bigstock-Passport-Gavel-5802855June 28, 2011

Congratulations! Your I-130 petition has been approved! You worked hard, put together a good petition, and now your loved one can immigrate to the United States, perhaps joining you here in central Ohio, worry free. Right? Not always. Even after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has approved your I-130 petition, they can issue a Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) and turn your world upside-down.

A NOIR is, essentially, a failsafe that allows USCIS to deny your I-130 petition after it has been approved. If, after your I-130 petition has been approved, USCIS discovers that it made a mistake in approving it, or discovers new information that shows you aren’t entitled to approval, it issues a NOIR.

An NOIR letter should explain to the petitioner exactly why the I-130 is being revoked, setting forth the law and facts that, according to USCIS, show that the petitioner is not entitled to their approved I-130 petition. It should also inform the petitioner that they have a right to respond to the NOIR and explain why their NOIR should not be revoked.

So, you’ve gotten a NOIR in the mail. What can you do?

  1. Respond – A NOIR will not go away. If you don’t respond to it, USCIS will revoke your I-130 petition.
  2. Act Fast – A NOIR should state a time period (often 30 days) in which you are permitted to respond to the NOIR. However you decide to respond to the NOIR, make sure you do so within the allotted time period.
  3. Inspect the Record – You have the right to inspect USCIS’s record relating to the I-130 that USCIS intends to revoke. Inspecting USCIS’s record can help you find holes in the Notice of Intent to Revoke and allow you to make better factual and legal arguments in response.
  4. Submit Evidence in Support of Your Arguments – Your response to the NOIR is your only opportunity to present evidence to USCIS. Don’t waste it. You may be able to clear up USCIS’s misunderstanding of the facts by providing them with better information.
  5. Make a Legal Argument – You may be able to present a legal argument that will convince USCIS that your I-130 shouldn’t be revoked. Even if USCIS doesn’t agree with your legal argument, you might be able to appeal USCIS’s decision to a higher authority.
  6. Consult an Attorney – A NOIR is a scary thing – a letter from a government-trained immigration law expert, telling you that your I-130 petition is going to be revoked in a matter of days. After reading a Notice of Intent to Revoke, an I-130 petitioner might think that there is nothing that they can do.

Depending on your particular circumstances, a trained attorney, using the above mentioned tactics as well as other techniques, may be able to tear a seemingly-air-tight NOIR to shreds or otherwise work around it.

An NOIR is serious business. It has the potential to put an I-130 beneficiary out of work, out of the country and away from their family, but if you take it seriously and act fast, you may be able to beat it.