Responding to a Request for Evidence Issued by USCIS
During the processing of an immigration petition, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to obtain additional information from the applicant. The RFE will provide the following details:
Why USCIS is writing
What needs to be done
When it needs to be done
Where to send the requested information
An RFE can be issued for any number of reasons, but in most cases an RFE is issued to request additional documentation that establishes the applicant’s eligibility for the immigration benefit being sought. USCIS may also issue a:
Request for Initial Evidence – which serves the purpose of obtaining foundational evidence that may not have been submitted with the initial petition—birth certificate, marriage license, etc.
Request for Evidence (Form I-693) – which serves the purpose of obtaining the Medical Examination.
USCIS seems to be routinely issuing RFE’s for medical examinations. In cases requiring an interview, the sealed Medical may be taken to the interview. In cases that do not require an interview, the sealed Medical should be mailed to USCIS following the instructions within the RFE.
Notice of Intent to Deny- which serves as notice that USCIS has determined that the applicant has not demonstrated eligibility for the benefit being sought. In such scenarios, USCIS will give a deadline in which to respond with additional evidence establishing eligibility. This is your last opportunity to address issues of concern that USCIS has and overcome them through additional documents, evidence, and/or affidavits.
It is important to note that USCIS does not always send an RFE when documents or information is missing from a submitted petition. USCIS may deny the petition outright for missing forms or lack of sufficient documentation. If this happens, previously paid filing fees will be forfeited, and you may need to refile your petition or determine whether a motion to reopen or appeal is appropriate.
This is why it is important to obtain the services of a licensed Immigration Attorney to ensure that the petition is filed correctly from the beginning. An Immigration Attorney may also help you to strategize which course of action is best, and determine what documentation is being requested when responding to an RFE.
At the Law Office of S.A. Peterkin, we are equipped to respond to RFE’s issued by USCIS. We assist clients in determining what documentation USCIS is specifically requesting, obtaining the proper evidence as needed, and responding to the RFE in a timely manner. If you are the recipient of an RFE and need assistance with responding to USCIS’s request, give us a call at 321.325.1125 to find out how we can assist you.