2 August 2018

UNITED STATES: Adjudicators given more discretion to deny applications

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has granted agency adjudicators more discretion to deny applications, petitions or requests within new published policy guidance.

In the current policy, adjudicators must first issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), before they could deny any application.

Taking effect from 11 September 2018, adjudicators will be able to issue denials (without providing an RFE or NOID) in cases where “initial evidence” is missing or fails to establish eligibility.

This new guidance will apply to all applications, petitions and requests that USCIS receives after 11 September 2018.

Excluded from this new guidance is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications. Federal courts in New York and California have ordered not to end the DACA program pending judicial review of the legality of the administration’s actions, and USCIS said it will not change how DACA requests are adjudicated.

USCIS has said that the new policy is designed to discourage “frivolous or substantially incomplete filings,” (“placeholder filings”) but has confirmed it is not intended to punish “innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirements.” 

How does this affect the client?

We always recommend applicants take considerate care when filing applications and understand everything that is expected of them.

Working closely with HR and/ or relocation professionals will ensure an added layer of protection by ensuring the correct supporting evidence is provided at the time of submission.

Employers are to factor in these new changes as some applications may be denied without warning if incomplete and therefore extra layers of checks / communication of the requirements is advised.





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