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Request for Evidence (RFE) - Questions and Answers. Or, Keep Calm and Read On.

Suppose you filed an application for a work-related visa, a green card, naturalization, or any other U.S. immigration benefit. You might have received a letter from USCIS with the headline “Request for Evidence,” stating that you are required to provide additional information to allow USCIS to decide your case. Here are some answers to the questions you might have:

Why did I get an RFE?

The RFE is a tool used by USCIS to ask applicants for more detailed information and documentation to help determine whether or not to grant the requested benefit. If the reviewing officer concludes that the information the requestor provided with the initial application is insufficient, they will send an RFE asking for further details. Remember that even though it might feel unjustified, the RFE can be an opportunity to make your case stronger and increase the chances of approval. Thus, “keep calm and carry on,” and... keep reading.

When do I need to respond to the RFE?

The first and most important item on the RFE is the deadline for submitting the requested information. If one fails to reply to USCIS’s request by the stated deadline, USCIS might deny the application. However, no need to get stressed. USCIS usually provides applicants with sufficient time to reply. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you should be able to respond in time.

*NOTE: Due to Covid-19, USCIS has automatically extended the filing deadline for some cases. Please consult with your attorney to understand if such extension applies to your case.

What do I need to submit?

In some cases, it seems like USCIS is asking for information you have already provided with the initial application. However, it is essential to read the RFE carefully, understand why is USCIS asking for more details or documentation, and respond to these requests.

In some cases, it is straightforward to follow the instructions. For example, if USCIS is asking for a simple document such as a copy of your birth certificate. Sometimes, there is a need to prepare additional documents, such as new reference letters, company charts, or financial statements. Many times, a legal brief or a letter will help address USCIS’s concerns. Again, this should not be a reason for worry, and your attorney will help you lay down your case.

Where to send the RFE response?

Before you reply to the request, following the instructions on where to send the requested documents is crucial. USCIS will provide you with this information at the bottom of the RFE. Make sure to send your response to the correct address and consider the time it will take for your answer to get to the destination, to ensure that you won’t miss your deadline.

For more information, we invite you to contact our law firm at

*This article has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current, and is subject to change without notice. Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice concerning any particular legal matter.

© Copyright 2021 by Revital Shavit Immigration law


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