneys and fully accredited representatives, the application is ECAS Case Portal. Although not required, unrepresented respondents may electronically file certain documents through EOIR’s electronic filing application known as Respondent Access.

Authorized DHS users from ICE, USCIS, and CBP can electronically file case-related documents at immigration courts. A charging document for the case must be filed in order to file supporting documents. Two options are available: (1) the user can file a standalone charging document but must then wait for it to be accepted and docketed by EOIR staff before filing supporting documents; or (2) the charging document and associated supporting documents can be filed together as a package. If documents are filed as a package, acceptance or rejection by EOIR staff will be for all documents in the package.

DHS Portal

Please reference the DHS Portal guides on how to upload an initiation document or package and how to upload a supporting document. 

Yes. Authorized DHS users can upload documents using an approved digital/electronic signature format. For more information, please reference the ECAS User Manual.

No, you cannot schedule an initial master hearing for a detained case in DHS Portal. Contact the appropriate court to get a hearing date and time for a detained case.

Yes. The application restricts file formats to PDF (including PDF/A), JPG, and JPEG. Documents must be 25MB or less. Resolution for documents must be at least 300 DPI (dots per inch). We recommend scanning or creating PDF documents in black/white (i.e., gray scale) whenever feasible to reduce the file size. All files are scanned for viruses before being accepted. Please see the ECAS User Manual for more information.

Authorized DHS ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) users have the ability to view individual eROP documents and download the entire eROP. Authorized DHS USCIS Asylum Office users can view and download the eROP for cases related to Credible Fear Review after an immigration judge has made a decision. All other DHS users are not able to view or download eROP documents.

Yes. EOIR-registered private bar attorneys and fully accredited representatives can log into ECAS Case Portal to view details including a calendar of future hearings; submit case documents (e.g., motions, evidence, appeals, briefs, applications); view, download, and print eROPs; and receive notifications of decisions, added case documents, hearings, and orders. Attorneys and fully accredited representatives can also electronically file initiating and supporting appeals and motions at the BIA for cases that have eROPs.

The same case-related documents are available to both parties.

Yes. DHS is required to electronically file documents in cases eligible for electronic filing being heard in the immigration courts and BIA regardless of whether the respondent has representation. However, DHS is still required to serve pro se respondents in paper.

DHS components determine the appropriate business process for which authorized DHS users may file case-related documents in ECAS.

We welcome comments or suggestions for future enhancements to ECAS at

Authorized DHS users may log in to DHS Portal for ECAS training videos. Additionally, resources are available on EOIR’s ECAS website ( the DHS Resources section.

Yes. The immigration court will schedule a hearing date if an NTA is uploaded without an assigned court date.

When documents are rejected, a rejection notice is sent to the filer and DHS ICE OPLA. If the rejection relates to a supporting document, the rejection notice is also added to the eROP. The originally filed document is deleted permanently, and is not retained in the record.

Yes. Users may file a package by selecting the package option, uploading a charging/initiation document and then each related supporting document, and finally submitting the package. Acceptance or rejection by EOIR staff will be for all documents in the package. After the package is accepted, additional supporting documents can be filed.

No. Asylum Only and Withholding Only proceedings cannot be scheduled in DHS Portal.

DHS Portal should work with most popular browsers. However, it has been validated and is supported by EOIR Technical Support using Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Once the immigration judge issues an order or decision, it will be available in the eROP for DHS ICE OPLA to view and download through DHS Portal. If a case has a representative of record who participates in ECAS, an electronic message is sent to the DHS ICE OPLA office. Additionally, for Credible Fear Review claims, authorized USCIS users will be able to view and download the eROP once the immigration judge issues a decision.

Digital audio recordings (DAR) are currently only available through DHS Portal to authorized USCIS asylum officers, who may listen to Credible Fear Review proceedings following an immigration judge’s decision to refer the case to the USCIS Asylum Office.

If any non-EOIR participants joined the hearing via phone or video teleconference on a four-channel recording, all such participants will be assigned to Channel Three with the respondent and respondent’s representative, when applicable.

Hearings based out of an Immigration Adjudication Center will assign the immigration judge to Channel One and all other participants to either Channel Three (for four-channel recordings) or Channel Six (for six-channel recordings).

EOIR will complete electronic service on behalf of the parties for all documents that are electronically filed through ECAS in cases eligible for electronic filing, so long as both parties are participating in ECAS. For service purposes, DHS and private attorneys and fully accredited representatives are always considered to be participating in electronic filing. To assist users, DHS Portal will provide a notification whether the opposing party is participating in ECAS so that the DHS user will know whether separate service is required.

Please follow the established process for non-electronic filings provided in the Immigration Court Practice Manual and the Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual. The evidence must be submitted directly to the appropriate EOIR immigration court.

Files must be submitted based on the time zone where the case is being seen, either US Eastern Time for the BIA or the time zone of the individual immigration court. Timezones across the United States can be found on the National Institute of Standards and Technology website.

Filing deadline extensions depend on the nature of the system outage. For planned system outages announced more than 5 days in advance, users must file their documents within any existing filing deadlines. For unplanned outages or planned outages with 5 or fewer days’ notice that occur on the last day for filing in a case, filing deadlines will be extended to the first day that the electronic filing application becomes accessible that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. EOIR will provide public communication of any outages.

When uploading an NTA, authorized DHS users can indicate whether the case falls under one or more special classifications, such as: Asylum Officer (AO) Rule, Detained, Emergency Stay, Family Unit (FAMU), Juvenile, or Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).