USCIS Provides Guidance on RFE/NOID Memo, Policy Goes into Effect 11.Sep.2018

On September 6, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held a public stakeholder teleconference to provide some additional guidance on how the July 13, 2018 Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs memorandum will be implemented. This memo, which goes into effect on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, gives adjudicating officers more discretion to deny an application or petition without first having to issue either a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID). More details on the memo are available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, USCIS Memo on Denying Cases Without RFE / NOID (27.Jul.2018).

USCIS Insists Memo Targets Frivolous Filings, Not Simple Mistakes

During the public stakeholder teleconference, the USCIS emphasized that this new policy is not intended to penalize filers for “innocent” mistakes. Instead, this policy is meant to allow adjudicators to exercise discretion to deny cases that are frivolous and/or “substantially incomplete.” The USCIS is seeking to discourage parties from filing cases with a bare minimum of documentation, with the intention of providing the substantive documents later after an RFE is issued.

The USCIS plans to publish checklists on the USCIS website that will detail the initial evidence required for each case type (e.g., H1B, L-1). This checklist should be posted on September 11th.


The USCIS is taking the position that this memo should not impact standard filings, even if the applicant or petitioner inadvertently fails to provide a relevant document or two. Rather, the memo is targeting those who purposefully file cases without the required documents, which drains USCIS resources. It remains to be seen, however, precisely how this memo will be put into practice.


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