On March 30th, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced flexible extensions to agency requests in response to COVID-19 pandemic. This flexibility will assist all applicants and petitioners whose issuance date listed on the requests, notices, or decisions is between March 1st, 2020 and September 11th, 2020, inclusive. USCIS is extending flexibility to the following requests:
1) Request for evidence
2) Continuations to request evidence (N-14)
3) Notices of Intent to Deny
4) Notices of Intent to Revoke
5) Notices of Intent to rescind and notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers, and
6) Filing date requirements for form N-336, request for a hearing on a decision in naturalization proceedings (under section 336 of the INA); or
7) Filing date requirements for form I-290B, notice of appeal or motion.
A Request For Evidence (RFE) is a request for more crucial documentation or evidence for an application. An RFE is issued by an immigration officer when the required initial evidence submitted is not sufficient to proceed further with an application. An RFE does not mean that your application is being denied; it only means that all previous evidence submitted were not too compelling for a final decision on your application. The more compelling evidence are submitted, the more convincing an immigration officer become to the approval of an application. Before the decision to extend flexibility for responding to agency requests, an RFE deadline did not exceed twelve weeks. In any case, if a response to an RFE has not been submitted before the deadline given by the immigration officer, USCIS will either determine that you abandoned your application, or would issue an denial, or could make a decision on your case without the requested documentation.
A continuation to Request Evidence (N-14) is a written request from an immigration officer for additional documentation before making a determination on an application. Applicants usually have 30 days to respond to a N-14. If an applicant does not respond within the timeframe with the requested evidence, the immigration officer will make a decision based on the available evidence originally submitted with the application.
A notice of intent to deny (NOID) is a notice issued when immediate attention is required for an application. A NOID is issued after an immigration officer reviews an application and all initial evidence submitted and determines that an applicant or petitioner is ineligible for the applied immigration benefits. A NOID is not definite decision nor a denial of an application. It is, however, a notice of action requested more convincing evidence that may lead to the approval of an application.
Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) is a notice often issued on a previously approved petition due to new and critical discovery or information made by USCIS. A NOIR can be issued any time after the approval of an application. The applicant usually has 30 days to respond to such request before his or her visa is revoked.
Notices of intent to rescind are issued when USCIS wrongfully issued an application for adjustment of status to an applicant. In such cases, the attorney general may rescind the approved green card within five years. The green cardholder will have 30 days to respond.
Notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers are issued when a regional center no longer serves the purpose of promoting economic growth or has failed to submit the required information to USCIS. A regional center will usually have 30 days to response or offer evidence to contradict USCIS decisions. Form N-336 is used to request a hearing before an immigration officer based on the denial of the form N-400, Application for Naturalization Proceedings.
Form I-290B is used to file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), a motion with the USCIS office that issued the most recent decision on a case, or several appeals based on denial of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent for an immigration case.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, USCIS decided to extend the timeframe for responses to agency requests for all applicants and petitioners responding to request for evidence (RFE), Continuation to Request Evidence (N-14), Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), notice of intent to Revoke (NOIR), Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, whose issuance date listed on such requests, notices, or decisions is between March 1st, 2020 and September 11th, 2020, inclusive. USCIS will consider responses to all notices, requests, or decisions received within 60 calendar days after the request due date before taking any further decision.
Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of Elizee Law Firm. The firm is located at 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. She can be contacts at ph: 305-371-8846