Request for Evidence (RFE)
Nobody looks forward to getting a Request for Evidence (RFE) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An RFE is a written request from the agency requesting additional or supplemental information and or documentation that is missing from an application for an applicant or petitioner who filed for immigration benefits. USCIS generally sends RFE’s if they do not have satisfactory evidence or enough information to make a decision on your application. USCIS will also send an RFE if a document is missing from your application which prohibits them from making a decision. USCIS will generally outline what evidence is lacking and how the lack of evidence affects your eligibility for the benefit you are seeking. USCIS will also provide a list of alternative options of evidence that might be used. USCIS will also provide a deadline to submit the requested information or documents and inform application about the consequences of not responding to the request which includes but is certainly not limited to a denial of your case.
A proper RFE should:
- Identify the eligibility requirement(s) that has not been established and why the evidence submitted was not sufficient.
- Identify any missing evidence specifically required by the applicable statute, regulation, or form instruction.
- Identify examples of other evidence that may be submitted to establish eligibility; and request that evidence.
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Important tips to keep in mind:
- Hire an Attorney, an Attorney will prepare the RFE and provide a clear explanation as to any deficiency in the evidence, missing documents and exhaust all possible alternative options. An Attorney will also protect your right from requests that are outside the scope of information necessary to make a decision on your application
- Do not call USCIS customer service to explain the RFE, USCIS customer services agents are not your Attorney and will only provide general information
- You should endeavor to provide as much of the requested evidence as possible
- Submit your RFE on time! You should ensure that USCIS receives your RFE before the deadline outlined in the RFE, a late or unsubmitted RFE can lead to a denied application and then deportation
- Remember the “burden of proof” on you the applicant, petitioner, or requestor
- Remain calm, an RFE does not mean that USCIS will deny your case, look at an RFE as an opportunity to present additional information to a doubtful officer.
While RFEs can be scary, they are possibly your last chance to provide the evidence that USCIS needs to approve your application. If you received an RFE, take enough time to prepare a thorough response; rounding up all of the requested documents and get the help you need.
Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
A Notice of intent to deny is a notice that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sends to inform petitioner that the Officer evaluating the application doubts the legitimacy of your marriage or the validity of your I-130 visa petition and before making any final decision, issues a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). A NOID is essentially a decision to deny the applicants case based on an application submitted to USCIS seeking an immigration benefit for which the adjudicating officer perceives an ineligibility for the benefit sought. Generally, a finding of ineligibility stems from insufficient evidence, derogatory information or evidence or failure to establish favorable exercise of discretion. A NOID is more impactful than an RFE, a NOID explicitly states that your case will be denied unless you can convince the adjudicating officer otherwise. While an RFE is a list of evidentiary information or documents that is missing from your case and when submitted could prevent a denial or rejection. A NOID on the other hand will list a number of reasons why the officer will deny your case because the officer does not think that the petition should be approved. The response time will also be much shorter for a NOID than an RFE.