Understanding Immigration Law: Is it a Bad Sign to Receive a Request for Evidence?

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a type of document issued by the USCIS that seeks additional information from a petitioner/applicant. RFEs are relatively common. As an example, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that a Request for Evidence is issued in nearly 25 percent of H-1B visa petitions.

If you just received an RFE, it is normal to be unsettled, even stressed out by the situation. The good news is that an RFE is not inherently a bad sign. The broad meaning is relatively simple: The USCIS does not believe it has enough information to approve or deny your application. The agency is giving you an opportunity to provide more details.

An RFE Means that More Information is Needed

RFEs can be issued for a wide range of different reasons. In some cases, there might simply be a missing document. The fix could be quite simple. In other cases, the evidence may be unclear and the agency may need a supplemental explanation. The important thing to remember is that an RFE is not a denial and it is not a guarantee of an impending rejection. Receiving a Request for Evidence may or may not be a bad sign. By itself, it is more of a neutral matter. You may be able to correct the issue by providing additional information.

How to Effectively Respond to a Request for Evidence

Almost everyone who receives a Request for Evidence from U.S. immigration authorities feels a bit of anxiety as they are reading the letter. The immigration process is difficult and an RFE is a very formal, intimidating legal document. Still, it is important not to panic. Here are three steps you should take if you received a Request for Evidence:

  • Get Organized: Remember, a Request for Evidence is simply that—the agency is seeking more information. As soon as you receive the letter, you should start to get all relevant information organized. Proper organization is one of the keys to success.
  • Take Immediate Action: With RFEs, the biggest mistake you can make is to simply ignore the issue. Missing a deadline could result in your application being denied. Do not delay: Take action right away.
  • Be Ready to Seek Help: RFEs often contain technical, complex language. If you have any questions or concerns about how to respond to one, contact a Los Angeles immigration lawyer for guidance. We will help you understand the steps you need to take to protect your interests.

Contact Our Los Angeles, CA Immigration Attorney for Help

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to advocate for immigrant rights. If you received a Request for Evidence and you have questions about your rights or options, our immigration lawyer can help. For a completely confidential, no obligation consultation, please call us today. Practicing federal immigration law, we represent clients throughout Southern California, including in Simi Valley, San Fernando, Pasadena, Inglewood, East Los Angeles, and Manhattan Beach.