USCIS Is Now Rejecting Some Immigration Cases When Spaces Are Left Blank on the Immigration Forms

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It has never been easy to obtain immigration status through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).  Recently, however, it has gotten even a little bit harder.


At Ashoori Law, we have noticed a recent, and concerning, new trend with immigration cases.  It appears that USCIS is rejecting some cases if there are spaces left blank on immigration applications.  That’s right.  In some cases, even if you do not have a middle name, leaving the “middle name” space blank on an immigration form may result in the USCIS rejecting your entire application.


In this article, we will discuss how the USCIS historically has handled the information provided on immigration forms, and what you can do to protect yourself from having your immigration application rejected by the USCIS for something as minor as a space left blank.


If, after reading this article, you have more questions about an immigration application that you need to file, we welcome you to contact us at Ashoori Law.  Feel free to call us at +1-818-741-1117 or you may schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.


The Immigration Process Means Filling Out Forms


One thing that is important to know about dealing with USCIS, and making any type of immigration request, is that the USCIS usually requires that you to fill out some type of form.


For example, if you are seeking asylum in the United States, your asylum application must include a Form I-589.  That is the form specifically used for those seeking asylum or withholding of removal.  If you are seeking an O-1 Visa, which is a visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics, then you need to include a Form I-129 with your application.


In short, the forms you need to fill out for the USCIS will vary depending upon what kind of help you seek from the agency.  Yet, the common thread is that you always need to fill out some type of form.  That is why the manner in which a form is completed becomes highly important to USCIS.


USCIS Treatment of Blank Spaces Was Not Always So Strict


In years past, USCIS would not flatly reject an immigration form simply because some spaces on the form were left blank.  Instead, USCIS would either overlook the blank space (if it was minor) or they would respond by sending the applicant something called a “Request for Evidence” (often abbreviated as “RFE”).  The RFE essentially asks the applicant to provide additional evidence to clarify any confusion about the case.


Now, however, USCIS is simply rejecting certain cases for having blank spaces on the form.  And when USCIS rejects an application, they sends the entire package back to the applicant without even cashing the check for the application fee.


If there is a deadline for something you are filing with USCIS, such a rejection could have very serious consequences and may limit or remove your ability to re-apply.  That is why you need to make sure that you never leave any space blank on a USCIS form.


How Do I Make Sure That There Are No Blank Spaces?


What you need to do is fill out the entire form.  If there are any spaces that do not apply to you or then make sure that you write “N/A” in the space provided.  That is the key.


It may sound like a minor thing.  Indeed, if you do not have a middle name, why would you take the time to fill out the “middle name” space with the phrase “N/A?”  Unfortunately, USCIS now views this as something highly important.  So, you need to make sure that you avoid any blank spaces on an immigration form to protect yourself.


What Kinds of Applications are Getting Rejected for Blank Spaces?


While it is important to make sure that you completely fill out any USCIS form, it appears that the two forms that are most often being rejected for blank spaces are:

  1. Form I-589 – Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and
  2. Form I-918 – Petition for U Non-immigrant Status


What Are The Most Common Spaces Left Blank?


To make sure that you are careful not to leave any spaces blank, you want to double-check your form to see that the following spaces in particular are filled in, even though these spaces often will be filled in with “N/A”

  1. Middle name;
  2. Other names used;
  3. Passport number, or other travel document number;
  4. Family information;
  5. Name in native alphabet;


Again, even if a request for information in a space does not apply to you, you need to make that clear on the form by writing “N/A”


What Other Steps Can You Take to Avoid Having an Application Unnecessarily Rejected?


First and foremost, you would be wise to get the help of an experienced immigration attorney.  When you have someone in your corner who has dealt with USCIS on many occasions and understands immigration law, then you will have peace of mind that your immigration application will be filed by someone with experience.


However, if you are unable to obtain an immigration lawyer to help you, then you need to be sure to read instructions carefully.  Every USCIS immigration form comes with a set of instructions, explaining how to fill out the form.  Follow those instructions as closely as you can.  That will protect you from having USCIS reject your application.


Have a Seasoned Attorney from Ashoori Law Help You with Your Immigration Case


Given that the USCIS is being so strict by rejecting applications for spaces left blank, you can benefit with the help of a qualified immigration attorney.


My name is Michael Ashoori and I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and the founder of Ashoori Law. As an immigration lawyer, I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.  If you have any questions, feel free to schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

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Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.