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Home » Request for Evidence and How to Respond

USCIS Request for Evidence and How to Respond

Request for evidence (rfe) explained, what is an rfe.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue a Request For Evidence when an application or petition lacks necessary documentation or evidence to make a decision on the immigration benefit requested. If USCIS mails you a Request for Evidence, it means that they need you to provide additional proof before they can proceed with your application or petition. Once USCIS issues an RFE, the processing of your request stops; this can create a significant delay. When you respond to USCIS with the requested items (before the deadline), they will continue processing your application or petition.

Failing to respond to an RFE by the deadline will virtually guarantee that your application or petition gets denied. Therefore, responding to a Request for Evidence in an accurate and timely manner is critical for the success of your case. We suggest some guidelines for responding to an RFE and some tips for avoiding this dreaded request in the first place.

Request for Evidence Letter Example

Most Common RFEs for Adjustment of Status

Why did uscis send a request for evidence.

Take a deep breath. A Request for Evidence will delay your case processing time and may create some anxiety, but it isn’t an indicator of a pending denial. If you fail to respond, USCIS will likely deny your application. But if you respond as directed, you are no more likely to be denied than if you hadn’t gotten the RFE.

USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence for almost any immigration benefit. However, some of the most common RFEs issued for adjustment of status cases include:

Sponsor's support is insufficient to remove public charge ground

Insufficient evidence of birth, missing evidence of lawful entry, lack of certified translation, missing initial evidence.

You may have forgotten to answer a question, submit supplementary forms, or provide essential documents. Read the USCIS directions completely and carefully before filing forms. If you want the reassurance that you're doing everything correctly, use CitizenPath to prepare your application package. In addition to your correctly prepared form, CitizenPath provides you with a set of personalized filing instructions. Our filing instructions are customized to your answers in the application so you which supporting documents to submit for your specific situation. Learn more >>

Review Your RFE Carefully

What does my rfe say.

USCIS is providing you with a second chance to submit evidence. It's important that you understand exactly what you are supposed to do. You have one opportunity to respond to the RFE with the correct information and get your application back on track. USCIS tends to use many scripted responses in their RFE letters. As such, the letters may be vague. They are rarely precise about the missing evidence.

Identify the Requested Evidence

The letter will generally list all the additional documents that USCIS needs to make a decision on your application. USCIS may also explain which eligibility requirements have not been met by the documents already submitted. They may even list documents that you know you've already submitted. Immigration officials who adjudicate your case are human; they may have overlooked something. But it is likely you need to submit additional evidence to corroborate facts in your request. Regardless, identify each of the items of evidence that you need to submit to USCIS.

Identify the Deadline

The USCIS Request for Evidence will also provide a deadline. This tells you how long you have to respond. If you can, responding sooner is better. You will need to respond to the RFE before the deadline indicated so that the adjudicator will have enough evidence to make a favorable decision. If you fail to respond by the RFE deadline, USCIS will make a decision based on the existing evidence. Generally, that leads to a denial.

How to Respond to a USCIS Request for Evidence

How should i reply to the rfe.

Once you've identified the requested evidence and gathered it, you'll need to respond to the Request for Evidence within the allotted time frame.

Provide one complete response

USCIS generally issues only one RFE. You need to respond with a single response that thoroughly satisfies the request and supplies all evidence. If you fail to adequately respond, USCIS will likely deny your application. Address the issues as clearly as possible and provide your answers in one, single response. If you are uncomfortable responding to a Request for Evidence, seek assistance from an expert.

Organize your response

Make it easy for USCIS to understand your response by keeping it short and to the point. If the RFE is complex, include a table of contents or document your answer with exhibits. Although it is not mandatory, it's a good idea to include a cover letter that itemizes the evidence that you are submitting. The cover letter should be short and address the specific components of the RFE, so that you can show the USCIS officer handling your case that you provided all of the requested information. Include the RFE on top of your response and include the remaining items in the following order:

  • Original RFE (must be on top)
  • RFE cover letter ( view an example )
  • All requested evidence

Respond before the deadline

It should go without saying, but you must respond on time. Missing the deadline will most likely result in a denial. Don’t be late. Remember to make a copy of the RFE and all evidence for your own records. You'll need to return the original Request for Evidence with your response.

Mail the response package to the address specified on the RFE. Mail the package via U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail or a courier (e.g. FedEx, UPS or DHL) that can track your package. You want to have delivery confirmation so you have proof that you responded in the allowed time frame.

Tips to Avoid an RFE

How do i avoid rfes.

USCIS issues a Request for Evidence when an applicant has not provided sufficient documentation or information in an original package. Therefore, preparing a complete and detailed application package is important for avoiding an RFE. In a similar way, irrelevant or unnecessary information can clutter an application package.

  • Avoid inconsistencies and omissions of information. If there are any inconsistencies, explain them at the time of filing the application.
  • Provide complete certified translations for evidence that is originally printed in a foreign language.
  • Use evidence with more probative value when possible.
  • When scanning or making photocopies, ensure that you get a clean image so that all important details can be read.
  • Organize your application package in a way that it’s easy for USCIS to locate and identify evidence.

