Policy Guidance for Certain Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny

On July 13, 2018, the USCIS issued a policy change that gives immigration officers much more freedom to deny visa applications and petitions. Before this change, officers had to submit a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) before denying an application. The USCIS claimed that this requirement was an unnecessary burden on the officers and slowed down the application process. The USCIS claims that this policy change will discourage people from filing frivolous, fraudulent, and incomplete applications, but with convoluted, complex and sometimes hard to understand questions on the forms, mistakes are pretty usual. This policy change greatly increases the power of individual immigration officers and puts every applicant in a much more vulnerable position. We should also look at this in light of the “extreme vetting”, “quota completion” and other burdens being placed on individual officers.

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