USCIS Denies Without Rfe Noid

 

Tougher USCIS now able to Deny without issuing RFE or NOID

USCIS, which was never that helpful, on September 11th 2018 will become less so.

In the past when applications for fiance visas, spouse visas, adjustment of status ran into trouble, because the applicant didn’t quite know what he was doing, the reviewer at USCIS often, halted processing, then spent the time and effort to issue a RFE (Request for Evidence) that listed what was missing giving the opportunity to respond and correct the error. Or if a case was in risk of being denied due to missing materials, a NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) might be issued, also giving the application an opportunity to correct mistakes. Now USCIS can skip the RFE, skip the NOID and go directly to denial, and in some cases directly to the start of deportation.

 

 

 

 

Under the Obama Administration USCIS reviewers were only allowed to deny out right under the most obviously ineligible cases. Now Obama’s “friendly” USCIS is a thing of the past. Under President Trump, two new policies are now taking effect. First USCIS can now deny, without warning, without allowing an applicant to fix his problems. No longer is USCIS required to issue a warning describing what is needed. No longer required to issue an RFE and ask for more info, or even a NOID (notice of INTENT to deny) warning that an application is in jeopardy.

And second and even more troubling, is that if the immigrant is physically present in the U.S.A., once a decision to deny is made, USCIS can immediately start deportation proceedings. Many applicants will be put on track for deportation before they have a chance to clear bureaucratic glitches or misunderstandings.

Now is not the time to risk making mistakes when filing applications to immigration.

For clarity let’s explain what these policies and acronyms mean.

What is an RFE?

RFE means “Request for Evidence”. This is a notice issued by normally issued by USCIS when an application is missing a particular piece of an application such as a document, photo, signature, properly completed form and so on. RFE’s sometimes are issued in error. Sometimes the application has been completed correctly, or the needed item properly submitted Sometimes the reviewing officer, does not see what is in front of him. These type of occurrences are especially worrisome, for in the past if an officer asked for an RFE in error, the applicant could clarify the error, or resubmit the evidence. It was difficult enough in the past to rectify a reviewers mistake by pointing out his error, when replying to an RFE, but now if the same issues occur, and there is mistaken denial instead of mistaken RFE, it will be much more difficult and time consuming for an applicant to get his case back on track.

What is a NOID?

NOID means “Notice of Intent to Deny”. This is similar to an RFE. It is a notice that USCIS issues too warn an applicant that the USCIS reviewer feels the applicant has not provided sufficient evidences in general to satisfy the application. And that so much is missing the officer feels appropriate next step is denial. Typically similar to an RFE the applicant has an opportunity to respond and thus a chance to satisfy the suspicions of the reviewing officer, before the application is finally denied..

What is deportation?

When a foreign-born alien applies for immigration benefits in the United States if his request is denied then U.S. immigration can initiate proceedings to have the alien forcibly removed from the USA. In past the steps initiating and leading to deportation were not automatic and allowed applicants opportunities to respond. This slow processing was especially helpful if the reasons for deportation were based on evidences or documentation that were available but were not presented due to errors in the applicants application. Applicants had time and opportunity to clear up confusion and present missing documents before things got “out of hand”. Under the new policies immediately, once, an applicant is denied, remember there is no RFE, and no NOID, the proceedings leading to deportation are allowed to begin. Without warning, without notice, without delay. This will undoubtedly lead to many more foreign Nationals being forced to leave the USA.

The new policies are vague in defining under what circumstances and for what reasons an officer can deny an application. So it is quite likely that results WILL VARY between individual USCIS officers. Some will approve, some deny, and hopefully some will still issue RFE’s or NOID’S.

It remains to be seen how tough USCIS will become, however in the current atmosphere of President Trump’s Administration where “extreme vetting”, and “vigorous enforcement” of immigration laws is being promoted, it is clear that many applicants are about to experience hard times.

What is to be done?

Check, check again, and check one more time before submitting any immigration application. Insure that all evidences and required materials are included and the forms properly filled in.

Fortunately that has always been the practice of VisaCoach. Our policy is to craft each application, touch all bases, and we “do it right. The first time”

I provide each couple with a detailed, personalized checklist of everything that should be submitted to USCIS. The list I create for them is color-coded, Red for Required, Green Highly Recommended and Black for recommended. Ask my clients about what happens if they try to get away with not providing me with all the critical Red items. I become the “squeaky wheel” that keeps reminding them to provide the items before we can submit. This policy has paid off for my couples in the past, and I expect will continue to save them from the troubles that others will experience due to a tougher USCIS.

I have met plenty of smart and capable people. And regardless of how smart or capable they are, I would never recommend that they attempt fate by risking disaster by “doing it themselves” or using cheap no-frills form filling services.

There are just too many pitfalls. In past the punishment for making common errors could sometimes be recovered from due to the generosity of a USCIS reviewer asking for RFE or warning with a NOID. Now this safety net is gone. Now more than ever we expect to see many denials come out of USCIS.

By Fred Wahl
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