By: Jibran Muhammad
Receiving a request for evidence can be quite an unsettling experience. Although it is often perceived as a negative response from the USCIS, it is merely an effort to gain more information about an applicant before a decision is made. If you have received an H-1B Request for Evidence (RFE), it is highly recommended that you take it seriously and act swiftly. This means you should seek assistance of a licensed and experienced attorney before you submit your RFE.
It is important to note that beginning September 11, 2018, USCIS may begin issuing more denials for H-1B visas instead of Requests for Evidence, on cases that are either:
- Missing required initial evidence
Request for Evidence (RFE) Types
USCIS can issue multiple types of RFEs to obtain additional information. RFEs are usually meant for the following purposes:
To prove a relationship between the employer and employee. In some cases, it is not immediately plausible that a genuine relationship exists between an employer and employee. USCIS might request for additional information for that purpose.
To determination qualification for a “specialty occupation.” The only way to gain approval for an H1B visa is to demonstrate that the beneficiary is qualified for a specialty occupation.
To obtain financial information from relatively new companies. The USCIS will use this document to determine whether or not a new business is staying ahead of their financial dealing, whether or not they’re in good standing with the IRS.
To evaluate an applicant’s degrees and education. This is especially true for degrees that weren’t obtained in the United States.
Tips for Completing Your H-1B RFE
- React to the RFE notice within a reasonable period of time. Note the deadline and try to get all the evidence gathered as soon as possible.
- Make sure to concisely complete the RFE document. The USCIS typically does not allow multiple chances at completing RFE forms.
- Completely read your H-1B RFE an ensure that you understand it. Skimming often leads to erroneous responses and miscommunication. In some cases, it can be hard for applicants to understand what is being asked of them in an RFE.
- Most importantly work with your immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and eliminate careless errors.
When Should you Respond?
Look over all documentation included with the RFE. The letter should indicate the time frame in which you must respond. It may be anywhere from 1 month to just under 3 months. It is always recommended to respond prior to the deadline.