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There is an overwhelming sense of excitement and accomplishment that comes with sending in your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You’ll then wait for days, maybe even weeks, as they process your application, which only fuels your excitement. Then, the moment you waited for finally arrives. You rip open the letter from USCIS, but then you feel your heart fall into the pit of your stomach. You have received a Notice of Intent to Deny, and you slowly see your American dream fade away.

However, this doesn’t have to be the end. The knowledgeable immigration attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. know that receiving a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) isn’t a nail in the coffin. Here is what a Notice of Intent to Deny means and what steps you need to take to make sure your American dream becomes a reality.

What Is a Notice of Intent to Deny?

A Notice of Intent to Deny is a letter issued by the USCIS that states that the applicant has not sufficiently demonstrated their eligibility for the requested immigration benefit. This letter is only sent to immigrants looking to get a green card and live in the U.S. under the I-130 visa petition, also known as the marriage visa.

Inside of the letter will be a list of reasons why the USCIS intends to deny the case, giving the applicant a chance to answer those concerns. The applicant’s response to the Notice of Intent to Deny will be their last chance to convince their USCIS adjudicator of their eligibility to qualify for a green card.

Why Would the USCIS Issue a Notice of Intent to Deny?

It is important to remember that a marriage license is not a direct ticket to getting a green card in the United States. Instead, the couple needs to convince the USCIS that their marriage is legitimate and that the immigrant in question deserves a green card. This requires that the applicant for the green card must provide evidence to prove all of this. Because of the nature of this special route to obtaining a green card, the USCIS tends to hold applicants at a higher standard than immigrants seeking to get a green card through more traditional routes, such as a work visa or normal green card application. If you end up receiving a Notice of Intent to Deny, it may be for the following reasons:

There Was Insufficient Evidence That the Relationship Was Authentic

The USCIS will ask for evidence that you and your partner have a legitimate marriage and that you both intend to share a life. If you received a Notice of Intent to Deny based on lack of evidence about your marriage, it simply means more information is needed. This reason is usually the easiest to address as the couple can just send in additional information such as a joint bank statement or joint housing agreements.

There Were Discrepancies in Each Spouse’s Testimony

Every couple looking to receive an I-130 visa or marriage-based adjustment must go through a Stokes interview. In this interview, the officer from the USCIS will ask you basic questions about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. If you and your partner give answers that conflict with each other or one of you cannot answer basic questions about the other or your relationship, then this often sends a red flag to the USCIS. The Stokes interview is designed to detect marriage fraud.

Discovery of Alarming or Negative Information

The USCIS officer in charge of your case will be looking into you and your partner’s life very closely. It is not uncommon for them to look up you or your partner online on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Public records are fair game and so is a visit to your house. If an officer finds information that may be alarming or raise questions about the legitimacy of your marriage, then a Notice of Intent to Deny may be issued.

The Applicant Has Committed 204(c) Fraud

204 (c) fraud is marriage fraud from a previous marriage application to the USCIS. If you or your partner has committed marriage fraud, then the USCIS will not approve any future I-130 petitions for that individual. While this type of NOID is the hardest to contend with, it isn’t impossible. Contact an immigration attorney for help handling this reason for Notice of Intent to Deny.

What Can I Do to Overcome the Notice of Intent to Deny?

Depending on the reasoning for the notice as outlined in your letter, you will want to find and submit evidence that supports your claim and shows that your marriage is valid. While for some reasons this can be fairly simple, for others, it may be more difficult.

An experienced immigration attorney can help you explore your options and get the evidence needed to show the USCIS that you deserve an approved application. The dedicated team at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. can help you with all of your immigration needs. It is important that you contact us as soon as you get your letter, as typically you only have 30 days to respond to the USCIS before they deny your case. Call our team to schedule a free no-obligation consultation with one of our caring immigration attorneys today.