In April of 2021, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agreed to stop rejecting immigration application forms that contain blank responses — also known as ‘Blank Space criteria.’ Before then, immigration benefits applications were denied due to blank spaces on the forms — even if the spaces/fields weren’t relevant to the applicant. In addition to lifting the ‘blank space’ rule, USCIS will also allow immigrations who have had their applications rejected based on ‘blank space’ criteria to resubmit their request until July 20, 2022.
If your immigration application has been rejected, it’s time to call an experienced and skilled immigration attorney. Working with an immigration attorney can save you valuable time and heartbreak. At ATT Law, our goal is to help clients successfully move through the complicated immigration system of the United States in order to obtain legal status. Contact us today to learn more.
What Was The “Blank Space” Criteria?
In October of 2019, USCIS began implementing the blank space criteria, or ‘no blank spaces’ policy to reject forms that left questions blank or that did not use specific terminology to indicate a question was inapplicable. The majority of rejected applications had blank spaces for information that was not relevant to their eligibility. For example, leaving a blank space that asks for the applicants’ names in a native alphabet, but the native alphabet is the same as English.
USCIS will no longer be able to reject Form I-589, Form I-612, or Form I-918 if an applicant leaves a blank space thanks to class action litigation in Vangala v. USCIS. The filing challenged USCIS’s No Blank Space policy, and USCIS ultimately agreed to stop implementing the rejection policy for asylum applications and U-visa petitions.
Which Forms Are Affected?
The following forms will be affected by the change. If you have previously filed one of these and it was rejected on the premises of the Blank Space policy, you may resubmit it:
- Form I-589:Application For Asylum & For Withholding Of Removal
- Form I-918: Petition For U Nonimmigrant Status
- Form I-918: Supplement A, Petition For Qualifying Member Of U-1 Recipient
Can Forms Still Be Rejected For Blank Spaces?
This policy change does not mean that every immigration form will automatically be approved now. USCIS can still reject immigration forms for empty or blank spaces under the following circumstances:
- Leaves Required Space Blank: If you leave a space that is relevant and necessary for your application blank, the USCIS will reject your form.
- Fails To Respond To Questions Related To Filing Requirements:As we mentioned above, you are still required to respond to questions that are related to your filing.
- Omits Any Required Initial Evidence:Not submitting the required evidence with your immigration application is a surefire way to have your form rejected.
If you are one of the applicants affected by the No Blank Spaces policy, it’s imperative that you find a qualified immigration attorney to help you turn that rejection into an approval. In order to receive relief under the Vangala settlement, you must request a receipt of your original application from USCIS by July 20, 2022. In order to get the rejection overturned, you have to show evidence of your original application and that it was rejected due to the No Blank Space Rejection Policy. Once you have this receipt, all you have to do is provide USCIS with the receipt number and a copy of your rejection notice.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
The appeal process can seem complicated and overwhelming if you try to tackle it alone. Counting on Attorney Eric Price will save you precious time and increase your chances of a favorable outcome by partnering with an experienced immigration law expert. We believe that the American Dream should be made possible for all. Our firm is proud to bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and integrity to immigrants in the United States and abroad. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.