If you are going through the immigration process, it’s really important to know what a NOID is, how to avoid it, and what to do if you receive one. NOIDs or Notices of Intent to Deny is when immigration or an officer determines that they don’t have enough information to give an approval on your case but they also don’t have enough to necessarily deny it. And that they’re needing more information.
A Notice of Intent to Deny is something that is definitely serious. You can think of it as more serious than a Request for Evidence. We have a video on our YouTube channel about Requests for Evidence or an RFE.
The Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is more serious than an RFE because the immigration officer is basically saying that he or she has looked at your application and the documentation. There isn’t enough information or evidence there to approve it but also not enough to deny it.
Since we represent couples in the immigration process, I’ll speak specifically to an example as it relates to couples. A common NOID that would happen in a couples-based immigration case would be an adjustment of status. That is the process that happens here in the United States where the couple has to go to an immigration office and they are interviewed by an immigration officer who asks them questions about their relationship.
They review the file to decide whether or not that immigration officer believes that the couple has a bona fide intent to have a marriage and a future together. That it’s a relationship based on love and not receiving an immigration benefit.
What can happen at the interview is the officer could decide after reviewing the application and speaking with the couple that there are contradictions or there’s not enough evidence of the relationship. That officer can decide that they are intending to deny the application but they’re going to give that couple one last opportunity to show that their relationship is real.
What would happen is immigration would send a letter to the couple to let them know they are sending a Notice of Intent to Deny. They plan on denying your application but they’re giving you an opportunity to show that you have a real relationship based on love.
With NOIDs, we know that that’s extremely scary. The immigration process is long and stressful. To receive a notice like that can take your breath away. It is scary and so the first thing to do: take a deep breath. It’s something to take serious but it’s not a final decision. You still have a chance to win your case. You still have a chance to successfully make it through the process but definitely something to take serious.
That Notice of Intent to Deny will give you a deadline. They give you 30 days which might be stressful because of it’s short deadline. That short deadline is always tricky but they’ll give you 30 days to submit additional evidence to clarify any contradictions in the application and to prove this last time that you have a real relationship.
Because this is such a serious notice to receive from immigration and because the officers are wanting you to prove something, it’s always a good idea to have an attorney assist you with this process. You’re thinking, “Of course I’m going to say that. I’m an immigration attorney.” But I am an immigration attorney and I definitely want to make sure that you get the help that you need. That’s why I’m saying that because we’ve seen all too often where couples don’t get the help that they need with that process and that’s a huge risk to take.
An immigration attorney can help you to determine things in your application. What evidence was strong, what areas are weak, and form a strategy for how to respond to that and help you have your best shot at showing immigration that you do have a real relationship and that your application should be approved.
The number one takeaway is know that it’s something to take serious but you still have a chance to save your case and it’s really important to get assistance in making sure that you’re properly responding to that. Remember that you need to respond to your Notice of Intent to Deny in a timely manner. What happens next is that immigration will respond.
They can sometimes respond quickly within a matter of a few weeks or a few months or it might take them a long time to make their final decision. There’s no set timeline for you to get a response but know that what will happen next is immigration is going to make their final decision.
They’re either going to say, “Thank you for submitting this additional evidence. We have determined that you have submitted enough evidence and that you do have a real relationship. So we can approve your application.” That would be the ideal scenario.
The other thing that can happen is that immigration will decide, “No. There’s not enough evidence and we are denying your application.” We really hope that doesn’t happen but we want you to know if it does, take a deep breath. Don’t panic. You should get assistance right away. There are ways that you can still appeal that decision. There are still opportunities to prove your case.
It becomes more difficult if you actually get a denial on your case but know that there are steps that can be taken. For cases that have been denied by immigration, there is a policy that says individuals who receive denials in their immigration case can be sent to immigration court.
If you receive a denial, know that you need to seek legal assistance immediately to determine the options for appealing your case. Possibly refiling your case and also to be prepared for any kind of ramifications that might happen in terms of being sent to immigration court.
If you received a NOID, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you navigate that. For couples who are just starting out on their immigration journey, we provide all of this information not to scare you but to make you aware of the importance of proving your relationship in your first application with immigration. Making sure you’re submitting enough evidence and giving yourself the strongest case possible to avoid a NOID.