Immigration Law Associates, PC

USCIS Policy Guidance Update for RFEs and NOIDs

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On Friday, July 13, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS) released a policy memorandum granting USCIS adjudicators full discretion to deny petitions without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). Filings, such as those submitted with little to no supporting evidence or missing official documents establishing eligibility, may now be automatically denied. The measure is intended to reduce incomplete filings and ensure diligence among petitioners by replacing 2013 policy that required the issuance of RFEs and thereby limited discretion of the adjudicator. The updated guidance will take effect September 11, 2018, and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications, received after that date.

If all required initial evidence is not submitted, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence. Examples of filings that may be denied without sending an RFE or NOID include, but are not limited to:

  • Waiver applications submitted with  little to no supporting evidence; or
  • Cases where the regulations, the statute, or form instructions require the submission of an official document or other form of evidence establishing eligibility at the time of filing and there is no such submission. For example, an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), if required, was not submitted with an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).

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