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USCIS rarely denies an O or P petition outright. If it has concerns, it will typically send a Request for Evidence. If it then decides to deny the case, it may issue a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), if the decision will be based on information not submitted by the petitioner, or simply a Notice of Denial that will inform you of certain rights of appeal.

New guidance issued to USCIS petition reviewers on June 9, 2021 aims to ensure that petitioners submitting a visa application are given an opportunity to correct innocent mistakes and unintentional omissions before an application is denied. The guidance further emphasizes that visa officers should only issue requests for additional evidence and denials when absolutely necessary.

If you do receive a denial, it will make reference to the appeal process. As a general rule, appeals take too long to accommodate a planned performance. Instead, if you feel you have a meritorious case, consider re-filing the petition as a new case (though you should inform USCIS of the prior denial and file number). At least with USCIS, an appeal is theoretically possible. Remember that no such appeal is available at the next stage of processing if a consulate issues a visa denial, except if the consulate has erred as a matter of law, which they rarely do. Nor is there an appeal from decisions to deny entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

To avoid a denial, petitioners should always be careful when assembling the required elements of a visa petition.