Private Bill Rules U.S. Senate

Rules of Procedure of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration for Private Immigration Bills

1. The introduction of a private bill does not act as a stay of deportation until the committee requests a departmental report. Requests for reports on private bills from the departments shall be made only upon a written request addressed to the chairman of the subcommittee by the author of such bill. That request shall contain the following information:

(a) In the case of an alien who is physically in the United States:

The date and place of the alien’s last entry into the United States; his or her immigration status at that time (visitor, student, exchange student, crewman, stowaway, illegal border crosser, etc.); his or her age; place of birth; address in the United States; and the location of the U.S. Consulate at which he or she obtained a visa, if any.

(b) In the case of an alien who is physically outside of the United States:

The alien’s age; place of birth; address; and the location of the U.S. Consulate before which his or her application for a visa is pending; and the address of the relationship to the person primarily interested in the alien’s admission to the United States.

(c) In the case of an alien who is seeking expeditious naturalization:

The date the alien was admitted to the United States for permanent residence; his or her age; place of birth; and address in the United States.

2. The committee shall not address to the Attorney General communications designed to defer deportation of beneficiaries of private bills who have entered the United States as nonimmigrants, stowaways, in transit, deserting crewmen, or by surreptitiously entering without inspection through the land or sea borders of the United States.

Exemption from this rule may be granted by the subcommittee if the bill is designed to prevent unusual hardship to the beneficiary or to U.S. citizens. However, no such exemption may be granted unless the author of the bill has secured and filed with the subcommittee full and complete documentary evidence in support of his or her request to waive the rule.

3. No private bill shall be considered if an adequate judicial or administrative remedy exists, or where court proceedings are pending for the purpose of adjusting or changing the immigration status of the beneficiary.

4. No favorable consideration shall be given to any private bill until the proper department has submitted a report.

5. Upon the receipt of reports from the departments, private bills shall be scheduled for subcommittee consideration in the chronological order of their introduction, except that priority shall be given to bills introduced earliest in any previous Congresses.

6. Bills previously tabled shall not be reconsidered unless new evidence is introduced showing a material change of the facts known to the committee. In the event of a request for reconsideration the subcommittee shall, insofar as practicable, dispose of such request at the first meeting of the subcommittee following receipt of such request.


Supporting information shall be limited to not more than three or four typewritten pages and must include an in depth statement by the author setting forth the equities in the case and why an adequate judicial or administrative remedy is not available. Background material and other pertinent information, including character references, etc., are acceptable.

When a private immigration bill is recommended for favorable action, the supporting information is used for the Senate report and must be typewritten to be cut and pasted for printing. Therefore, do not send originals that you would like to have returned. A valuable document, such as an original of a birth certificate, should be retained by the author – a copy will be sufficient for the subcommittee.

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