USCIS Updates Policy – No More Room for Error

New USCIS policy effective September 11, 2018 will make it essential for visa applicant’s to be represented by experienced immigration attorneys.

After September 11, 2018 any visa application with mistakes, omissions or lacking the requisite evidences will be unequivocally denied without providing the applicant with the opportunity to make corrections. USCIS will not inform the petitioner of the specific problem with their application, and USCIS will keep the filing fee.

Previously, if an application contained mistakes or was missing documentary evidences USCIS would send a letter to the petitioner pointing out the discrepancies which the petitioner could then correct which would result in the continued processing of the application.

The new policy guidelines encourage immigration officers to deny any application (visa petition or green card application) that fails to meet the filling requirements. This means that if a visa application is lacking the required evidences, or the application form is incomplete or incorrect the application will be denied without notification to the petitioner. The only recourse available requires the petitioner and applicant to completely reapply and pay the government fees a second time, and hopefully getting it right the next time.

It has never been more important to have the benefit of an experienced immigration attorney.

Look at it this way, say you were to use a low cost visa agent and USCIS denied your application requiring you to re-file and pay the filing fee of $535.00 a second time, this would eliminate any savings you would have realized by using a low cost visa agent.

K-1 fiance(e) visa stats in FY2016:
(Latest available statistics)

Total K-1 visa applications: 60,895
K-1 Visas issued: 38,403
K-1 visas denied: 22,492
Approval rate: 63%
(With the new USCIS policy the approval rate will likely drop considerably from the already low approval rate of 63%)

Source:https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/Non-Immigrant-Statistics/NIVWorkload/FY2015NIVWorkloadbyVisaCategory.pdf

SUMMATION: These statistics include all visa applications submitted by: immigration attorneys, do-it-yourself applications, and low priced visa agents who fill out forms. One can safely assume that applications submitted by immigration lawyer’s have a high approval rate, so this will drive the overall approval rate higher, and without the lawyer submitted applications the overall approval rate will be much lower. So if you attempt to do-it-yourself or with a low cost visa agent you have a much lower chance of approval than 63%, and using an experienced immigration lawyer your chances of approval are greater than 63%.

Who, in their right mind would venture into an important matter knowing that their chance of success was less than 63%? A normal thinking person would enlist the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to have the best chance of success.
Learn More: USAILT: http://www.usa-immigration-law-thailand.com/low-cost-visa-agent-visa-denied/

USCIS Updates Policy Guidance for Certain Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny

Policy Memorandum [PM-602-0163]

Authority

8 CFR 103.2(b)(8)

Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 10.5(a), Chapter 10.5(b)

Effective Date

This updated guidance is effective September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests received after the effective date.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today posted a policy memorandum (PDF, 113 KB) (PM) that provides guidance to USCIS adjudicators regarding their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility.

This updated guidance is effective September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications, received after that date. Due to preliminary injunctions issued by courts in California and New York, this new PM does not change the RFE and NOID policies and practices that apply to the adjudication of DACA requests.

“For too long, our immigration system has been bogged down with frivolous or meritless claims that slow down processing for everyone, including legitimate petitioners. Through this long overdue policy change, USCIS is restoring full discretion to our immigration officers to deny incomplete and ineligible applications and petitions submitted for immigration benefits,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “Doing so will discourage frivolous filings and skeletal applications used to game the system, ensure our resources are not wasted, and ultimately improve our agency’s ability to efficiently and fairly adjudicate requests for immigration benefits in full accordance with our laws.”

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.

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.

Source:https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-updates-policy-guidance-certain-requests-evidence-and-notices-intent-deny

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