NOID In Asylum Cases
Author: Asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova
NOID or Notice of Intent to Deny is a document that might receive from a US asylum office after he/she appeared for an interview. While it is not a denial, it is an indication that an asylum officer intends to deny your claim. The notice usually will specify the reasons for such intent: perhaps, it will reveal inconsistencies between the applicant’s testimony and country conditions; inconsistencies between the evidence presented, or sometimes will point out at the legal flaws in one’s case.
How to Avoid NOID
To avoid NOID, an applicant has to prepare very well. When it is not possible to predict the coming of a NOID, it is possible to supply a detailed account of events that prepare for the interview well. Often, an asylum officer does not confront applicant with inconsistencies listed in NOID during the interview, however. Basically, an applicant would have to “predict” the problematical issues of his/her case and will have to try arguing them in the initial submission by providing sufficient country conditions reports, letters of support, medical records, etc. Submission of expert reports can be very helpful to establish the reasons of why an applicant cannot relocate within his/her home country to avoid persecution or why the government of the home country cannot protect the applicant.
Evidence apart from the applicant’s own testimony is very important. At times, an applicant is inconsistent in his/her testimony for a variety of reasons: stress, forgetfulness, desire to make his/her story better. This may cause negative credibility findings by an asylum officer. However, other evidence in the case may overcome those findings. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit stated in Lin v. Holder, “Although adverse credibility determinations are generally fatal to an asylum claim, an applicant can still prevail if she can prove actual past persecution through independent evidence.” See Lin v. Holder, 736 F.3d 343, 354 (4th Cir. 2013) (citing Camara v. Ashcroft, 378 F.3d 361, 369 (4th Cir. 2004)). Another court held “an adverse credibility determination does not alleviate the IJ’s duty to consider other evidence produced by an asylum applicant,” and that “the failure to consider [applicant’s] corroborating evidence was an error.” Olivares v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23511, *5 (11th Cir. 2013) (quoting Forgue v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 401 F.3d 1282, 1287 (11th Cir. 2005)). See also, AlHarbi v. INS, 242 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 2001); Zahedi v. INS, 222 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2000).
At other times, an asylum officer may regard the entire application as not credible where only a portion of the testimony was, in fact, found not credible. In such cases, if a portion of the testimony is not credible, it does not mean that the entire case is not credible and there is case law to this effect. Examples: Matter of T-Z-¸24 I&N Dec. 163, 165 (BIA 2007), Serna-Garcia v. Att’y Gen., 346 Fed. Appx. 778 (3d Cir. 2009), Lin-Jian v. Gonzales, 489 F.3d 182, 191 (4th Cir. 2007).
How to Respond to NOID
Once NOID is received, a person usually has very limited time to respond to it (no more than 16 days, as a rule). Nevertheless, NOID has to be responded to. Depending on the issues raised by NOID, additional evidence, if available can be submitted: letters of support, expert reports, country conditions documents. Importantly, if an applicant has a benefit of professional representation, a legal brief has to be submitted with legal arguments providing a sufficiency of the applicant’s claim.
If you are looking for solutions to your asylum case, call us to book an appointment at 917-885-2261.