top of page
Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

(323) 306-4548

(888) 728-9080

  • Writer's pictureParviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

What Exactly is a USCIS Request for Evidence ("RFE")?

USCIS may need more information from you to decide your application

When you submit an immigration application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there are actually several possible responses you may receive.

Article Outline:

While most people are familiar with the concepts of acceptance and denial, there are two other significant types of responses that many applicants may not be aware of: the Request for Evidence (“RFE”) and the Notice of Intent to Deny (“NOID”).

Understanding the distinctions between these responses is crucial for applicants to navigate the immigration process effectively.

Approval and Denial

The most straightforward outcomes are approval and denial. If your application is approved, it means you have met the eligibility requirements and will be granted the immigration benefit you applied for. On the other hand, if your application is denied, it signifies that you do not meet the eligibility criteria, and the benefit will be withheld.

Request for Evidence (RFE)

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is an intermediate response that applicants may receive. When USCIS reviews your application, the adjudicating officer may determine that there is insufficient evidence to make a decision on your eligibility for the benefit you seek.

In such cases, they will issue an RFE, requesting additional information or documents to support your application. RFEs can vary in complexity, ranging from simple requests to answer a missed question on application or include passport photos to demanding a comprehensive submission of documents and legal arguments.

An applicant can even get an RFE for failure to sign one of the forms submitted to USCIS.

Responding to an RFE is crucial, as it gives you an opportunity to address the officer's concerns and provide the necessary evidence to strengthen your case. Generally, applicants are given a specific timeframe, typically between 30 to 90 days, to respond to the RFE.

Failure to respond within the given time frame could result in a denial based on the information available to the adjudicator at the time he or she makes a decision.

Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is a more negative response compared to an RFE.

If an adjudicator determines that you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the immigration benefit you are seeking, they will issue a NOID. Unlike an RFE, which implies the officer needs more evidence to reach a decision, a NOID suggests that the officer is inclined to deny your application.

However, the NOID also provides a glimmer of hope. Despite the negative tone, it allows you the opportunity to submit compelling evidence to refute the reasons for potential denial and establish your eligibility convincingly. It is crucial to take the NOID seriously and provide a strong and persuasive response within the specified timeframe.

Note: Unfortunately, USCIS commonly issues MISTAKEN NOIDs and RFEs.

Summary of Common USCIS Responses

In summary, the four types of responses that an applicant can receive from USCIS are:

1. Approval: Your application meets the eligibility criteria, and you will be granted the immigration benefit you applied for.

2. Denial: Your application does not meet the eligibility criteria, and your request for the benefit is denied.

3. Request for Evidence (RFE): USCIS requires additional information or documentation to make a decision on your application, and you have the opportunity to respond within a specified timeframe.

4. Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID): The adjudicator believes you are ineligible for the benefit you are seeking based on the information you submitted, but you can present compelling evidence to challenge the potential denial.

Video Explainer

Request a Consultation With Malakouti Law

If you have a USCIS application pending and you’ve received an RFE, or a NOID, you should probably get professional help to respond USCIS and fix any mistakes that may have been made.

Click here to book a consultation with Malakouti Law.

Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.

bottom of page