U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued new guidelines concerning incomplete applications or petitions and those that lack sufficient evidence, which will become effective on September 11, 2018. In the past, USCIS were required to issue a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID) to deficient applications or petitions prior to denying them, unless there was no possibility that the deficiency could be remedied. Under the newly revised guidelines, however, USCIS officials have the authority to simply deny any applications or petitions that are incomplete or need additional evidence to support them without first requesting more information or giving notice to those submitting them. This may result in the denial of applications and petitions containing simple errors or omissions that could be easily remedied.
According to USCIS, the intent of the new guidelines is not to penalize those who make simple mistakes, but rather to discourage so-called “placeholder” applications, which are frivolous or substantially incomplete filings. While the guidelines seem to imply some level of discretion for USCIS officials in deciding whether to deny or request more information from applicants in these situations, it is unclear to what extent officials will choose to exercise that discretion, if at all.
There is also concern about whether the potential for increased denials by USCIS will combine with another high-profile policy change that has not yet gone into effect. That policy would require USCIS officials to immediately issue notices to appear (NTAs) upon the denial of applications or petitions to anyone that they perceive to be unlawfully present in the country. NTAs trigger deportation proceedings in immigration court. As a result, it seems that application of these two policy changes may increase the possibility of immediate removal for individuals whose applications or petitions are denied by USCIS>
Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to fight for your rights and work toward a resolution of your immigration law case. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze USCIS forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.