CitizenPath.com can help you prepare USCIS immigration forms and avoid a Request for Evidence. Immigration attorneys designed the affordable service to provide simple, step-by-step assistance for USCIS applications and petitions. CitizenPath provides an instant warning if your answer to a question could be problematic. We’ll also make certain that your request is complete. In fact, we guarantee that USCIS will approve your form.

What’s more, the service includes a set of personalized filing instructions with examples of evidence to submit. CitizenPath customizes the filing instructions based on your specific case. So you will know exactly which documents to submit with the application and where to mail it.

CitizenPath’s self-directed software is even free to get started. If you’re not eligible or if we find a problem, you can stop at any time. No payment is required until you reach the end of the application. See CitizenPath's immigration services >>

NOID is Different than RFE

Is a noid the same as an rfe.

A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is much more serious than a Request for Evidence. A NOID is a negative determination and impending denial. It is a formal warning that a USCIS officer reviewed your case and plans to deny it if you are unable to provide more convincing evidence. You should take urgent action, generally with the assistance of an immigration attorney, to address the NOID with stronger evidence of your eligibility for the immigration benefit.

How CitizenPath Helps You Avoid an RFE

How do i avoid a request for evidence.

Filing USCIS forms is not a fill-in-the-blank exercise. You need evidence to corroborate the facts stated in your USCIS application or petition.

Each benefit request has specific eligibility requirements that a requestor must meet. Supporting documents are the evidence you need to establish eligibility. You may not need a lawyer, but you need a partner like CitizenPath to help ensure you submit a complete application package with all the right evidence.

CitizenPath's affordable, online service makes it easy to prepare USCIS applications and petitions. Designed by immigration lawyers, the service helps you eliminate the common errors that create delays, rejections and even denials. That's because the service alerts you when your answer to a question may be a problem. You'll also get customized filing instructions based on your situation. It's a powerful, do-it-yourself tool that puts you in control. And we've got your back -- CitizenPath provides live customer support and provides a money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve the form.

Avoid RFEs by preparing your USCIS form with CitizenPath

Request for Evidence FAQs

It is very rare to receive more than one RFE letter, but it is possible. In fact, USCIS policy recommends issuing only one RFE letter. Under certain circumstances, there is reason to issue more than one.

On the bright side, an RFE is a subtle indication that a USCIS officer has reviewed your case thoroughly enough to identify the final pieces of evidence necessary to make a decision.

However, it's impossible to estimate the time necessary to reach that decision. First, the USCIS case load may affect how quickly they return their attention to your case. Additionally, each type of form is different and may have various steps. Finally, the complexity of the evidence may affect the final processing time.

USCIS does not require you to use a cover letter when answering their Request for Evidence. However, a cover letter can be helpful. An RFE cover letter that is short and itemizes the evidence being submitted can provide clarity to your response. By listing the contents of the response in your letter, you help ensure the USCIS officer does not overlook anything.

Use this RFE cover letter example as a starting point. Customize it for your specific situation.

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USCIS Medical Interfile with Barcode for Pending i485 (Send without RFE)

Create USCIS medical interfile letter for pending i-485 application. Send to service center without RFE at address printed on i-485 receipt notice.

Written by AM22Tech Team

You can send the i-693 medical form without RFE and request USCIS to interfile your sealed health record with the pending i-485 application.

This same interfile letter can be used as a cover letter to send with your medical RFE. Since it has your receipt barcode, USCIS can easily scan it and find your file quickly.

You can use our app to generate this medical RFE interfiling cover letter and keep it on top of the i693 package that a USCIS-approved Civil doctor would have given you.

You can also use this letter if you are sending medical records in response to USCIS RFE (Request for Evidence).

This article will discuss:

How to Create Medical Cover Letter

60-day rule, interfiling address.

The app creates a PDF file that can be printed on a plain A4 size white or colored paper sheet. Some attorneys recommend using green or pink-colored paper just to highlight it.

It is okay even if you use plain white standard paper.

Log in to apps.am22tech.com and fill in your i-485 receipt details.

Note that the current status of your i485 application should be ‘Pending’. You can check the current status on the USCIS case status website here by using your receipt number.

i485 medical interfile letter receipt details

Printing Receipt Barcode

You can select the option of automatically generating and printing the receipt bar code on your medical interfile letter.

  • Adding a Barcode helps USCIS scan and locate your Green card file easily.
  • Attorneys recommend it to make it easier for USCIS.

Since this is a premium feature, you can pay for it and get it embedded automatically.

Sample Barcode printed on medical interfile letter:

USCIS medical interfile letter with both receipt and A number barcode that attorneys recommend

Enter your Name and Birth Details. The name should match the one printed on your i-485 receipt.

If your name is different on your passport or has spelling mistakes, then we strongly suggest creating a one and the same person affidavit and sending it with your package.

Enter your A-number . This is required for USCIS to locate your i-485 file in their mail/storage room.

Medical interfile - A-number is required

The next step is to enter your contact details. You should use your US mail or physical address here.

