Easily deny visas

In less than two months, the Trump administration will be able to easily deny visas.

Since last Friday, anyone who reviews visa applications or petitions has the discretion to deny requests without seeking additional evidence that might be needed to complete an application, or issuing a notice stating the intent to deny a request.

This change becomes effective September 11.

The memo issued on Friday means the government can deny visas if applications do not include all the necessary information when submitted. It also lets the government deny visas without specifying what additional information would have been completed the application.

It rescinds a guidance from 2013 that outlined the process for requesting more information or issuing notice about the intent to deny a visa request. The process of requesting more information granted applicants more time to complete applications if something was missing. It also created a constructive dialogue between immigration lawyers and USCIS on applications for visas.

The memo applies to most visas. However, this new policy does not apply to processing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) requests.

This change is setting immigration advocacy groups and immigration lawyers on high alert. We worry that the change will lead to more denials without knowing why, creating more uncertainty for immigrants.

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