Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be a complex and challenging process. One common hurdle that people may encounter on your journey to obtaining a work visa, green card, or US citizenship is receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While receiving an RFE can be scary and frustrating, it is essential to respond to it correctly and promptly. This article guides you through the process of responding to an RFE to maximize your chances of a successful outcome.
Understanding the Request for Evidence (RFE)
A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a notice sent by USCIS to request additional information, documents, or clarification regarding your immigration application. Receiving an RFE does not mean that your case will be denied. Rather, an RFE gives you an opportunity to provide USCIS with the necessary additional evidence to support your case. It is important to carefully read and understand the RFE to identify exactly what USCIS is asking for.
Tips for an Effective RFE Response
Here are six tips for responding effectively to a Request for Evidence.
1. Review the RFE Carefully
Start by reading the RFE thoroughly to understand the specific information or documents USCIS is requesting. Make a checklist of all the items requested to ensure you address each one.
2. Gather the Documents and Evidence to Address Each Point of the RFE
Collect all the documents and evidence requested in the RFE. Ensure that your documents are accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
Respond to each specific request made in the RFE in a clear and concise manner. Include any missing information or documents that USCIS has requested.
If applicable, include any additional evidence that supports your case, even if it wasn't explicitly requested. Use this opportunity to strengthen your application by demonstrating your eligibility.
3. Organize and Summarize Your Response
Create a well-structured response that includes a cover letter explaining your answers to each issue raised by the RFE. You may also want to include a table of contents to make it easier for USCIS to navigate your submission. Clearly label each document and provide explanations where necessary.
4. Submit the Response before the Deadline
USCIS typically provides a deadline for responding to the RFE. Ensure you meet this deadline to avoid further delays in your immigration process.
5. Copy and Send Your Response
Make copies of your entire RFE response package, including the cover letter and all supporting documents, for your records. To ensure your response is received by USCIS, send it using a secure method such as certified mail with a return receipt or use a delivery service like FedEx.
6. Consult with an Immigration Attorney
Consider seeking professional assistance from an immigration attorney. They can provide invaluable expertise and help you craft a strong response. An attorney can also help you understand the legal nuances of your case so that you can address any concerns the USCIS may have.
Receiving a Request for Evidence from USCIS is a common part of the immigration process. You should remain calm and take the opportunity to provide more evidence that will strengthen your case. By carefully reviewing the RFE, seeking professional guidance if necessary, and submitting a comprehensive and timely response, you can maximize your chances of a successful outcome. This will move one step closer to achieving your immigration goals and American dream.
Remember that the immigration journey can be challenging, but with patience and diligence, you can navigate it successfully.