A USCIS poilcy memo issued July 13, 2018 will allow USCIS adjudictors "full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE [Request for Evidence] or a NOID [Notice of Intent to Deny], when appropriate. This policy is intended to discourage frivolous or substantially incomplete filings used as 'placeholder' filings and encourage applicants, petitioners, and requestors to be diligent in collecting and submitting required evidence." This can impact any benefits applications to USCIS such as I-765 for employment authorizations or the I-539 for Change of Status. For more informaiton see the NAFSA RFE & NOID Policy Summary.
BIO has updated its OPT and Change of Status tutorials, and encourages all students filing applications with USCIS to be mindful of the new guidance, and be sure to review all available instructions when submitting USCIS applications. Additionally, if you do not understand instructions or have concerns about your application or individual case, be sure to consult with an advisor about any questions of document deficiencies. This new policy guidance does not remove prior instructions to adjudictors (at AFM section 10.1(c), Initial Evidence Requirements) which states that "If an application or petition lacks the required initial evidence, USCIS may deny the incomplete application or petition, though adjudicators are urged to exercise this option judiciously, or issue a request for evidence (RFE)."