USCIS has recently issued a policy guidance to address the circumstances in which officers should issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). Under the new policy, in general, a USCIS officer will issue an RFE or NOID when the officer determines additional information or explanation may potentially establish eligibility for an immigration benefit.
In June 2013, USCIS published a policy guidance instructing officers to issue RFEs in cases involving insufficient evidence before denying such cases unless the officer determined that there was no possibility that a finding of ineligibility could be overcome by submitting additional evidence. The 2013 policy essentially provided that RFEs should be issued unless there was “no possibility” of approval.
In July 2018, USCIS rescinded this “no possibility” policy and issued guidance stating that officers may deny benefit requests for lack of initial evidence without first sending an RFE or NOID. This policy change resulted in USCIS denying certain petitions and applications even though the petitioners and applicants would have demonstrated their eligibility if given a chance to provide additional evidence.
Under the new policy guidance, USCIS is rescinding the July 2018 memo, and is returning to the principles of the 2013 policy that instructed officers to issue RFEs and NOIDs when additional evidence could demonstrate eligibility for an immigration benefit. The new policy explains that an officer should generally issue an RFE or NOID if the officer determines there is a possibility that a finding of ineligibility can be overcome by the petitioner or applicant by submitting additional evidence. This updated policy allows an opportunity to petitioners and applicants to correct innocent mistakes and unintentional omissions.
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for an U.S. visa or Green Card, or need help filing a visa petition, contact VisaPro Law Firm today. Our experienced immigration attorneys will be happy to assist you.