USCIS Updates Policy on RFEs and NOIDs

07/16/2018

Late Friday afternoon USCIS issued a new policy memorandum on when USCIS officers should issue Requests for Evidence ("RFE") and Notices of Intent to Deny ("NOID"). In doing so, USCIS rescinded a 2013 policy memorandum that stated adjudicating officers should issue an RFE unless there is "no possibility" additional evidence could overcome the filing's deficiencies. The new policy states, "If all required initial evidence is not submitted with the benefit request, USCIS in its discretion may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence."

In announcing the new policy, USCIS stated, "The policy implemented in this guidance restores to the adjudicator full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate. This policy is intended to discourage frivolous or substantially incomplete filings used as ‘placeholder' filings and encourage applicants, petitioners, and requestors to be diligent in collecting and submitting required evidence."

The new policy takes effect September 11, 2018, and it will only apply to petitions and applications USCIS receives after that date. DACA applications are exempt from the new policy.

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