A Policy Memorandum (PM) went into effect on September 11, 2018, stating that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agents now have the ability to deny any green card or visa applications submitted if the application contains an error or is missing information. The new policy will rescind the June 3, 2013 PM titled “Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny,” meaning an officer working for the USCIS no longer has to inform an applicant that they made a mistake prior to making a determination on their case.


How will the new Policy Memorandum affect immigrants who are applying for a green card or visa or looking to renew the current one they have?


In the past, if an immigrant was looking to apply for a visa or green card, they would be required to fill out and file the corresponding paperwork for the type of visa they were seeking. Unfortunately, this paperwork can be difficult for some to understand and easy to make mistakes on, and many individuals who filed these applications often did. And when USCIS would receive these requests for a visa or green card, if the application was submitted without a page filled out or a signature was missing, USCIS would notify them of the error and they would be given time to correct it.


Now, with the new Policy Memorandum, this is no longer the case.


Now, when a USCIS agent receives the paperwork and reviews it for accuracy, if they find a mistake was made, they now have the choice to either send out notification that an error was made or simply deny the application. This means that the individual may have to submit an entirely new application, pay the applicable fees again, and of course, wait. However, if an immigrant’s visa was set to expire or they weren’t awarded the visa they were attempting to obtain because of this minor error, it puts them at risk of being deported or detained as they aren’t legally permitted to live and/or work in the U.S.


How can an immigrant who is applying for a visa or green card increase their chances of getting their application approved?


Although USCIS has stated that the policy “is intended to discourage frivolous or substantially incomplete filings used as “placeholder” filings and encourage applications, petitioners, and requesters to be diligent in collecting and submitting required evidence,” many individuals in need of their visa or green card might find their application is denied even if they weren’t looking to use it as a way to extend their stay in the U.S.

So, if you are looking to obtain a visa or green card to live and/or work in New York City, NY and want to increase your chances of having USCIS approve your application, it is best you allow an immigration attorney in New York City, NY to help you fill out of the paperwork and submit it. Not only will they be sure to thoroughly check the paperwork for mistakes but they can clarify anything you are uncertain of so.

Therefore, before submitting your application or even filing it out, you are advised to first contact USAttorneys.com and let us connect you with a local immigration and visa attorney in New York City who can help you. The last thing you want is to have to go through the entire process again simply because you didn’t understand something in the paperwork or you made a mistake.