Have you recently received a RFE from the USCIS? Here’s what you should do.

There has been an uptick of RFEs being issued by  United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) under the Trump administration. RFEs, or Requests for Evidence, refer to a formal request by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requiring employers to provide additional evidence related to the petition they filed on behalf of their foreign employees. These RFEs are purportedly issued to confirm or deny the validity of the information contained in the petition an employer has filed with USCIS for your employees’ work visa category.

In response to the 45% increase in these requests, particularly the increase in RFEs regarding entry-level positions, BMK has compiled insights into the RFE process for both employers and employees who have received an RFE ’ve been served this order and are unsure of next steps. Any questions regarding the below can be directed to a BMKLLP immigration lawyer by filling out the form on this page or calling (888) 506-1291.

What should I do when I receive an RFE (Request for Evidence)?

As an employee:

  • Let your employer know you’ve received the RFE as soon as possible.  
  • Gather the forms and documents that were filed for your original visa application.
  • Submit these documents to your lawyer for review. Send over the documents outlined below as soon as possible to give your attorney ample time to develop and draft your response letter.   

As an employer:

  • USCIS will send an RFE to you as well as the attorney if there is one on record.
  • Proceed with the employee steps above.

How often are RFEs issued?

Compared to past years, there’s been a 45% increase in requests issued. Previously, employers might have received many approvals, but this year, USCIS RFEs are targeting entry-level positions,  specific fields of study as well as challenging whether the position is a specialty occupation.

What documents should an individual and their employer gather for the response letter?

Here are the documents employers and employee should put together and send  to your lawyer to review:

For entry-level positions:

  1. An organizational chart
  2. The original job offer letter
  3. The official position description
  4. A copy of the original online or printed job posting

Examine the job duties to see if any additional detail can be provided. If you’re unsure of what to include or exclude, call us to consult on individual cases.

For specialty occupations:

  1. Evidence that position requires a Bachelor’s degree.
  2. All evidence listed above

What happens after one submits their response letter to the RFE?

As an employee:

  • If one receives a negative response, they may be required to leave the U.S.
  • There may still be visa options open for the applicant. We recommend getting in touch with your lawyer right away to explore alternative visa categories for which the applicant may qualify.

As an employer:

  • It typically takes 1-2 months to get an answer from USCIS unless the case is upgraded to USCIS’ premium processing unit for which the Service charges and additional filing fee
  • If one receives a negative response regarding their employee, they’ll have lost the USCIS filing fees for this specific application.
  • Employers must wait until the following April to re-apply, or they can appeal the decision.

Our team can also devise a checklist of supporting documents that can help an individual case. Additionally, our lawyers can help facilitate the process in a timely manner in order to meet the USCIS’s tight, 87-day deadline for submitting a comprehensive response to the RFE. You can speak to a BMKLLP immigration lawyer by filling out the form on this page or calling (888) 506-1291.