Did You Receive An RFE? Here’s What to Do

A green card, Immigration lawyerPeople in Illinois who apply for green cards or other immigration statuses may receive requests for evidence, and they can respond in one of three ways. Immigrants may supply all of the information that was requested by the USCIS at once, submit some of the information, or withdraw their applications. People must respond to the RFEs within the timeframes that are stated in the notices. Receiving an RFE does not necessarily mean that the USCIS is planning to deny an application. Instead, it simply means that the agency needs additional information to make its decision.

Responding to an RFE

People who receive requests for evidence are only given one chance to respond. The USCIS requires applicants to submit all of the requested information at the same time. However, if people are unable to send everything at once, it is better for them to partially respond by sending what they have rather than ignoring the requests. People may also choose to withdraw their applications from consideration. It is a good idea for people to respond quickly when they receive RFEs so that the immigration officials will have enough time to consider their applications.

What Must Be Sent in an RFE Response?

Some RFEs will specifically list documents that are missing. If people receive requests for missing documents, they should gather them and submit them with their responses. Other RFEs may be more difficult to understand. They might cite statutes and regulations and ask the applicants to prove that they are eligible for the immigration statuses that they are seeking. Immigrants should make certain they understand what is requested so they can respond appropriately.

People should photocopy the RFE. They should then include the original as the first page of the packets they send. They should include letters that list the evidence that is included followed by the documents they are sending. RFE responses should be mailed to the USCIS at the provided address, and it is a good idea for people to get a delivery notification.

RFE Changes

The USCIS issued a memorandum in July 2018 that states that it now allows immigration adjudicators to issue denials without first sending an RFE if the initial application is incomplete. This makes it important for people to ensure that they complete their initial applications correctly and include all of the supporting evidence.