USCIS Publicly Discusses Policy Updates on RFEs and NOIDs in Stakeholder Call.



USCIS held a call last week on September 6, 2018, to publicly explain its updated policy on when it could deny petitions or applications without first issuing a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) or Notice of Intent to Deny (“NOIDs”).  The new policy took effect this week on September 11, 2018, and will apply to applications and petitions received by USCIS on or after September 12, 2018. 


USCIS explained that its new policy would “restore” full discretion to USCIS officers to issue denials without first issuing a RFE or NOID where the applications or petitions are frivolous, incomplete, or clearly fail to meet the statutory requirements for the requested benefit or relief.  According to the USCIS, the new policy is needed to allow USCIS to focus on adjudicating applications instead of tracking down missing evidence.  It is not meant to penalize “innocent mistakes.” USCIS confirmed that DACA and DACA-related applications are exempt from the memo, as well as asylum and refugee-related filings.


USICS announced on the call that it would post new checklists on the USCIS website in September as an operational tool to assist the public regarding what initial evidence is required for a particular immigration benefit. USCIS stressed that these checklists are not meant to replace / change the regulatory requirements. The public still needs to review all statutes, regulations, form instructions, etc.


Finally, USCIS emphasized on the call that an applicant or petitioner’s right to appeal a denial remains intact.


Call Participants:

•    Julie Kirchner, CIS Ombudsman, DHS

•    Elissa McGovern, Chief of Policy, Office of the CIS Ombudsman, DHS

•    Efren Hernandez, USCIS, DHS

•    Karla Moran, USCIS, DHS


This alert is for informational purposes only.  Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact us.