Request for Evidence | Immigration Appeal


What is Request For Evidence (RFE)?

You may receive a Request for Further Evidence (RFE) from USCIS at the adjudication stage if you are preparing a US visa application and have previously filed your petition. An RFE, as the title suggests, is a request for additional documentation. It indicates that the USCIS officer examining your application requires additional information before deciding. An RFE does not guarantee that your application will be denied, nor does it make it more likely to be rejected than if you had not received the RFE.

RFEs should:

  • Identify the eligibility requirement(s) that have not been established and why the evidence submitted is insufficient;
  • Identify any missing evidence specifically required by the applicable statute, regulation, or form instructions;
  • Identify examples of other evidence that may be submitted to establish eligibility; and
  • Request that evidence.

An officer should not request evidence outside the adjudication scope or otherwise irrelevant to an identified deficiency. The RFE should ask for all the evidence the officer anticipates needing to determine eligibility and should clearly state the deadline for response.

Avoiding Multiple RFEs

In some cases, the material submitted in response to an RFE may highlight eligibility issues that the officer missed during the first case review or lead to new lines of investigation. The officer may issue a follow-up RFE or NOID in this circumstance. Officers should, however, include all of the material they expect to require to assess eligibility into a single RFE. Multiple RFEs are unnecessary since the officer carefully considers all of the apparent flaws in the evidence.

Deadline for RFE

An RFE has a maximum response period of 12 weeks (84 days); officials are not permitted to allow additional time to respond to an RFE.

However, the laws allow USCIS to give benefit requestors a variety of time frames to respond to an RFE. Officers should adhere to conventional timetables to guarantee consistency. However, they may shorten response times on a case-by-case basis with supervisory approval. Only when circumstances merit it, as judged by the officer and supervisor, may this discretion be exercised.

When an RFE is served by mail, the response is considered timely if it is received no more than three days after the deadline, giving a total of 87 days for a reply to be made if USCIS allows the maximum term of 84 days allowed by the regulations.

Benefit requestors residing outside the United States or when USCIS mails an RFE from a foreign USCIS field office will receive extended mailing time (14 days) as a matter of policy.

When relevant, the RFE should mention the response deadline, including the extra days for postal RFEs.

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