If you file your visa petition, even if it’s done perfectly, there’s a chance you could get the dreaded “RFE”, or request for evidence. This is when an adjudicating officer requests additional evidence for your pending USCIS petition. It could be something major, or something benign. Oftentimes, the item requested isn’t on the USCIS’s list of required items. The important thing to remember is this:

An RFE is not a denial… yet.

USCIS Office

Jacob Javits Federal Building (Home of some USCIS offices) CC courtesy of Ken Lund on Flickr.

If you don’t deal with the RFE in time, and correctly the first time, you might face denial or rejection of your case. However, avoid sending an unprepared reply, and instead send a reply to the RFE that follows USCIS’ instructions.

No matter what… DON’T:

Just ignore it.

If an RFE goes unanswered, generally it results in a denial. Don’t make this mistake.

Send something they didn’t ask for.

If you don’t respond to the RFE exactly as instructed, you may be denied. For example, you’re requested to submit a certain document with a signature, but you send a page with a photocopy (not original) signature.

How to respond to an RFE

RFE delay

If you are a RapidVisa customer, before responding to an RFE, we recommend you upload a scanned copy to your account’s dropbox and notify us via chat, support mail, or phone. If you respond to your RFE without notifying us, and you are denied, your money is lost, as you no longer qualify for our guarantee.

Make a duplicate copy of anything you send to the government for your own records.

Remember to stay calm and don’t panic. It’s more common than you think to receive an RFE, and even so, a denial is rare, if you follow instructions precisely. Even the most pristine cases can trigger an RFE. It’s not necessarily an indicator that your case is in danger of denial. It’s akin to going to the DMV and forgetting to bring a certain document along with you. Just follow instructions and you should be fine. We do the best we can to avoid delays, and an RFE is definitely a delay. But rather than changing your whole life, like denial, it will likely cause you a couple of weeks of delay.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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