USCIS Puts More Obstacles on Legal Immigration

USCIS Imposes Even Higher Hurdles for Legal Immigration with New Guidance

The government issued new guidance on RFEs and NOIDs and made it easier for adjudicators to deny a request for immigration benefit on July 13, 2018.  The new instructions will take effect next Monday, September 11, 2018.

(Read the memo here.)

What is the new guidance?

The new guidance expands adjudicator discretion to deny applications for immigration benefit without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).  An adjudicator’s issuance of RFE and NOID notifies and allows an applicant the opportunity to ‘fix’ an insufficiency in their petition, be it a simple filing error or spelling mistake.

Prior USCIS policy limited adjudicators’ ability to deny a case without first giving the applicant an opportunity to respond.  The new policy, however, removes this limitation and restores adjudicators’ full discretion.  In this way, an adjudicator can deny an application if any of the required initial evidence is missing from the filing.

Who is impacted

All applicants and petitioners who file immigration benefit applications with USCIS, including applications for naturalization, family-based immigrant petitions, temporary work visa petitions, immigrant petitions filed under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and permanent residency (“green card”) applications, on or after September 11, 2018, will be impacted by this new policy.

Why is this significant?

The new guidance takes the already-unforgiving immigration law to a whole new level of stringency.  Applicants and petitions who are not advised by a lawyer will feel this most heavily.  They could see their application denied for an innocent mistake on their filing, or if they simply misunderstood an evidentiary requirement.

It is harder now than ever to become a legal immigrant in the United States.  Don’t let the complex process stands in your way of achieving the American Dream – call our office today to schedule a consultation, and work with our team of legal experts to secure your future in the U.S.!

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