Immigration Denial without issuing Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

Blue folder with the label Immigration Law

Effective September 11, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will deny an immigration application or petition without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if initial evidence is not submitted or if the evidence in the record does not establish eligibility.  So, it will be important to file your immigration petitions will ALL required evidence as lack of evidence and civil documents will lead to a denial.  In some cases, denials can lead to deportation in immigration court.  USCIS will not send applicants a letter asking for the missing evidence or document (known as Request for Evidence (RFE)).  Unfortunately, an innocent mistake or misunderstanding of what documents should have been submitted with the immigration petition will lead to a denial of your application.  Note, USCIS will still cash your check and accept the filing fee but will deny your application.  It is very important to understand that immigration is more than filing out a form – immigration benefits are based on a complex set of Federal immigration laws.  Consult with an Attorney Gail Seeram, an experienced immigration lawyer named Best Lawyer 2016-2019 before submitting an application that may be denied!

Examples of cases where the issuance of an immigration denial may be appropriate without prior issuance of a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID):

  1. Waiver applications submitted with little to no supporting evidence of extreme hardship or a qualifying relative;
  2. Submitting an affidavit of support that doe not meet the poverty guideline or the sponsor not have required income;
  3. Family-based visa petitions (I-130) filed for family members under categories that are not authorized by statute; and
  4. At the discretion of the officer.

This means that visa applicants can suddenly find themselves on a path toward deportation. This also seems to be another attack on legal immigration and the administration seems to be seeking to deport legal applicants for minor technicalities.

Whenever possible it is now even more important to file applications/petitions as early as possible to give applicants the best chance of having their case adjudicated before their status or visa expires. It is essential to make sure the files are complete and accurate.

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Don’t Panic When Faced With a Request For Evidence, Contact an Immigration Law Attorney Instead

Many of our clients are already very nervous while awaiting decisions related to their immigration status. The last thing they want to receive in the mail is a Request for Evidence from USCIS, but sometimes this happens. The best advice we can give you is to stay calm, don’t panic, and contact our Orlando immigration attorney for help right away.

What Is A Request For Evidence?

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is simply a formal way for U.S. immigration services to ask for additional proof or documentation in order to make a decision about your case. They are usually in list form and request specific pieces of information. RFEs are generally simple and straightforward. Most often, a piece of information was missing or was unclear and USCIS sends and RFE to ask for clarification or additional details.

5 Tips For Handling An RFE

1. Read the RFE carefully. If you receive an RFE take the time to read through it carefully so you know and understand the request and can provide accurate missing information.

2. Meet deadlines. Always answer RFEs on time. Simply missing a deadline can be cause for denial. USCIS rarely approves requests for additional time, so don’t wait until the last minute and count on an extension coming through.

3. File when completed, not piecemeal. Answer all RFE requests as accurately and completely as possible. USCIS does not generally request additional information after receiving a response to an RFE so if something is inaccurate, missing, or incomplete, you run the risk of the application being denied due to lack of sufficient date or response to the RFE. Many RFEs can be avoided by providing a complete and detailed application package from the very start.

4. Keep it organized. For best results, answer all questions in order and as presented. A table of contents can be helpful. Concise, but thorough, answers will suffice. There’s no need to go overboard and write an essay. Include documentation and exhibits if it will help your case. The easier it is for a person to read through your documentation, the better your chances of approval.

5. Hire an immigration attorney. Having an immigration attorney on your side can make a big difference. Some RFEs contain very technical, legal details that may be lost on you. Others are simply confusing. Sometimes, you may not have the time that is needed to respond to the request appropriately. In any of these situations, an experienced immigration attorney can be invaluable. An immigration attorney can assess the situation and advise you on what kind of documentation you need to provide and how to respond to the Request for Evidence.

Don’t Risk Your Immigration Status By Neglecting An RFE

If at any time you are unsure or confused by a request from USCIS or about any step in your immigration process, contact our Orlando immigration law office for advice and service. We are happy to help walk you through the application process, explain any correspondence you may have received or represent you to USCIS.

If you have received an RFE, contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.