We have more good news to share for immigrant applicants. The government has returned to its 2013 policy regarding Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). The last administration gave immigration officers more discretion to deny an application without first requesting more information or clarification. So, if an applicant left some information or documentation out by mistake, their application could be denied. Such a denial could result in becoming undocumented, in losing government fees, or substantial delays in the immigration process.
The updated policy gives applicants the chance to correct innocent mistakes and unintentional omissions. In general, a USCIS officer will now issue an RFE or NOID when the officer thinks additional information or an explanation may establish eligibility for an immigration benefit. This allows applicants to fix mistakes before facing such a severe consequence as a denial of their application. Of course, we always aim to prepare thorough and complete application packages for our clients to avoid these issues. Still, we are happy to see a return to a more customer service-oriented policy from the government.