USCIS conducts the security checks and then adjudicates the matter.
J Charles Ferrari
Eng & Nishimura
The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
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Thanks for your inquiry. The answer is that I have no idea! Honestly, this process is quite new and your application will be amongst the first to be considered and decided. So let's explain some general processing details that come with many applications which are processed through a USCIS Service Center.
Eventually, the file will be assigned to an Immigration Services Officer ("ISO") who will review the case and see if you meet each of the eligibility requirements of the new deferred action (DA) program. If the officer believes that the application is meritorious and that you have established all that is required, an approval notice will be mailed to you and an employment authorization document ("EAD") will be ordered and processed. The EAD should then soon follow, again in the mail.
If there is some evidence that is missing or if the ISO requires additional evidence to approve the application, then a Request for Evidence ("RFE") can be issued and sent to you. The RFE will indicate what is needed, why it is needed and provide instructions about what type of evidence to provide and how to get it back to CIS for further consideration. Once the requested evidence is received by CIS, the case will be forwarded back to an ISO and reviewed.
If the case does not present an application which can be approved, CIS can deny the application. A denial will be sent to you in writing along with a description of why the denial was entered. The denial letter will explain that a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider the denial can be submitted if you believe that it is necessary. Keep in mind, however, that these motions are generally required to be filed within 30 days of the date of the denial and do cost an additional fee to submit.
I do not believe that there is an appeal process set forth on these applications. This process is one that was created by Executive Order, it is not one which finds its existence in the law or through regulations promulgated by CIS. For this reason, it is my personal opinion that there will be few avenues of asking for a second look to be provided in these cases. This is just my opinion and since all of this is new to all of us, we never know what kind of procedures may be implemented in the future. I can only speak to what I know now and this is as described herein.
I am of the belief that few of these cases will be scheduled for a personal interview at the local CIS Field Office. However, it appears evident that the possibility of personal interviews may exist. If an interview is required then you will be notified of the time, date and place of the interview. This interview will then occur before an ISO at the local CIS Field Office. The local CIS officer will then have the authority to approve, deny or request additional information.
In terms of how long these applications will take to finalize, CIS has indicated its goal of completing the applications within 6 months of receipt. These initial cases will probably be processed a little bit more quickly in that there do not appear to be a large amount of cases in the "pipeline" and there appear to be significant resources being sent the way of the DA cases at the inception. I would imagine that once the initial flow of cases is worked through, there may be some backlogs.
This entire process is intended on being relatively straight forward and easy to manage. In my office we are charging 500 for most of these applications that we are sending off. Not sure what other attorneys are charging, but I do not see most of these cases as all that complicated. For the time that I plan on spending on these cases and the time it will take to answer questions I believe that this price is fair. I believe that anyone applying for DA should sit with an attorney and consult as to whether it is a good idea to file. Be truthful and cooperative during your discussions with an attorney and you will be well served. Good luck.