What Is a USCIS Request for Evidence?

By Katherine at Legal Language
Posted on 12/03/2010
In Adjusting Status, Immigration

international arbitrationA USCIS Request for Evidence may be issued to those applying for a visa, a green card, asylum or an extension of stay.

Hundreds of thousands of petitions are filed with USCIS every year, and receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) is common, and not necessarily a reason to worry — but make sure you respond to it within the designated period of time.

What Is the Purpose of a USCIS Request for Evidence?

Nearly every USCIS application requires some kind of documentation — from personal documents and translations to photographs, bills and correspondence.

This evidence is used to determine important factors in your immigration case, such as whether your marriage is real or fraudulent, or whether you have enough money to support yourself and your family.

If you do not send enough evidence, or if the documentation is incomplete or incorrect, you may receive a Request for Evidence from USCIS. Many people become concerned after receiving a Request for Evidence, but an RFE is not the same thing as a Notice of Intent to Deny from USCIS.

A Request for Evidence simply means that you will need to submit additional paperwork, documents or legal translations. A Notice of Intent to Deny could mean that sufficient evidence was provided, but it may not be able to establish eligibility for the petition being sought.

How to Respond to a Request for Evidence

USCIS Request for Evidence forms will almost always specify the additional documents that are required to continue processing your application.

If you are not in possession of all of the evidence USCIS is requesting, make sure to include as many other types of evidence as possible that would establish the eligibility of your case. Photocopies of personal documents, photographs and bills are acceptable.

Clip together the evidence with the original Request for Evidence form and mail it to the address listed on the form. You can include a letter that lists your additional evidence, but make sure the Request for Evidence is the top sheet in your envelope.

If you have documents or correspondence in another language that can be used to support your case, have them translated by a professional translator. USCIS has been known to send Requests for Evidence to those who chose to translate their documents themselves instead of obtaining a certified personal document translation.

The most important thing to do if you receive a Request for Evidence from USCIS is to respond within the given time frame. USCIS typically asks for a response within 30 days. Applicants who are not in the United States may be given 42 to 84 days to respond.

Remember: not replying on time may result in the denial of your application. Responding to a Request for Evidence from USCIS should be any US immigrant’s top priority.

13 Responses to “What Is a USCIS Request for Evidence?”

  1. David Says:

    I was given a notice of request for evidance, they said I did not show proof of us meeting in person even though I sent many photos and copies of plane tickets, sence applying I have retured to Vietnam,I resent the origenal photos with dates and location on back and the new photos from my second trip with date and GPS location stored on my phone, resent copies of plane tickets, about 9 affidavits frome friends, my own sworn statment, plus chat logs from FaceBook and Yahoo Chat, I selected a chunk from the begening the middle and the most resent chats, (I was atotal 613 pages so i only send about 200 pages) I sent everything with in about 2 weeks of receving letter, I was notified on April 10, 2012 that evidance is being reviewed it is now may 17, is it a bad sign the longer it takes? or is it normal for it to run near 60 days before I get a new update?

  2. Diane at Legal Language Says:

    David, contact the office that is reviewing the information and ask them when you should receive an answer. They should be able to give you at least a general time frame.

  3. David Says:

    I have called, about 3 times a week, I ask if there is a problem they tell me everything looks fine and that I sould just wait, but they do not know how hard and stresful this is for us, they wanted proof that we met, one of the documents needed was the visas to enter Vietnam, the problem is I used Loose Leaf Visa to enter Vietnam, when I leave Immigration takes the Visa from me, so I have no proof of having a visa even though I have plane ticket stubs showing I entered Vietnam and a month later I exited Vietnam, I wrote a letter explaining this, even had a notery sign it, I have 2 weeks to go before June 10, I as told I would have an answer by then, I wish I could just talk to someone face to face, show them my phone, with photos and videos of us together, I even sent my facebook link, that has our complete un enterupted history from meeting to me going to vietnam the 1st time, 2nd time and soon 3rd time. this is vary stresful!

  4. Hellen Wakuka Says:

    i had an interview in Nairobi embassy on 8th March 2012. I was denied a visa with claim that marriage done for immigration purpose only and failure to establish a bonafide relationship. I was told the file was returned to USCIS to be reviewed. The USCIS received the file on 16th November 2012, they notified my husband (petitioner)that they are reviewing. How long will this take?

  5. Kaytie at Legal Language Says:

    Hello Hellen,

    The best way to get an accurate time frame for these things is to call USCIS and ask for an update — oftentimes they are rather backlogged, and wait times vary for different forms.

    Good luck,

    Kaytie at Legal Language

  6. Abby Says:

    I just received my RFE. They want to know, how my coursework aligns with my present job. My major was computational biology and im presently working with a software company. I had course work catering to computer science and biology. After graduating I decided to work in computer side of the things. A lot of the courses I took in school directly applies to my present job. Can you tell me how should I respond to USCIS?


  7. elmer Says:

    I am green card holder and apply for us citizen and past test on September 18 2013 but decision was not made at the test interview I check my case status said that they send me the request for evidence letter on September 20 2013 is October 20 2013 have not yet receive I am so stress about it and would like to know how long would it takes to get that letter and what evidence they need so I get prepare thank you

  8. Honiker Uchan Says:

    So USCIS , required some proof of evidence , such as utility bills . When i was married all our utility bills wasunder my wife name will it be acceptable fo USCIS if i send them as evidence ??

  9. Kaytie at Legal Language Says:

    Hello Honiker,

    Unfortunately Legal Language cannot give specific immigration advice about individual cases. You should contact USCIS and ask whether that would be an acceptable form of evidence.

    Good luck,

    Kaytie at Legal Language

  10. Jia Says:

    Hi, USCIS sent me a RFC on February 1, 2014. I haven’t received the mail. I called after 15 days. they took a service request. I waited for another mail. I didn’t receive the second letter too. Now they have asked me to wait until March 22. I am stressed and worried. Please advise as I have 87 days to reply and time is passing by.

  11. Amina Says:

    Hi uscis sent me request for evidence due to my religious marriage certificate. my wedding took place In England they are asking for register or recorded marriage certificate. I sent the certificate back in England they just legalised it and put apostle on it. Is it possible for uscis to accept it please help or what can I do?

  12. Carlos Says:

    Hi,I went to the appointment for naturalization and pass the test,I was told the my case it needed more evidence to a final decision. The evidence that I needed is 2 passport photos and a proof the I send money to my daughter in the Dominican Republic. The interview was on October 17th,after 2 weeks I send all the evidence they ask for and when I check on my status still says request needed. It’s November 11th and I’m getting scared of a denial. How much longer I have to wait?? What’s your recommendation. Thanks.

  13. Kevin Lu Says:

    I have interview on Jun 04 2015 they give to me from N-652
    -You passed the the tests of English and U.S. History and Government
    -Please follow the instructions on From N-14
    – B : A decision cannot yet be made about your application
    After that I go home and send from N-14 they said
    – Documentation to show that you have been supporting your biological child living in VietNam ( this could include, but is no limited to preceipts of your money transfers, a payment agreement, eat.)
    I send from N-14 on Jun 07 2015 and check on my case on line still Request for Initial Evidence Notice was Mailed
    I’m so stressful now and I don’t know how long USCIS Officer review on my case….Please I needs help

Leave a Reply