I Received a Request for Evidence (RFE)! Now What?

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 very major, or very minor and benign. Often times, the item requested isn’t even 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.

The reason “yet” is added in there is because if you don’t deal with the RFE, in time, and correctly the first time, you will get the dreaded denial after all. Don’t panic. Also, don’t half-wittingly send a reply to the RFE without following precise instructions. Ideally, you should call us, and let us take a look. Even if we didn’t handle your case, you don’t want to mess this step up, because again… you get one chance.

 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, and we cannot stress “exactly” enough, you will probably be denied. They won’t say “No we didn’t mean that, we meant this”. They’ll simply deny you.

One example of how blowing your opportunity during an RFE response is: 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 any RFE, we recommend you upload a scanned copy to your account’s drop box 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 a denial, it will likely cause you a couple weeks of inaction.

If you are a client of ours, or even if you’re not,  and you received an RFE, drop everything and give us a call now: 1 (800) 872-1458.

If you have any questions about the process, give us a call at 1 (800) 872-1458.



Disclaimer: The information herein is not intended as legal advice and is provided for general information only.Questions involving interpretation of specific U.S. laws should be addressed to an attorney and/or government officials.

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