In an October 19, 2010 precedent decision [Matter of Chawathe, Interim Decision #3700, 25 I&N Dec. 369 (AAO 2010)], the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAO) confirmed that the “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof is used in most immigration proceedings, stating:

  • In most administrative immigration proceedings, the applicant must prove by a preponderance of evidence that he or she is eligible for the benefit sought.
  • Even if the director has some doubt as to the truth, if the petitioner submits relevant, probative, and credible evidence that leads the director to believe that the claim is “more likely than not” or “probably” true, the applicant has satisfied the standard of proof. Matter of E-M-, 20 I&N Dec. 77, 79-80 (Comm’r 1989), followed.
  • If the director can articulate a material doubt, it is appropriate for the director to either request additional evidence or, if that doubt leads the director to believe that the claim is probably not true, deny the application or petition.