On April 17, 2007, the USCIS published a final rule removing the standard 12-week timeframe for responses to Requests for Evidence (RFE), and the 30-day timeframe for responses to Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). The final rule primarily adopts the proposed rule, published on November 30, 2004, with only minor changes.
For any RFE or NOID issued on or after June 18, 2007, the USCIS will adopt a flexible approach to tailor the timeframes for responses, not to exceed 12 weeks for RFEs and 30 days for NOIDS, depending on the type of evidence requested and the case circumstances. The USCIS intends to publicly disclose the guidance that will establish the new timeframes and standards for submission of different kinds of evidence in different circumstances. The USCIS contends that some individuals were exploiting the RFE process to deliberately delay the processing and prolong their stay in the United States. By adopting a flexible approach, the USCIS hopes to encourage the filing of complete applications and petitions to avoid the risk of missing a response timeframe. The final rule retains the current process for requesting a decision on the record.