Few immigration applications are more heavily scrutinized than marriage-based green cards. To prevent people from committing marriage fraud to obtain immigration benefits, USCIS conducts thorough interviews and often requests additional information before making a final determination. Applicants must provide a preponderance of evidence demonstrating the validity of their marriage and their eligibility for permanent residency.
If you and/or your spouse received a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), rest assured this is not a formal denial. A NOID is a letter explaining why you have not demonstrated eligibility for the benefit you requested, but the letter gives you the opportunity to submit any additional or corrective information that could benefit your case. You must act quickly, however, because you typically have only 30 days to respond before USCIS officially denies your application.
What Is the Difference Between a NOID and an RFE?
A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a notice from USCIS explaining that you have not submitted all required documentation. USCIS cannot make a decision based on an incomplete application. A NOID, however, is what you would receive if your application did not convince USCIS of your eligibility or your marriage’s validity, even if you submitted all necessary documentation. Evidence you submit after receiving a NOID, therefore, is supplementary.
What Would Trigger a NOID?
USCIS may send a NOID for a variety of reasons, and the letter will explain each reason. Your response should address every single point. Even if you are waiting for evidence (e.g. documents arriving in the mail), you can explain what evidence you plan to submit to USCIS once you receive it.
Here are a few common reasons USCIS would send you a NOID:
- You and/or your spouse did not provide enough evidence of your bona fide relationship
- You and/or your spouse could not answer questions about each other during your interview
- You and your spouse provided contradictory information during your interview
- USCIS discovered information on social media, in public records, or in your house that caused them to question the validity of your marriage
- You and/or your spouse previously committed marriage fraud
Unfortunately, what will be enough for one couple may not be enough for you. If USCIS doubts the validity of your marriage, the officer will need to see substantially more evidence than they would have required from a couple whose application raised no red flags.
How to Respond to a NOID
If you filed an I-130 on behalf of your foreign-born spouse, you will need to respond to the NOID yourself. You and your spouse will respond jointly, however, if you applied concurrently, with both the I-130 and the I-485.
To convince an immigration officer to approve your application, you may need to send one or more of the following types of evidence:
- Shared insurance policies or financing
- Family gym memberships
- Texts or photos demonstrating the nature of your relationship
- A letter from your doctor explaining your plans for fertility treatment
- Affidavits from community leaders, religious authorities, or employers
- Written rebuttals to explain the officer’s mistakes, a language barrier that caused a misunderstanding during your interview, or negative evidence they found during their investigation
After Responding to the NOID
Once you submit all required documentation, USCIS may take months to officially approve or deny your application. If you receive a denial, you can choose to appeal or reapply. In either case, you will need to overcome all reasons USCIS denied your application.
No matter the path you choose, assistance from a qualified attorney will significantly improve your odds of success. At The Law Office of Zhang, our attorney is proud to help reunite families in the United States. She strikes a balance between unparalleled efficiency and personalized dedication to every client. As a result, we have helped countless individuals and families accomplish their immigration goals! We recently had the opportunity to help a client who had received an NOID letter. Read a review of his experience with The Law Office of Zhang down below:
We have received a NOID (Notice of Intent of Deny) letter from the USCIS for our green card case after our interview. They are basically saying we are fake while we know we are not! We reached out to Attorney Emma Zhang hoping she can gain us another opportunity to present our case. Emma worked wonders in a few days and directed us to collect so much evidence we never thought about collecting. She wrote a strong argument letter to the Immigration and sent tons of evidence. My wife got a direct approval and green card was sent out a week after! We can't thank Emma enough that she basically just turned a denial to an approval in one week! - Calvin