When the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lack some information, it can require a notice called a Request for Evidence (RFE). RFE can address easily accessed documents, such as copies of birth certificates or diplomas, but sometimes these documents can be more complicated to acquire.
It can also state which document is explicitly missing or notice that some submitted papers do not meet the criteria. However, sometimes it will be necessary to provide evidence for specific immigration law provisions.
After getting the RFE notice, the deadline for responding is usually from 30 to 90 days. It is possible to respond in three ways:
1. The most important and it implies presenting all the evidence simultaneously in the same mailing.
2. Make a partial response if some of the required documents are not available, explaining why they could not be submitted and where those documents are.
3. You can withdraw the application.
Preparing the response consists of copying the RFE since the RFE original copy should be submitted in the response on top of the requested documents and a cover letter with the documents’ list. All of these documents should be copied and saved.
The RFE is becoming more common and represents the opportunity for the applicant to complement the information. However, the consequence of failing to respond to this request within the deadline can be a rejection of the petition.
Besides, it is possible to get one more notice from the USCIS local office – it is the Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). This notice signifies that an immigration officer considers denying the application for the reasons of the lack of visa eligibility.
NOID differentiates from the RFE due to a shorter deadline of 30 days and the fact that it will contain a list of reasons for denying the application instead of a list of requested evidence. It is crucial to provide evidence for every noted reason. However, the NOID is also not an official denial, so there is a chance to provide strong evidence in the response.
When the USCIS officer gets the response, it will take 60 days or more to take further action on processing the case.
It is possible to confront the rejection or the denial of the application, even if the response was submitted on time. There are several options to choose how to act:
- Address the Appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office
- Provide new evidence that the case should be reconsidered or reopened
- The petition can be refiled after removing the mistakes
- Check on the eligibility and apply for some other type of visa
It can be intimidating to receive the RFE or NOID; nevertheless, it should keep in mind that it is possible to overcome these obstacles to lawful permanent residence with a well-prepared response and substantial evidence.
To avoid potential difficulties in the green card process, it is recommended to have an immigration attorney at all stages of the case, and it is especially important to include one if RFE or NOID are received.