NIW Adjudication Process

After thorough prefiling review, we’ll submit your completed petition package to the proper USCIS Service Center. USCIS will then issue an official receipt notice, acknowledging that it has received your NIW application. The date USCIS receives a petition package is known as the filing date, which USCIS uses as its “priority date” for your application. Typically, USCIS issues a receipt within a week or two of submission, and we promptly provide our clients a copy of this receipt as soon as we get it.

The current processing time for NIW ranges from 6 months to one year depending on the particular USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction, as well as the individual USCIS officer who processes the case. After reviewing the petition, USCIS can do one of the following:

  1. Approve the NIW.If your petition is approved, USCIS will mail an approval notice in a Form I-797.
  2. Issue a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) notice.If the USCIS officer reviewing your case has determined that there is insufficient evidence for approval, the officer can ask you to provide additional evidence to support specific points in your application. RFEs take the form of an official letter. Generally, USCIS allows you up to 84 days to respond to an RFE. You attorney will guide you gather requested documents and promptly respond to the RFE. If no additional evidence provided, USCIS will adjudicate the case as it is.
  3. Issue a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).In the event the USCIS officer reviewing your case determines that your application should not be approved, or if there is no extra documentation or evidence submitted, the officer can issue a NOID Generally speaking, both the guidelines for and documents used in responding to NOID are similar to those for RFE responses. Similar as RFE, NOID takes the form of a letter, and USCIS allows up to 84 days to respond. If the client does not respond to a NOID in that time with additional evidence, the case will be denied. Thus, a NOID differs from an RFE in that a case with an RFE may have a chance of approval (albeit a very slim chance), even though no additional evidence has been submitted. If USCIS issues a NOID on a pending case of one of our clients, your attorneys will respond and submit additional evidence to rebut the NOID.
  4. Simply deny your application without an RFE or a NOID. In general, an NIW petition with the required initial evidence should not be outright denied. However, if the adjudicating USCIS officer decides that a petition does not contain the basic evidence needed to satisfy the minimum criteria, then the officer can issue a denial notice. There have been instances in which USCIS has denied cases that did contain all the required initial documents. In such an event, a petitioner can request that USCIS reopens his or her case.

At our firm, we’ll assist you in the preparation and submission of all the evidence required for your case. As soon as USCIS makes a final decision on your NIW case, we’ll immediately inform you of the result.