After submitting your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency may need more information before proceeding. If it does, they may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE). You must respond to the RFE within the specified timeframe, which is generally between 30 and 90 days. If an RFE has been made in your case, the next steps are critical. If you do not provide the information USCIS needs, it could result in a denial.
Receiving an RFE does not mean that your application has been denied, nor does it mean that it will be. It simply means that before the USCIS can make a decision, they need more information from you. An RFE is simply an opportunity to provide accurate information along with further documentation. It is also a chance to convince immigration officials to approve your application.
It is critical that you respond to an RFE within the timeframe USCIS has stipulated. If you do not, USCIS may assume that you abandoned your application and deny it. The agency may also make a decision in your case without the additional information, which will probably also result in a denial. If you move or travel extensively, it is very important to update your information with USCIS so you do not miss any RFE they send you.
You have three options when responding to an RFE. These include:
USCIS also will not accept multiple packages of evidence. Make sure you collect everything the agency has asked for and that you send it all at once. If you forget certain information and send it later in a separate package, it likely will not be considered. If certain documents are not available within the timeframe given by the USCIS, submit whatever is available. It is always better to submit partial evidence than none at all. Within your package, explain that you did your best to obtain the information requested but that it was not available to you at the time.
When submitting information, the RFE should be the first page of your response. Make sure you take a copy of it beforehand so you have one for your records. Then draft a cover letter listing all of the documents you included in the package. Make copies of all of this information for your own records, as well.
If you have received an RFE from USCIS, our Chicago immigration attorney at Sverdloff Law Group can help you prepare it so you have the best chance of approval. Call us today at 312-238-9090 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our knowledgeable attorney and to learn more.
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