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Let’s Talk About NOIDs

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Let’s talk about NOIDs. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California. If you’re old like I am, you’ll remember when Domino’s had this annoying little character called The Noid. The Noid would go around and take people’s pizzas and screw up their orders and all this stuff. I think they took it from annoyed. Speaking of annoyed, you may be annoyed by receiving a NOID, a notice of intent to deny. A notice of intention to deny is the last step from USCIS before they issue a denial on your case.

Now, if you receive a NOID, I want to walk you through what you need to do. But before I do that, let’s go through the whole process of what happens when you apply for an immigration benefit. So, typically you’ll fill out the application, you’ll pay the filing fee, you’ll get your receipt notice back, and then you’ll usually get fingerprinted depending on what benefit it is, and then USCIS will begin processing your case. It could be for an overseas case, it could be for a case here. But while the case is at USCIS, there are different things that they can do.

They can approve the case, they can deny the case, they can issue what’s called a request for evidence, an RFE. You’ve heard us talk about RFEs before, that’s just something where USCIS feels like there’s some missing information from your application, so they issue you this RFE, this request for evidence. Then the last thing is a notice of intent to deny. Now, in lots of application categories, they are required by law to issue you a NOID before they actually deny the case. Now, sometimes they don’t do that, so that’s sometimes a hook that we can use to try to get them to reverse their decision. But generally, they are supposed to send you a notice of intent to deny.

What that looks like is a letter from USCIS and it will say notice of intent to deny. They’ll outline your immigration history, they’ll outline the benefit that you were applying for and then they will talk about what evidence they want you to submit, or what issues you need to overcome in order to get your case approved. Now, if you receive a NOID, I think you’re obviously on a track to denial. And the idea that you’re going to be able to convince them without a lawyer, and to win your NOID, to overcome the notice of intent to deny, I think the chances of you doing that without a lawyer are very slim. So I would say, number one, if you get a NOID, the first thing you need to do is contact a lawyer. Even before you start working on it, you want to get that going, because a lot of times you only have 30 days to reply to the NOID. If you miss it, obviously your case is over and you’re going to get denied.

We have overcome NOIDs, we have won cases where a NOID was issued. It’s not easy, and I would say it happens in less than 50% of the cases, probably about 25, 30% of cases can overcome a NOID. It depends on what the issue is, it depends on what they’re complaining about. So we’ve had good success, like on H-1Bs, where they said, “This is not a specialty occupation. Here’s a NOID, we’re going to deny this.” We’ve overcome that. We’ve also overcome NOIDs in the marriage based context, where they say, “Look, we sent you a request for evidence, you sent us some more evidence and this is not enough”, or, “Your affidavit support isn’t sufficient, so we’re going to issue you this NOID,” and we have been able to overcome that. It usually involves a clean legal issue. If it’s something that’s subjective, that USCIS has a lot of discretion on, then those are harder NOIDS to overcome.

But a NOID can be overcome. You can still win your case. Just because you got a NOID doesn’t mean you’re going to lose, but it does mean your case is on the ropes. You’re getting pummeled by USCIS and they’re coming at you, boom, boom, boom, and they want to deny your case. So a NOID is a serious, drastic thing that needs to be addressed immediately and thoroughly and quickly.

If you have questions or if you’ve received a NOID, or if you are annoyed by a NOID that you received, feel free to give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, it’s called Immigrant Home, we’d love to have you in there. We also have our YouTube channel, that you’re probably watching this video on, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. We put up a new video every single day. Also, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central time, you’ll find me live in our Facebook group, answering as many of your immigration law related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and we’ll see you next time.

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