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USCIS Grants Increased Discretion to Immigration Officers August 29, 2018

Financial District, Manhattan
USCIS Grants Increased Discretion to Immigration Officers, Manhattan, New York

On July 13th, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new guidance, giving immigration law officials broad discretion to deny some immigration applications. Previous guidance required adjudicators to send a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when processing incomplete applications or when eligibility was not clearly established. The new instructions, effective September 11th, 2018, allows officers to simply deny requests they believe to be frivolous without first notifying the applicant.

New Guidance on Application Denials

Action Intended to Discourage Frivolous Applications

immigration lawAccording to USCIS, claims submitted without sufficient supporting evidence cause systemic processing delays for all applicants, including those who submitted complete documentation. Previously, adjudicators were required to send RFEs or NOIDs to all claimants, unless they believed there was no possibility the application would be successful. These immigration law updates are intended to discourage applicants from submitting frivolous, incomplete applications and decrease processing time throughout the system.

All Programs Affected

The New USCIS guidance applies to all petitions, requests, and applications for any visa or refugee program. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, however, are exempt from these guidelines until other legal issues surrounding the program are resolved.

Avoiding Denial Under the New Guidance

Because immigration officers will enjoy new discretion in denial incomplete or ineligible claims, collecting all required evidence and submitting a complete application is more important than ever. Consulting with an experienced immigration law firm before sending in an application, petition, or waiver request will dramatically increase your chances of avoiding a summary rejection under the new guidance.


With an in-depth knowledge of immigration law, the attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC in New York City help clients from around the world navigate the complexities of an overwhelming system. Their legal team keeps track of all recent changes to immigration law, giving them the ability to provide detailed, effective guidance for any situation. Visit Alex Berd and Patrick Klauss lawyer online for an overview of their immigration services and follow their Facebook for updates and the latest news. To schedule a consultation with Patrick Klauss lawyer, call their offices today at (212) 461-7152.