How to Respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny
You are full of hope and anticipation when you send an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, receiving a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) in response can be rather alarming and disappointing.
What is a Notice of Intent to Deny?
A NOID implies that the evidence you sent with the immigration petition was inadequate, which is why the USCIS intends to reject your application unless you provide the required information. In essence, a NOID means that the USCIS officer analyzing your application does not think you are eligible for the immigration service you requested.
However, a NOID is not an official denial of your Green Card or immigration petition. It simply conveys that the information you provided is not complete, which is why the USCIS is doubtful about your eligibility. Nevertheless, even if you supply the information needed, there is no guarantee that your application would be accepted.
It is important to note the difference between NOIDs and Requests for Evidence (RFEs). An RFE is usually issued when specific evidence is missing from your application, such as a birth certificate or joint bank statements. Click here to know how to respond to a USCIS RFE.
On the other hand, 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. Here are some common reasons for receiving a NOID:
- Insufficient evidence to prove that you and your spouse have a bona fide relationship;
- You or your spouse was unable to answer basic questions about each other during the interview;
- You or your spouse supplied conflicting information at the interview;
- USCIS found information in public records, social media, or your house that made them doubt the validity of your marriage;
- You or your spouse had committed marriage fraud in the past.
At times, information that was found enough for another couple may not be sufficient in your case. If the USCIS is uncertain about the validity of your marriage, the officer may need further proof that they would have asked from a couple whose application was more solid.
How to Respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny?
A NOID calls for an urgent response from your end. Make sure you read it carefully, as it aims to convey that your application would be denied if you fail to take further action and send in the required evidence.
You are supposed to respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny within 30 days of receiving the alert. Note that this time is usually insufficient, especially when you have to carefully analyze your application and gather different pieces of information to fix the deficiencies in your original application. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you file a response:
1. Stay Calm
The first step is to stay calm. A NOID is not a point-blank denial, and there is still a chance of your application going through. On the brighter side, the USCIS has offered you a chance to respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny rather than outright rejecting your case.
2. Understand the Nature of the Notice
Make sure you thoroughly read the NOID several times. Pay attention to the issues and think about the responses. Make sure that you respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny well within the due date. Set a reminder in your phone or mark the date in your calendar as a “hard” deadline.
3. Collect Evidence
The USCIS sends notices to many applicants who get their facts wrong. Identify any errors in the notice and gather evidence to back up your statements with evidence. For instance,
- According to the NOID, if you did not register for selective service, attach a copy of your selective service registration in the response;
- If the notice states unpaid child support, send in cancelled checks as evidence of payment;
- If the notice claims unpaid taxes, supply cancelled checks and tax transcripts;
- In case the NOID questions a previous marriage, provide old documents to prove it.
4. Respond on Time
Aim to send your response to USCIS on or before the deadline. The USCIS usually asks for the kind of evidence that is difficult to provide within 30 days, such as marriage certificates, death certificates, or birth certificates, or other civil registry documents from your native country. Submit your response even if you have not gathered all the evidence required by that time.
5. Understand the Consequences
Know that an additional review is possible even after you respond to a NOID. In case your response is unsuccessful, you can file an appeal. When you make an appeal, a completely different officer in a different office will go over the decision of the USCIS officer who issued the NOID.
What if your response is denied?
If your response to a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is rejected, you will receive a denial letter elaborating the reason for the denial. Now, you will be left with two options:
- Appeal: Upon denial, the USCIS typically sends a denial letter. You may appeal using Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Fill in this form if you think the USCIS made an error in your case. You will submit this form to the office that issued the decision and currently includes a processing fee of $675. The notice of appeal must be submitted within 30 days from the date of the unfavourable decision. After submitting Form I-290B, you have 21 days to file a written brief in support of your appeal. The brief should clearly explain why you believe the USCIS decision is incorrect. You should also include new evidence that supports your appeal;
- Re-apply: If the reason for the denial was your ineligibility, your best bet is to wait until enough time has passed and your record is clear. If you are certain that you can overcome the reason for the denial you may re-apply later.
Make sure to respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny quite seriously and carefully. It is important to submit a response within the deadline or your case will be denied.
If you have received a NOID, do not panic and start preparing for a response immediately. To avail of the services of skilled and experienced immigration attorneys, visit our website or contact Terra Immigration Partners by dialling +1 (407) 818-1244 today!