When trying to become a United States citizen, there are many possible outcomes during the process. The most favorable outcome is a smooth application process that results in you gaining United States citizenship, while on the opposite end is an outright denial of your application.
However, other outcomes between these two extremes may occur. The agency processing your application may submit a request for additional evidence (RFE). They may also deliver a notice of intent to deny (NOID).
It is important to remember that neither an RFE nor a NOID are official denials. They both offer you one last chance to cooperate with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to have your citizenship application approved.
What is an RFE?
While not the topic of this post, it is essential to learn the differences between an RFE and a NOID.
Generally, an RFE, or request for additional evidence, is less severe than a NOID. It simply means that the agency needs more information regarding your particular case. Some of the reasons a person may receive an RFE may include:
- Missing evidence, such as a marriage license or birth certificate.
- Not enough financial income from a supporting or sponsoring spouse.
- No proof of legal entry.
If you receive an RFE, you have within 90 days to respond and supply the needed evidence.
What is a NOID?
A notice of intent to deny, or NOID, is seen as more severe than an RFE. While an RFE assumes the agency will accept your application to become a citizen with the help of added evidence, a NOID assumes the agency will deny your application.
If the USCIS does not have enough evidence to approve your application but is also lacking enough evidence to deny it, you may receive a NOID. While a NOID is not an official denial, and you still have the opportunity to fight it, it is the USCIS informing you that your application will likely be denied, even with further action by you.
A few reasons someone receives a notice of intent to deny may include the following:
- You have insufficient proof of a valid marriage.
- The USCIS believes that the documents you provided are suspicious or even fake.
- The USCIS can not find evidence of your sponsor.
A NOID has a far more strict timeline. You only have 30 days to fight a notice of intent to deny. Even if you already suspected that your application may be denied,the 30-day timeline will require organization and experience to ensure your citizenship.
What Should I do if I Receive a NOID?
It is important not to panic if you have received a notice of intent to deny. You will want to start working immediately to get the most out of your 30-day period, and it may be hard for a panicked mind to concentrate on the activity at hand.
It is vital for you to read and fully understand the NOID. Read and re-read the NOID to determine what the USCIS needs from you or why they intend to deny your application. Make sure all of your information on the NOID is accurate.
It is important to remind yourself that a NOID is not an outright denial. You still have time to defend yourself and fight for your United States citizenship, so do not give up hope.
It is important to figure out why the USCIS has given you a notice of intent to deny. Check your initial application and make sure the information is correct. Compare the information supplied by the NOID with your application to see why the USCIS may be ready to deny your application. Check for mistakes by you or any potential errors USCIS has made.
You will want to immediately start collecting the missing documents or information outlined in the notice of intent to deny. Some court documents, such as birth and death certificates or marriage license, can take an extended time to acquire. Thirty (30) days will fly by, and you do not want to miss your window of opportunity.
It is important to respond to USCIS before your deadline. Even if you do not have all of the necessary documents or information prepared, responding with what you do have before the deadline is up is better than not responding at all. If you fail to send your additional information and documents to USCIS within your 30-day time frame, your evidence will be ignored, and your application will be denied.
Proving Marriage for a NOID
NOIDs are most common for marriage visa applications. If the USCIS does not believe that your marriage is genuine or that marriage is being used to circumnavigate immigration laws, you could receive a NOID.
Documents you can use to help confirm your marriage in the face of a NOID may include but are not limited to:
- Evidence of joint ownership of property between you and your spouse.
- Birth certificates for children of your spouse.
- A lease showing that you and your spouse share a residence.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have received a NOID, you may be wondering if you need an attorney or if an attorney would even be beneficial. It is a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as you receive a NOID. An experienced immigration lawyer, such as Shelle-Ann Simon at the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC, can help you organize and maximize your 30-day response period. They can help you find the necessary evidence to help increase your odds of avoiding a denial.
Call the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC, at 281-606-0800 as soon as possible to schedule a free case evaluation. You can also fill out the contact form here.