Sample Cover Letter Rfe Response

What if I Get a Request for Evidence (RFE) on my Immigration Application?

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a notice that the USCIS officer uses to notify you that they need more information in order to make a decision regarding your pending application. Typically, an application or petition will fall into one of three categories:

  1. The application is complete in showing that the petitioner is eligible for admission and the application will be approved.
  2. The application is complete, but the evidence shows that the petitioner is ineligible and the application will be denied.
  3. The evidence that has been provided raises some questions, and cannot immediately establish eligibility for admission.

RFE’s are used when your application falls under the third category and contains insufficient documentation. Just because you have received an RFE, it does not automatically mean your visa or immigration application has been denied or will be denied in the future. It simply means that USCIS cannot approve your application as it currently stands, but just needs more information before they can make their final decision.

In many cases, a USCIS agent has the power to deny an immigration application prior to issuing a RFE. Therefore, this can be a good opportunity for you to bolster the strength of your application. An RFE can be avoided by initially preparing a complete, organized, and detailed packet to support your application at the onset of your application or case. Yet, it is important to remember that including irrelevant or unimportant information can hurt your chances of success as well.

An RFE can be sent at any time during the application process, and will explain exactly what type of evidence the USCIS needs in order to fully evaluate your application. Once you submit the requested information, the review of your application will proceed in light of the new evidence you provided.

Responding to a Request for Evidence

In order to avoid having your application denied it’s important that you include all of the requested evidence in your RFE response by the deadline assigned by USCIS. This is especially important since you only have one chance to respond to these requests. If you fail to include some of the requested information or do not respond by the deadline, your application will be denied.

Therefore, it is crucial to take any requests seriously, even if it requires you to submit information that you believe you have already provided in your application. You should file your response as quickly, politely, and thoroughly as possible. The faster you submit all of the missing information and documents the sooner your application will be processed and reviewed.

Depending on your circumstances, the RFE will grant you a 30 to 90 day window to respond. Your specific timeframe will be indicated in your RFE. Within the time allocated by the RFE from USCIS, you have three options:

  1. Submit all of the evidence the RFE requested at the same time.
  2. Submit only some of the evidence, creating a partial response, which tells the USCIS agent that you want a decision to be made using only the information it has at the time.
  3. Withdraw your application.

The RFE requires you to submit all of the required documents at the same time, so you should not send the materials in separate mailings to the USCIS. If you submit information after the deadline or after the first set of documents have been mailed, it will not be considered when USCIS reviews your case.

What Evidence to Include

Your individual RFE will explain exactly what type of information the USCIS is missing. Even if you think it is clear what kinds of materials your RFE is asking for, you should review your application and try to include any information that may help you bolster your application or case. For example, it could require you show a copy of you or your spouse’s birth certificate, or a showing of your professional or educational history. If you feel that you cannot provide all of the evidence, it is still better to include some evidence rather than none. But you should only partially respond if you couldn’t locate certain documents before the deadline.

Your RFE may also be more complex, and ask that you show proof as to why you should be considered eligible for the benefit of admission in the United States. In this case, it is crucial to the outcome of your case that you completely understand what the RFE is asking of you. If you are unsure about what type of materials to submit or what questions the request is raising, you should consult an immigration attorney who can better help you fulfill the requirements of your RFE.

When submitting your response, you should also submit a cover letter. The cover letter should detail what kinds of information you have submitted to USCIS so as to alert the officer to the fact that you have provided all of the information that they requested. Further, if you included information that was not specifically asked for, this is where you would tell them what other information you’re including and why you’re including it.

Shah Peerally, Esq.

10 Points to remember when answering an RFE (Request for Evidence) from USCIS (Immigration Services)

By  Shah Peerally, Esq – Managing attorney of Shah Peerally Law Group PC

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a common tool used by the USCIS (Immigration services) to ask for additional proof in order to make a decision on your case. RFEs are often in point form requesting factual information from either the beneficiary or petitioner. While many RFEs are simple, lately many RFE’s have become more complicated and tend to require legal assessment before they can be answered. Our law firm, having filed more than 1000 immigration cases, is quite familiar with responding to RFEs.

Based on our experience, we have compiled a 10 Point legal guide to assist you in answering your RFEs. Note that this guide does not cover every single RFE related issue. We highly recommend that you retain a lawyer to help you on your case.

