USCIS has released the following regarding their statement on discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility.
This updated guidance is effective September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications, received after that date. The policy implemented in this guidance restores to the adjudicator full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate. USCIS will continue issuing statutory denials when appropriate without first issuing an RFE or NOID when the applicant, petitioner, or requestor has no legal basis for the benefit/request sought, or submits a request for a benefit or relief under a program that has been terminated. If all required initial evidence is not submitted with the benefit request, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence.