Petitions Without Required Initial Evidence Could Be Denied Without RFE

A new policy memorandum from USCIS will now empower USCIS adjudicators with full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility. This new guidance will replace the current policy under which RFEs were issued unless there was no possibility of approval.

Under the new guidance, if all required initial evidence is not submitted with the petition, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the petition for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence. USCIS will also continue to issue statutory denials without first issuing an RFE or NOID when the applicant, petitioner, or requestor has no legal basis for the benefit or request sought, or submits a request for a benefit or relief under a program that has been terminated.

The new guidance will apply to all applications, petitions, and requests received after September 11, 2018, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications. This guidance does not change the RFE and NOID policies and practices that apply to the adjudication of DACA requests.

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