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Notice of Intent to Deny (“NOID”)

A Notice of Intent to Deny (“NOID”) is a letter an applicant or petitioner receives from USCIS, notifying him that after reviewing the application or petition, USCIS does not believe that the applicant or petitioner is entitled to the benefit which he or she applied for and therefore, USCIS intends to deny the application or petition. A NOID may be received either before or after an interview with USCIS. Generally speaking, a NOID will contain a detailed explanation as to why USCIS does not believe that the applicant or petitioner is entitled to the benefit requested. Common reasons for receiving a NOID include a lack of sufficient documentation provided with an application or petition necessary to meet the legal burden, inconsistencies during an interview at USCIS, or simply a determination that the applicant or petitioner is ineligible for the immigration benefit which is being sought.

An applicant or petitioner can respond to a NOID within thirty (30) days to refute the reasons laid out in the NOID for the denial of the application or petition. In some cases, an applicant or petitioner may be able to clarify a misunderstanding. In other cases, responding to a NOID successfully will involve providing further documentation or doing further research to show why the application or petition should not be denied. There are also circumstances when it does not make sense to respond to a NOID, because the information contained in the NOID is correct and there is no information to provide which would result in an approval.

A common example of a NOID is a NOID based on USCIS’ determination that a prior marriage of a petitioner, applicant, or beneficiary was not lawfully ended through divorce or annulment. Foreign divorce laws vary widely in their requirements, and foreign divorce decrees vary widely in their contents. USCIS will evaluate a foreign divorce or annulment decree and associated documents to determine whether the proper procedure was followed for the country in which the divorce or annulment took place, but this is not a foolproof process. Sometimes, USCIS will erroneously deny an application based on the assumption that the petitioner, applicant, or beneficiary is still married to a prior spouse. This is important in cases where a subsequent marriage makes an applicant or beneficiary eligible for an immigration benefit, because any prior marriages need to be lawfully ended in order for the new marriage to be valid. In such cases, it may be possible to provide further documentation or caselaw to USCIS to show that the proper procedure was in fact followed and that the divorce or annulment was in fact finalized.

If you or someone you know has received an NOID and would like further guidance on how, or whether, to respond to the NOID, please contact Tanner Law Offices at 717-836-0471 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.