Sometimes USCIS denies petitions. Sometimes the denials are because a person wasn’t lawfully eligible, sometimes they are because there wasn’t enough documents submitted with the case, and yes, sometimes the denials are WRONG! What can you do about it?
Basically, I recommend 2 steps. Step 1 is to read carefully the decision word for word and make sure you are clear on all of the reasons that USCIS is denying your case. Step 2 is to meet with a lawyer and discuss your case and get a clear gameplan! Do not delay with this, since most decisions are final after 33 days.
With your lawyer, you will want to analyze three options:
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Option 1: Refile or Resubmit your case.
Your first option is to refile your case completely. This option typically makes sense only if there are a LOT of substantive changes that need to be made. For example if the wrong forms were filed, or if the wrong category was selected, or if there is some other problem with the way the application was originally filed.
Option 2: File an I-290B.
Your second option is to file an I-290B. This option is typically the best! What is an I-290B? It can be one of three things. 1. An I-290B can be a motion to reopen (e.g. if there was additional evidence or additional arguments that were not considered the first time, than you might do an I-290B and submit the additional evidence or arguments). 2. An I-290B can be a motion to reconsider (e.g. if there is a new law that recently came out that USCIS didn’t fully consider on your case, you want to give USCIS the opportunity to reevaluate your case given the change the in the law. 3. An I-290B can also be an appeal – where you argue that the officer’s decision to deny your case was an error, it was incorrect as a matter of law. The strategy for an I-290B is best discussed with a lawyer who has won tough cases!
Option 3: Do Nothing!
Your third option is to do nothing. In my opinion, this is not what I typically recommend; however, if there was a problem with your eligibility for the benefit originally, than sometimes doing nothing is better than fighting about it. Also, if there is some other benefit that you qualify for, that might be better for you than the one which was denied, the best strategy might be to do nothing about this negative decision and instead file something else.
Final Advice: Don’t Panic, but Don’t Delay Either
Receiving a negative decision on your immigration case can be scary. However, do not panic! You want to be smart about it and take actions that will maximize your chances of fixing your case. Please read the decision carefully and pay attention to the deadlines – they are typically 33 days from receipt is when the decision becomes final – so you want to move quickly, meet with an immigration lawyer who is good and who you trust, and come up with a strong gameplan to get your case back on track.
Remember that just because USCIS has denied this benefit does NOT mean that your case is necessarily impossible or hopeless. Please keep hope, and please take action to resolve the issue. If you want a detailed consultation to discuss your case, please give our office a call, our immigration attorneys at Landerholm Immigration, APC have the experience you need and we are here to help. Call today at (510) 491-0291.