The form, I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, allows immigrants to apply to become lawful permanent residents (i.e. green card holders) via job offers, asylee status, or refugee status. Receiving a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) in response to a US immigration I-485 petition can be extremely disappointing and disheartening for the petitioner. It does not, however, mean your application has been denied. So, where do you go from here?
Understanding the Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
A NOID is a letter issued by USCIS when the officer determines that the applicant has not demonstrated eligibility for the requested immigration benefit. The letter lists reasons why USCIS intends to deny the case and provides a chance to overcome those concerns.
A NOID implies that you have not only supplied inadequate evidence, but the USCIS believes that your case should not be approved for some other reason as well. In some cases, they could result from a lack of evidence provided to support the application or a failure to establish that the applicant is deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion. In other cases, new evidence may come to light and make a previously approved case deniable by the USCIS. This could be based on different factors such as the applicant having a criminal conviction or committed violations of U.S. Immigration Law.
Notice of Intent to Deny Deadline
To overturn the NOID, you must work within the legal timeframes. Typically, you are given thirty (30) days from the date of this letter to inspect the evidence in the case and offer written evidence in rebuttal. In light of the pandemic, some flexibility was afforded to NOIDs issued within a specific period. USCIS will consider a response received within 60 calendar days beyond the original response deadline to file a response with USCIS. This only applies if the issuance date listed on the request or notice is between March 1, 2020, and July 25, 2022.
It is recommended to check and take advice from an experienced attorney to ensure you are working to the correct timeframe and if any temporary flexibilities may apply.
Responding to a Notice of Intent to Deny
The response you submit to USCIS must address any of the issues that were raised as the basis for a denial of your petition. There are three ways you can respond to a NOID:
- Full response: Here, you will go through the list of evidence stated in your RFE and provide affidavits for each requested information.
- Partial response: Although you have a list of needed proof, you choose to provide some of the requested evidence. A partial response will not necessarily mean that your petition will be automatically rejected, as a full response is not a guarantee that your petition will be approved. However, partial responses, often, are not sufficient to ensure approval after NOID.
- Withdraw the petition: This is the least favorable option that you should avoid. It is always better to provide some evidence than submitting nothing or withdrawing the petition.
It is important to note that you should not leave anything to chance when dealing with a NOID from USCIS – you and your lawyer must carefully gather and submit extensive evidence for each separate reason stated within the notice.
Below are additional factors you may consider when deciding how to respond to the NOID:
While building your response, you should take an “over-evidencing” approach to all issues and concerns raised by USCIS. Depending on your circumstances and the issues associated with your petition, documents may be needed regarding qualifications or previous marriages. This could entail sourcing additional documentation from third parties.
As long as the documents are relevant to your case, there is no restriction on the volume or kind of evidence you can submit to support your petition or application. Often, experienced lawyers may recommend less obvious documents, based on their experience and personal knowledge of the process.
Updating relevant documents
Along with providing new evidence and documents, you may have to revise and closely review documents you already submitted to USCIS, if they have not been eloquent enough in communicating certain information. For example, if you are applying for the I-485, proof of the sponsor’s financial ability to support the applicant may need revisions in different areas such as forecasting and changes in pay. You should ensure that the changes and updates are included and filed with an Affidavit of Support).
Adding a covering letter
More often than not, your response to the NOID sent by USCIS will be a large bundle of documents. In this case, the covering letter is essential in providing clarification on the content of the new documents and new evidence submitted, as well as new revisions or changes made to the documents.
How long does UCIS take to respond to NOID?
NOIDs usually take months to process and in some cases, even years. Once the USCIS receives your response, they will begin processing your updated petition. With the new evidence presented to them, they will review your petition and come to a conclusion.
It is important to note that during this time you may need to apply to extend your current visa to remain a lawful immigrant. The petition to extend your visa also has a separate deadline which needs to be taken into consideration.
Application denied after NOID
If your application is denied after responding to the Notice of Intent to Deny, your options for an I-485 petition usually vary.
An experienced immigration lawyer can help you understand your options and the best solution for your case. For example, you may be able to opt for other immigration options or make a legal motion to reopen your case – these routes can lead to your petition’s approval after NOID. Which option you end up taking is up to you.
We can only recommend that you get an experienced immigration attorney to help you every step of the way. An experienced immigration attorney will best be able to pinpoint where the initial application failed and what it would take to succeed moving forward. For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone, and we will fight for you. To schedule an initial consultation with Yekrangi & Associates today, do not hesitate to contact us at (949) 478-4963.