New Green Card Policy Leaves Little Room for Error

Recently, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new policy that will impact immigrants with applications in the system. The new rule gives immigration officials greater leeway to reject any applications, petitions, or requests that have mistakes or are missing paperwork. USCIS officials can now deny these applications without giving the applicants the chance to correct these errors or provide supplemental documentation.

Non-immigrants working to file Adjustment of Status Green Card Applications may now face deportation proceedings upon the expiration of their current visas. For others, without the opportunity to interrupt the application proceedings and revise their documentation, the process may become even more lengthy and expensive.

A spokesperson for the USCIS says the new policy was enacted to cut down on frivolous and fraudulent applications. They refer to individuals who submit incomplete applications in an alleged effort to buy some additional time in the United States. This new procedure shifts the burden of proof on to the applicant.

Rule Faces Backlash

Critics of the new policy say it gives USCIS officers unchecked authority to deny any applicant because there no established criteria in place to grant applicants the chance to correct their paperwork. They cite specific cases where applications have been rejected because they were missing a final page (which is usually left blank,) or because they were missing something as simple as a table of contents.

Many immigration lawyers consider this new policy part of the growing “invisible wall” constructed by the current administration to make the immigration process as complicated as possible. While many Philadelphia immigration lawyers have observed an increased demand for evidence to be submitted with applications, they do acknowledge that most clear-cut, strong cases are passed through.

Prior to this new policy, if an applicant had a blatant error or was missing critical documentation with their application, they might receive a “Request for Evidence” or “Notice of Intent to Deny.” These applicants were then given time to rectify their errors or submit missing paperwork.

This new green card policy makes it imperative for immigrants and lawful foreigners to have all of the necessary evidence ready and available at the time of their initial petition. While USCIS adjudicators may still grant applicants the opportunity to correct applications, it is no longer guaranteed.

Under this tough new green card policy, applicants can face denial and deportation for errors or insufficient evidence. The Philadelphia immigration attorneys at Surin & Griffin, P.C. guide clients every step of the way to improve their chance of approval and prevent delay.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients Prepare for the Green Card Application Process

To discuss your case with a skilled, multilingual Philadelphia immigration lawyer, call 215-925-4435 or use our online contact form to arrange a consultation. Our team understands what you are going through and is here to advocate for you and your family. Based in Center City, Surin & Griffin, P.C. serves clients in and around Philadelphia including the surrounding areas of Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.