You spent many hours preparing forms and documents, and then submitted a family-based green card case to USCIS. You have heard about the numerous, new requirements that have come out recently, such as the Public Charge rule, April 2020 Presidential Proclamation, and USCIS closure due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. You are concerned whether your case will be accepted or even denied by USCIS.
Rejection by USCIS:
When USCIS rejects your case package, everything you submitted to USCIS will be returned to you, including a filing fee. You wonder why and in what circumstances rejection happens.
USCIS will reject your case if
- you submitted an incorrect filing fee or outdated USCIS forms;
- you failed to submit required forms or documents;
- you left a required field blank; or
- you mailed to an incorrect mailing address.
When USCIS rejects your case, rejections notices will be included in the returned package, but they often do not clearly explain why your case was rejected and what needs to be corrected. In addition, it may take many weeks for them to return the package to you, which may take up to a month to do so. When rejected, your case will not retain a filing date, which means that your refiling package must comply with the up-to-date forms, document requirements, and filing fee. Make sure to doublecheck everything before you refile. Otherwise, it will be rejected again.
Recent I-944 Public Charge Rejection by USCIS:
USCIS has recently rejected I-485 applications due to lack of I-944 Public Charge and I-864 Affidavit of Support forms even though the completed forms were included with the applications. Unfortunately, the USCIS rejection notice does not clearly explain the issue that caused the rejection and what needs to be done.
You must order the USCIS forms and documents in certain ways to avoid the I-944 Public Charge rejection, but the USCIS forms, form instructions, and USCIS website do not explain how to do so correctly. Even if you call the USCIS customer service number, you will not be given the correct answer.
Recent Denials by USCIS:
After Sept 11, 2018, USCIS also can deny your case without issuing a request for evidence or notice of intent to deny. For example, if you failed to submit an I-864 Affidavit of Support form and supporting documents initially with other forms and documents, your case may be denied without an interview.
Keep in mind that USCIS does not schedule an interview until June 4, 2020 but continues to make decisions without interviews in some cases. If you decide to resubmit your case file with a new filing fee, your package must comply with the up-to-date forms, document requirements, and filing fee. You must meet all requirements as of the date of new filing. In particular, new cases are now subject to the I-944 Public Charge Rule. Make sure to prepare the form and supporting documents completely and correctly. USCIS may also deny your case if you failed to submit all required I-944 Public Charge form and documents. More than ever, you need to be extra careful when you submit your form and supporting documents initially.
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This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.