New USCIS Policy Authorizes Adjudicators to Deny Petitions Without RFEs

18. Jul. 2018

A new USCIS memo issued on 07/13/2018 gives USCIS adjudicators the discretion to deny an application/petition without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), if initial evidence is not submitted or if the evidence in the record does not establish eligibility.

The new USCIS policy is set to take effect on 09/11/2018 and apply to all applications, petitions, and requests received after the effective date.

USCIS noted that this new 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.  It is not intended to penalize filers for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirements.”

USCIS provided examples of cases where a denial may be appropriate without an RFE or a NOID:

  • Waiver applications submitted with little to no supporting evidence; or
  • Cases where the regulations, the statute, or form instructions require the submission of an official document or other form or evidence establishing eligibility at the time of filing and there is no submission. For example, family-based or employment-based categories where an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), if required, was not submitted with the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).