Question: I am applying for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. I submitted all the forms and documents. But today I received a Request for Evidence from immigration. How should I respond?
Answer: If your immigration application is missing important information or documents, USCIS will not immediately deny your application. Instead, USCIS will first mail you a Request for Evidence (RFE). The purpose of the RFE is to notify you of the defect in your application and give you an opportunity to correct the problem. If you timely respond to the RFE and provide all the information or documents that USCIS requests, USCIS will continue to process your application. If you do not, then USCIS can deny your application.
The RFE will begin with an introductory paragraph about the original application. This section includes the type of application filed, the date that USCIS received it, and which office is currently processing it.
The RFE might list all the documents that you have already submitted. You should read this part carefully to see if there is anything you submitted that was not listed. You should confirm whether USCIS overlooked any documents that you previously submitted.
Most importantly, the RFE will tell you the exact problem with your application. When applying for a green card through marriage, common reasons for receiving an RFE include:
- You failed to provide proof of the petitioning sponsor’s income.
- You failed to provide an English translation of a foreign language document.
- You failed to provide proof that the petitioner is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
- You failed to provide proof that you entered the U.S. lawfully.
- You failed to provide proof that all of your prior marriages have been terminated.
The RFE will tell you what documents you need to provide to resolve the problem. You should read the RFE carefully to make sure you are providing the correct documents. `
The RFE will give you a deadline to respond. You must respond to the RFE before the deadline, or USCIS might deem your application abandoned.
As a response to Covid-19, USCIS is relatively lenient on late responses to RFEs.
USCIS will consider a response received 60 days after the deadline, if the deadline is between March 1, 2020 and July 25, 2022. If USCIS does not receive your response within days of the deadline on the RFE, USCIS will deny your application.
When you respond to the RFE, you must provide each document that USCIS requests. If it is not possible to obtain a document USCIS requests, you should write a clear explanation. You must mail your RFE response to the address listed in the RFE. You must include a copy of the RFE with your response.
If you timely provide all the documents requested by the RFE, USCIS can continue to process your application.
ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.