I didn’t get my interview from USCIS and my case got denied. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St Louis, Missouri. Today. Selma asked us this question and it’s a sad question. We see this happen from time to time where someone files for an immigration benefit from USCIS and then for whatever reason they don’t receive their interview notice and their case is denied. Now in a citizenship case, generally you’re going to get two shots at attending the interview. They give you one shot and if you miss it, they reschedule you for a second interview, but for a green card application, we are seeing situations where an interview notice has been sent out. The interviewee did not receive it and the case is denied for failing to prosecute or failing to advance the case.
Now, you can’t rely on what I said about two visits with a naturalization case. You have to assume that the case is always active and you’re going to always want to make sure to keep track of your case. Now for Selma, one question I would wonder is did she moved since she filed the application? Now, if she moved and she doesn’t have proof that she updated her address or if she did not in fact update her address, then that denial is probably going to be on Selma and it’s not going to be a situation where she can get the case reinstated. Now, if Selma had the case denied because she didn’t receive a notice and she had notified USCIS of her address and has proof of that or she had never moved. In other words, if USCIS just didn’t send the interview notice or sent it to the wrong address, then that’s going to be a situation where she’s going to have some arguments and she might be able to get the case revived.
Now, a lot of times you lose a lot of time dealing with these missed appointments, but sometimes the immigration consequences can be dire. Maybe she has someone that she wants to sponsor for a green card or whatever. A lot of times if your case is denied because you didn’t receive your interview notice you’re really screwed because you’re either starting over or you’re fighting with USCIS for the next six months to try and get them to pay attention to the fact that they sent the interview notice to the wrong address. Now, that is really unfortunate. You are going to have to ask yourself though, do I want to just refile and start over, pay that filing fee again or do I want to fight because you might not win the fight and the fight might take a long time and it might just be faster to reapply?
So, I think the key question Selma is whether or not it was your mistake or USCIS’ mistake. If you can prove that they never got the notice to you, then you’re going to have a stronger argument. Now, there are two ways that can avoid this problem. Number one is you should sign up for electronic alerts. Once you get your receipt notices back, you can put the case number into USCIS’ website. You can sign up for a little account and they’ll email you and they will text you when things happen in your case. You can even get copies of the notices online. This is a great way to avoid it. The other great way to avoid it, of course, is to hire an attorney. If you have an attorney, then the attorney is going get a copy of any notices and you’re going to get a copy of any notices. That way you have two shots at knowing when the interview is.
USCIS makes these mistakes all the time. Having someone else receiving the notices is another good way to make sure that you don’t make this mistake. Hopefully Selma it wasn’t your fault. It probably was USCIS’ fault. Hopefully you can get this thing squared away, but if you or anyone else has questions about what happens when your interview notice isn’t received and your case is denied, give us a call at 314-961-8200 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home. We’d love to see you there.
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