10 Points to remember when answering a RFE (Request for Evidence) from USCIS (Immigration Services)

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a common tool used by the USCIS (Immigration services) to ask for additional proof in order to make a decision on your case. RFEs are often in point form requesting factual information from either the beneficiary or petitioner. While many RFEs are simple, lately many RFE’s have become more complicated and tend to require legal assessment before they can be answered. Our law firm, having filed more than 1000 immigration cases, is quite familiar with responding to RFEs.

Based on our experience, we have compiled a 10 Point legal guide to assist you in answering your RFEs. Note that this guide does not cover every single RFE related issue. We highly recommend that you retain a lawyer to help you on your case.

A well prepared case can avoid an RFE

RFEs are usually requested because either the petitioner or beneficiary has not provided sufficient proofs or clarification in their original package. Therefore, preparing a completed and detailed package with your application or answer at the outset is crucial to the success of your case. On the other hand, putting irrelevant and unnecessary information in your application or petition can harm you. Professional help in preparing your case is always recommended. A good lawyer can make a big difference for the final outcome of your case.

Read the RFE carefully

Having dealt with so many RFEs, we have noticed that many people do not want to read the RFEs properly or they simply do not understand the lingo. If you do not understand all the questions or statements, please consult with a lawyer.

Do not panic when you receive the RFE

As mentioned earlier, RFEs are common tools in the USCIS toolbox. You should not panic. On the other hand, you shouldn‘t take it lightly. If you do not have the courage or knowledge to deal with them, seek help with a lawyer familiar with immigration law to assist you.

Do not miss the deadline when answering the RFE

Answer your RFEs on time. Indeed, many people believe that they can request additional time to answer their RFEs. Unfortunatly, USCIS has not been giving additional time to answer RFEs lately. Missing the deadline will most likely result in a denial. At this point, you may have to file an appeal or a motion to reopen the case. Therefore it bears repeating: Do not be late.

Do not file the RFE in parts

Many of our clients tend to think that they can answer part of the RFE and then wait for USCIS to ask for more. Unfortunately, the way USCIS (or Immigration Services) functions, they rarely send another RFE to give you another chance. The first RFE you receive is normally your only chance to give USCIS the clarification they require. Therefore, it is essential that you answer all the questions as concisely as possible and provide all the evidence requested of you at the same time. Failure to do so will probably result in a denial.

Organize your answer in a clear manner

Remember you are not writing an essay. Stay concise and to the point. Make sure you document your answer with exhibits. Also make sure you have a table of contents. Write your RFE in a way that’s easy to navigate. Keep in mind that an actual person will be reading your RFE, thus the more comprehensible your RFE is the better your chances for approval.

Use a lawyer to answer, if possible

Using a lawyer can make a big difference. Often times RFEs have important points of law which need to be addressed by someone with legal knowledge. For example, lately, the Neufeld Memo regarding H-1Bs involves many important points of law that only someone with legal knowledge will be able to adequatly tackle. You should remember that only an attorney can give legal advice. Do not be fooled by unscrupulous “consultants” not licensed to practice law. Is it worth losing your immigration case just to save some money? Do not forget that denial of your case can result in a permanent ban. Again, having a good lawyer on your side can make a big difference.

Remember to put the colored paper at the top of your answer

Most RFEs are sent in colored paper (usually blue). It is essential that this cover letter goes above all your answers including the cover letter. Failure to do this might delay your case or even possibly lead to a rejected case.

Make sure you are mailing to the right address

The RFE will indicate where you should mail your answer. Make sure you are mailing it to the right address. If you fail to comply, the answer will probably be lost and you may get a denial.

Be polite when answering

Last but not least, be polite when you write your RFE. I have seen cases where the person answering will be insulting USCIS because they have either asked for something already submitted or asking for clarification in a non relevant matter. Remember, many cases are decided by the discretion of the adjudicating officer. Answering in a polite and civilized manner can go a long way towards helping your case.

The above are just a few points to remember when answering an RFE. Unfortunately, there are many other issues to consider in your answer. We always recommend having legal assistance while filing a case. Remember a well prepared case usually results in a positive outcome.

 

0 Replies to “Sample Cover Letter Rfe Response”