This past July, USCIS announced a policy memorandum that took effect September 11th, 2018. This memorandum allows adjudicators to deny incomplete applications, requests, and petitions without first issuing an NOID and RFE.
Before the memorandum, adjudicators were required to issue an RFE or NOID instead of outright Denials unless there was absolutely no possibility that the case would be approved. Now, adjudicators have broader discretion to flat out deny petitions.
CIS says that the purpose of this memorandum is to deter “placeholder” petitions, which are incomplete petitions with vague answers that are later clarified in RFE responses. Adjudicators can now deny these cases flat out. Some examples include petitions submitted without supporting evidence or severely lacking in supporting evidence, petitions submitted with questions left unanswered, and petitions that require additional official documents or evidence but are submitted without them.
While this amendment sounds alarming, in theory it really doesn’t change much for petitioners. From what we can tell at TheDegreePeople, reports of issue have been exaggerated. It has always been generally advised for petitioners of all visas to submit complete petitions, on time, with all supporting evidence and documentation included. In this sense, nothing has actually changed when it comes to optimizing your chances of visa approval.
However, laws on the books are different from laws in action. To see the full scope of how this new memorandum will change visa approval, we will have to wait and see how it all plays out with USCIS. In the meantime, it’s now more important than ever that you get the petition right the first time. That means identifying where CIS is likely to have questions about your case and providing any additional evidence they will need before they have to ask for it.
At TheDegreePeople, we have been working with RFEs for years and follow CIS approval trends. The best way to answer an RFE now, as it has always been, is to prevent it in the first place. Visit TheDegreePeople.com to chat with us about your case.
Have you encountered issues with this new memorandum? We want to hear about it! Comment here to post your opinions and experiences regarding this matter.
This article was written by Rebecca Little