An Ultimate Guide to Request for Evidence (RFE)


Nobody wishes to get a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, Request for Evidence comes without warning and gives an unpleasant feeling to the recipient. In general, an USCIS RFE is a written request for additional information and documentation that USCIS mails out if they believe that there is not enough evidence to approve or deny a given application. Here, in this article, you will find complete details on Request for Evidence. Hopefully, you will find all your answers related to RFE, and you will know what to do!

RFE: Overview

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers have designed guidance on how to review an application for a green card as well as other immigration applications. In addition to this, the USCIS Policy Manual has charts and checklists that officers can use to review applications. These guidance materials explain the situations where issuing an RFE is correct.

It is important to know that an RFE is not written from scratch. There are several templates that give USCIS officers a kick-start, and then they can customize these templates to request additional information as well as documents for individual applications.

Let’s take a glance over the key parts of an RFE

The Facts: In general, a Request for Evidence includes an introductory paragraph about the original application. This introduction part explains the type of application, the date that USCIS received it, along with which office is currently processing it.

The introduction also includes that USCIS does not have enough evidence to make the decision on the application; hence, they need more evidence.

The Law: Usually, an RFE will quote sections of the INA, The Code of Federal Regulations, and any other law that is related to your application. For instance, this part will get into the details of eligibility requirements.

Evidence submitted: It includes the list of all the documents that have already submitted in support of your application. It is important to read this section carefully to see if anything you did submit already has not been listed. You should also create of list of anything missing from the list that might help the officer in making the decision in your favor, so you can submit these items as part of your RFE.

Lack of evidence: This includes the list of all the additional documents that USCIS requires to make a decision on your application. Here, USCIS also explains which eligibility requirement has not been met by the documents already submitted. In general, the RFE of this section is lengthy and provide alternate options for some documents that are being requested. For instance, an RFE asks for submission of a birth certificate that defines that if a birth certificate is not available, then school records and affidavits of birth can be submitted.

Deadline: It usually appears at the end of a Request for Evidence, and informs the applicant how long he or she has to submit the evidence to the USCIS. It also states that the applicant about the significances of not responding to the RFE, a decision will be made on the basis of documents that were previously submitted.

What next?

If you receive Request for Evidence, you should provide every single document listed in the RFE. In case if it is not possible for you, give clear explanations for any missing documents. Ignoring the mentioned documents and hoping that the officer will not notice is not a good strategy. Simply mail the requested documents before the end date and get the decision in your favor.