New policies on the issuance of green cards and visas have been imposed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).The new set of rules gives immigration officers the power to reject applications from those applying for the crucial documents whenever the officers find irregularities in the application.
Prior to the introduction of the new policy, applicants were granted an opportunity to rectify the mistakes through courtesy warnings, Request of Evidence (RFE) (for the applicants to complete the application or submit more supporting documents) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).
“(The policy) restores to the adjudicator full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and request without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate,” explained USCIS.
In a report done by investigative journalism news agency, ProPublica, this is now in the past as the officials handling the cases can deny application without informing the applicant.
‘Without the notices, applicants won’t have the opportunity to intervene before a decision is made, potentially adding months or years of extra paperwork and thousands of dollars in fees to the already process,” read the article.
The new set of rules have posed a threat to legal immigrants with green cards living in the US as it exposes them to deportation during the renewal process of their documents.
“In the case of those trying to renew their visas while they’re still in the U.S, they could be placed in deportation proceedings the moment their visas expire,” added the report.
In a statement from USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna, the move comes at a time when the process had been hijacked by unscrupulous individuals who do not meet the criteria or threshold to be granted US citizenship under the program at the expense of those who are legitimate in their applications.
“For too long, our immigration system has been bogged down with frivolous or meritless claims that slow down the processing for everyone, including legitimate petitioners. Through this long overdue policy change, USCIS is restoring full discretion to our immigration officers to deny incomplete and ineligible applications and petitions submitted for immigration benefits,” said Cissna.