Human beings are prone to making mistakes. We’re forgetful and absent-minded sometimes. Sometimes we misremember details only to be corrected later. Government organizations understand this—for the most part, people are given the opportunity to correct their government forms once they’re notified of any missing or incorrect answers, especially given how complex government-issued forms can be.
Per a new policy from the USCIS, that will no longer be the case for most immigration applications. This past Tuesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services implemented new guidance saying that its officials would have “broader authority” to issue case denials over mistakes and missing documents without giving applicants warning or an opportunity to correct their mistakes.
The new policy will affect nearly every immigration application, petition, or request. If you have a formal application about to be filed with the USCIS, any mistake might be used against you—and you may not get a second chance.
How It Used to Be
Before this policy, immigration officials would issue warnings to applicants regarding incomplete or mistaken applications. These warnings included Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID), legal courtesies that gave immigrants a chance to explain their application and prevent wholesale denial of their request. The grace period between the courtesy warning and the closing of the case was vital for letting regular people (and their lawyers) pull together the right documents for the court.
Denying applicants this courtesy would require them to file formal appeals in response to the bureaucratic equivalent of a typo. That’s months and years of extra paperwork and thousands in legal fees—time and money that many people may not have. This policy is another example of how the USCIS has taken an adversarial posture against the people who have made the United States their adopted home.
If you’re going to submit an application or petition to the USCIS, it’s more vital than ever to seek help from a professional. For those seeking to renew their visas while in the United States, deportation proceedings could begin the moment the visa expires. Call us for help; our New Jersey immigration attorney has helped hundreds of people successfully navigate the immigration system.
These are dangerous times to make mistakes on your form—speak with The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett to review your case with an immigration attorney for free. Call (800) 909-8129 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation. Se Habla Espanol.