Today, July 13, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a policy memorandum (PDF, 113 KB) (PM) that provides guidance to USCIS adjudicators regarding their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request 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 updated guidance overturns previous guidance by the agency that allowed for the issuance of RFEs and NOIDs when the evidence submitted at the time of filing did not establish eligibility. The previous policy limited denials without RFEs or NOIDs to statutory denials by providing that RFEs should be issued unless there was “no possibility” of approval. This “no possibility” policy limited the application of an adjudicator’s discretion.
The new policy, effective on September 11, 2018, applies to all applications, petitions, and requests and now allows adjudicators full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate.
- Under the new policy, Petitioners and Applicants of any immigration benefit must be vigilant in providing all required documentation at the time of filing.
- If documentation is lacking at the time of filing, an increased chance of denial may occur without an RFE.
- Petitioners and Applicants of new cases are encouraged to consult with qualified consul in preparing any new immigration petition or application to ensure document viability.