All About USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFEs): What They Are, How to Avoid Them, and What to Do if You Receive One

Whenever the United States Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS) deemed it fit to be unsatisfied with your immigration application, they will send you a USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFEs). Your response to the requirement will then determine the success or otherwise of your immigration case.

What is a Request for Evidence (RFE)

An RFE is a notice the USCIS sends to you when it determines that they need more information than you provided when you were applying to them. Take, for instance, if you applied for a Green Card, you must prove that you are eligible and qualify for a Green Card. Your inability to prove that will result in you receiving an RFE for further clarification.

It is just the request from the Immigration Officer about certain information or details about you, that you’ve refused or forgotten to provide.

RFE has four major parts viz;

  • The law
  • A list of evidence you submit
  • A list of evidence you are missing
  • A response deadline

The law

RFE usually starts with a quoted part of the U.S Immigration Law. This may be any section in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that deals with your application requirements.

Evidence Submitted

This is the part that follows the legal reference above. This is a detailed list of evidence and document you’ve submitted to Immigration. You should ensure that the RFE contains the list of all documents you’ve submitted so far and if you find it lacking any, you should resubmit such immediately.

Lacking Evidence

After USCIS would have listed the submitted evidence, what follows is the list of lacking documents. These are documents or evidence that’s preventing them from deciding on your application.

This part can be long as it will include those evidence not submitted and an alternative to them in case you don’t have the basic requirements.

Response Deadline

Lastly, at the end of the RFE, USCIS will include the deadline for your response. Failure to do so on or before the stipulated time to the mailing address provided for same will result in the Immigration Officer in charge of your application to determine your case with the existing document with them. This will likely result in a denial of your application.

How to Avoid Them?

Receiving an RFE doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing that your application will be denied or the said application is bad. It is just a request for further clarification on your applications.

For every form you filed at USCIS, there are instructions on what to submit to accompany your application.

When the documents you provide are difficult to read, you will surely receive an RFE. If the document is in a foreign language, you will likely receive an RFE asking for a translation of the said document to the English Language.

Also, when the Immigration Service wants to ascertain your proof of legal entry into the country, you will surely receive an RFE to this effect. All you need to do is just send a page of your passport with the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Stamp on it or your Form I-94 record.

The best possible way to avoid an RFE is to submit a complete application the very first time of filing. By following the guideline instructions for filing for any immigration application, you can avoid receiving an RFE.

What to do if you receive one?

What you need to do if you receive an RFE is to comply with the requirements you are been given and to file the necessary evidence before the due date.

To successfully do this, you need to follow the following;

  • Make a copy of the RFE notice for your record.
  • Gather all the requested documents or evidence.
  • Prepare your response packet.
  • Arranging the evidence in the way it was been requested by the USCIS.
  • Finally, mailing your RFE response to USCIS.

Take note, the mailing address must be the one provided for on the RFE notice. Make no mistake of sending your response to other places.

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