The Ninth Circuit has affirmed that on remand from the BIA to the IJ, the BIA only retains jurisdiction if it does two things: (1) expressly retains jurisdiction, and (2) qualifies or limits the scope of remand. If the BIA fails to do either of these things, the scope of the remand is general and the IJ may reconsider any of his or her prior decisions. In the instant case, the BIA remanded for the IJ to consider protection under the Convention Against Torture, but did not state anything about retaining jurisdiction. On remand, the IJ reversed his previous denial of asylum. The BIA reversed, stating the IJ had exceeded the scope of remand. Ultimately, the case reached the Ninth Circuit, who disagreed that the IJ had exceeded the scope of the BIA's remand order. The court emphasized that the "BIA only retains jurisdiction when remanding to an IJ if its remand order expressly retains jurisdiction and qualifies or limits the scope of remand to a specific purpose." Though the BIA limited the scope of remand to a specific purpose in this case by stating that it was remanding “for further consideration of the respondent’s claim under the Convention Against Torture,” its remand order nowhere mentioned jurisdiction, much less expressly retained it. Thus, the IJ had the authority to reconsider his decision.
The full text of Bermudez-Ariza v. Sessions can be found here: