If United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) needs more information to proceed with an immigration application, it will send out a letter called a ‘Request for Evidence (RFE)’. If you received an RFE, it is normal to be stressed out, confused, and even frightened. At this time, it is essential that you know how to effectively respond. Here, our Los Angeles immigration lawyer highlights the four key steps that you should take after receiving this letter.
1. Understand Exactly What You are Dealing With
A Request for Evidence is not a denial. If you received one, please do not panic. It means that USCIS needs more information to make a decision on your application. In some cases, that additional information may be relatively straightforward — it could be little more than a missing document or the lack of full tax records. Though, in other cases, receiving an RFE could certainly be a more serious issue. In accordance with federal immigration law, the RFE that you received should explain why the agency is seeking more information. Of course, in practice, these letters can be both vague and difficult to parse. The Request for Evidence letter you received should be reviewed by a lawyer who can help you understand what you need to do to respond.
2. Make Sure that You are Organized
As with many things in immigration law, proper organization is one of the keys to getting successful results. When you are responding to an RFE, it is crucial that you submit all relevant supplemental evidence. The last thing you want to do is to leave out documents — as doing so could cause further delays, even a denial. In addition, it is highly recommended that your response includes a professionally drafted cover letter that clearly explains why the evidence you provided proves that you are eligible for the immigration benefit.
3. Do Not Delay — There are Strict Deadlines
If you have received a Request for Evidence from USCIS, one of the most important things you need to keep in mind is that there are very strict deadlines. These deadlines vary somewhat, depending on the specific nature of the application. Though, you may only have 30 days to take action. It is imperative that you respond to the RFE before the deadline expires. Failure to submit your additional evidence in time could result in your application being denied on procedural grounds.
4. Be Ready to Get Help From a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Right Away
Finally, you should always be ready to seek professional legal guidance. Your immigration attorney can review the specific Request for Evidence letter you received from USCIS, answer your questions, explain your options to you, and help you devise a strategy to respond to the RFE that will put you in the position to achieve the best results.
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we are committed to protecting exceptional legal services to immigrants and their families. If you received a Request for Evidence, our legal team is here to help. To arrange a confidential case evaluation with an experienced immigration attorney, please reach out to us at our Los Angeles law office today. Call (213) 262-2000.