Why was I referred?
Some who file an I-601 in CDJ are referred. A referral IS NOT A DENIAL! It only means that the case is not “clearly approvable”. In CDJ cases have enjoyed the ability for an adjudicator to look over their packet and if they see a clear reason to approve they will immediately. If the adjudicator feels that the case must be reviewed more carefully then he or she will refer it. This does not mean it will not be approved, it only means the adjudicator feels that the case needs more review. It does not even mean that you have not supplied enough evidence; it only means that the evidence will be reviewed more thoroughly. Remember, they only have 15 minutes to review each case. That means many approvable cases will be referred just because the adjudicator is working quickly and perhaps even missed your strong arguments.
Why does it say I did not provide enough hardship evidence?
The form that CDJ gives you when it refers your case is not clear. It only has three boxes that the adjudicator can choose from to let you know why you were referred. There should be one that says something like “requires further investigation” but instead it says “applicant did not provide enough hardship evidence”. This is misleading because, as stated above, there is every possibility you DID provide enough evidence. Do not rush to send pages and pages of additional evidence; you may actually hurt your case that way. You need to make sure you provide strong arguments and be sure not to make it more difficult for the adjudicator to find these strong arguments amidst weak ones.
But everyone says I have to file more evidence or I won’t win!
This depends, what did you file in the first place? Since the beginning of 2012 many people have called me sure they have to file more evidence, however when I review the case it is clear they do not. One client even had a grandmother with Alzheimer’s he needed his Mexican wife (a registered nurse) to care for, and his grandmother almost died without his wife around for even a few weeks (we filed an expedite request that was approved immediately). All this to say, you may be fine because A REFERRAL IS NOT A DENIAL. Again, do not rush to send unhelpful paperwork. If some new hardship appears then that should definitely be submitted but any more evidence on your present hardship needs to actually strengthen your arguments, not muddy the waters.
What if the FBI box was checked?
The second box on the form says that FBI records have to be checked. It is possible your name is a name shared by people who have a criminal or other record. If you have this box checked it means you need to find out why. You may have to prove that you have a clean record, or if you do in fact have a record you need to address that.
When will they decide my case?
The government has opened a new processing center where they are adjudicating the referred cases from CDJ. This office is in Los Angeles and its work once significantly speed up processing times. Some cases are also being sent to the Vermont Service Center. The plan is for the time it takes to decide cases will not exceed six months. Unfortunately this has not been happening and processing times have gotten much longer since the end of 2011. Hopefully this will change once cases are filed within the U.S.