Not every immigrant’s path to the United States is smooth sailing, as some applicants receive rejections or additional questions from the government. While such requests are sometimes simply a matter of failing to submit the necessary paperwork or documentation, other cases involve a determination that an applicant is not eligible for the visa for which they applied. Regardless of the reason, the process can be stressful for prospective immigrants who believe they are qualified to live and work in the United States.
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In certain instances, the government will issue a Request For Evidence (RFE). The RFE is an additional opportunity to supply the documentation or information the USCIS needs to issue an approval. RFEs are not denials of a visa. Frequently, sending additional documentary evidence remedies the issue. Other RFEs may require a review of the criteria for a visa and re-articulation of the candidate’s qualifications in terms of the statutory language. In other instances, RFEs may be the product of an error on the part of the government official reviewing the application.
The most important thing to remember is to be mindful of your deadline to respond. If you begin preparing your response right away, you can avoid denials based on the failure to timely respond. Once the response to the RFE is submitted, the USCIS generally takes approximately 60 days to respond.
Notice of Intent to Deny
While no one is excited about receiving an RFE, a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is an even less desirable government response, albeit one that is not insurmountable. As its name implies, an NOID indicates that the government feels that an applicant is ineligible. Generally, either it indicates a skeletal filing with almost no supporting evidence, or that an applicant met threshold requirements but did not warrant a favorable exercise of permissible discretion.
Unlike an RFE, the USCIS official sending the NOID feels that a denial is appropriate under the facts of the case. An NOID is not an actual denial and an applicant can still act quickly to remedy the defects in their petition. Hence, NOIDs should be taken very seriously and responded to immediately.
Denied Petitions and Applications
While a denial will be issued if the government determines that an applicant is ineligible, applicants can appeal many petitions and applications. Denial letters generally indicate the availability of appeal and the logistics involved.
If you or a loved one received an RFE, NOID, or denial, your chances of succeeding in the next step are greatly enhanced if you choose a skilled lawyer versed in government policies and procedures. The experienced staff at the Law Office of Maud Poudat, P.A. has the knowledge to develop effective strategies to respond to RFEs, NOIDs and even denials. Call us for a consultation.