Whenever a request for evidence, or “RFE” is received, it can be a stressful part of the process. At RapidVisa, we see more RFEs at the adjustment of status phase than any other in the immigration process.
Most RFEs we receive for AOS petitions are related to the financial ability of the sponsor to support the alien. They need to know that the sponsor can support the intending immigrant financially, and feel confident that they will not become a burden to the state. Here are some common reasons for adjustment of status RFEs we see:
1. Sponsor Doesn’t Meet or Barely Meets the Income Requirement
You need to make sure you not only meet the income requirement, but can solidly prove it. Your evidence should be strong and irrefutable. If you’re trying to shimmy things around to barely meet the minimum, it will be discovered and your case could fall apart.
2. Sponsor Doesn’t File Tax Returns
If a sponsor didn’t file for the most recent year, they need to file or prove they are not required to file by the IRS. The sponsor should provide returns for the last 3 yrs in most cases. In some cases, people may not be required to file taxes, but without including an explanation or evidence to prove this is the case, an RFE is imminent. You should provide tax returns, or even better, tax transcripts, even if you were recently hired.
3. Sponsor’s Tax Returns of Last 3 Years Indicate Unsustainable Income
If your work history is shaky, or your income fluctuates radically, it could indicate that your income is unsustainable. This could cause an RFE or even denial.
4. Sponsor Over-Deducts on Taxes
Self-employed individuals and independent contractors commonly deduct more items than the typical taxpayer to avoid a high tax bill. Such deductions may be 100% legitimate, but historically draw more scrutiny and can cause RFEs to occur.
5. Sponsor Doesn’t Provide 1099s
This is mainly for people who are on social security benefits, retired, or disabled. Sometimes these kinds of income are not taxable, but the sponsor must still provide 1099s.
6. Workers Compensation
If a sponsor is on workers compensation, their income is viewed as unsustainable by USCIS. This can draw an RFE or denial.
7. Providing Weak Assets in Lieu of Income
The types of assets that are more easily approved are liquid. The more liquid, the better. Vehicles and properties are more scrutinized. IRAs, cash in bank accounts, stocks, and bonds are the safest bet. Remember if using assets in lieu of income, you can only use 1/3 of the assets.
For example, if your income requirement is $20,000, you must have at least $60,000 in assets to use in lieu of income.