Also, make sure that you enter the correct email and phone number where you can be reached easily.

Medical RFE i485 Interfile - Enter US contact address

#Step 5 – Place and Date (Optional)

Add the date and place of sighing. You can leave it blank if you want to write the date later when you send it.

#Step 6 – Header & Footer (Optional)

An attorney or a company sending this letter can add their name in the header and custom information in the footer if required.

Example Header:

Header is printed on top of the letter

For people sending this letter on their own without using an attorney service, leave the header and footer fields blank. You do not need to print them.

Similarly, the footer can be printed at the bottom of the page:

Footer information can be printed at the bottom of the page

  • Make the payment as required securely using the payment gateway. All your card information is securely processed by PCI-compliant (safety standards for online payments) Stripe/Paypal services and never shared with us.
  • The app will bring you back to the same screen after the payment.
  • Once you have entered all values and there are no errors, click the ‘ Fill Form & Email me ” button.
  • The app will automatically create the PDF letter and send it to your registered email address within 1-5 minutes.
  • If you made a mistake in the document, do not worry. Contact us and we will help you fix the error and regenerate the letter without paying again.

Your chances of getting ahead in the i485 queue increase if USCIS accepts your medical as it saves time by cutting down all the time consumed by medical RFE.

Interfiling Risks vs Benefits

Please note that there is no official medical interfiling process designed or published by USCIS.

The interfiling simply means that you send the documents as per your wish and then request USCIS to add them to your file. All this is done without USCIS requesting these documents through the official process of RFE (request for evidence).

Since it is an unsolicited request, USCIS may or may not add these documents to your file.

Many people have seen success with sending the i485 medicals without RFE but there is no guarantee.

Also, your attorney may or may not agree to send it without RFE. So, it is entirely your choice. You can send the medical interfile letter directly yourself without asking your attorney to do it.

Benefits of interfiling

There is a 50% chance that your interfiled medical application will end up in your green card file at the USCIS service center.

Now, a 50% chance is a very good chance given that there are thousands of applications waiting to receive medical RFE.

If your interfile request is successful, then your file has a better chance of

  • Getting ahead in the queue even though your PD date or the i485 receipt maybe after someone who has an earlier PD date.
  • The USCIS officer working on your case may not issue medical RFE at all if they see your interfiled medical in your file. This will easily save about 30 days of processing time on your case.

Risks of interfiling

There is virtually no risk in sending the i693 form without an RFE except that you may lose the doctor’s fee if USCIS does not add it to your file.

The Doctor usually charges about $350 per application and you stand to lose it. We know that most Indians will happily take this risk even if it gives them a slight chance to get ahead in line.

  • Your pending i485 application will not see any adverse effect simply because you tried to interfile.
  • USCIS will issue the medical RFE. In this case, you will have to redo the medical and send it with an RFE letter.

Our Suggestion

Send the sealed medical letter along with the cover letter and the i485 receipt bar code.

There is nothing to lose here. Just try every possible option to help move your application ahead in the queue and get a green card faster. You may have waited for a decade for your Green card. Do not leave any stone unturned to push your application forward.

We understand that this effort may go to waste but think of the situation where it may get accepted. Your application will certainly save time and may get approved earlier than others.

On Mar 31, 2023 – USCIS removed the 60-day rule of doctor signature . This means that i693 will be accepted even if the doctor signed it more than 60 days ago.

Earlier, the i693 form was considered valid only if the doctor had signed it within 60 days of submitting it to USCIS. There is no such requirement now after 31 Mar 2023.

You should ideally send the medical interfile package to the address printed on your i485 receipt notice. The service center address will be mentioned in the bottom left corner of the i-485 receipt notice.

Sending to USCIS Field Office?

You can also send it to the USCIS field office if your green card file has been transferred there. You should confirm this by first checking with USCIS Emma chat.

How to Get Your File’s Field Office Location ?

To ask for the current location of your Green card file from Emma’s agent, follow these steps:

  • Visit  uscis.gov and click the top right “Ask Emma” button to start chatting with Emma’s agent.
  • Once the chat box is open, type “ representative “.
  • When you see the list of options, click “ case status “.
  • Click “ connect to live chat ” and enter your i-485 receipt number.
  • When prompted for your request, type “ location of file “.
  • At this time, you should be connected to a live agent.
  • Ask them “ I would like to know where my I-485 file is right now “? The agent should provide the name of a service center or local field office.
  • Once you know the field office, ask them if they have the office’s address. If they give it, use it to send your medical interfile letter. If they can’t give the address, you can search it on the USCIS website by field office name or search on Google.

You should send the medical interfile letter to the USCIS service center address that’s printed on the left bottom corner of your i-485 application receipt notice. The receipt notice is usually called form i-797C (notice of action).

USCIS usually does not send any receipt or acknowledgment for interfiling letters. They send receipts when they have requested the documents by way of issuing RFEs.

Yes, you can use the same interfile letter as a cover letter for your medical RFE response. It certainly helps USCIS since you are adding your i485 receipt bar code.

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