Integrity Legal

11th Oct 2009

In a previous post, we discussed the initial submission of an application for a United States visa for a foreign loved one. In this post we will discuss what needs to be done in the event of a request for evidence from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). After USCIS receives an American Citizen’s US Immigration application, they send out a receipt notice commonly referred to as Notice of Action 1, or NOA 1. In the vast majority of ultimately successful cases the Notice of Action 1 is followed by the Notice of Action 2 approval notice. However, there are cases where an adjudicating officer at USCIS requests further documentation. In most Requests for Evidence (RFE) the deficiency of evidence is based upon the fact that one or more of the documents was illegible. This is why clearly legible documentation should always be provided when submitting an application to USCIS.

In order to forestall receiving an RFE, many couples opt to retain an Immigration attorney to assist in the filing of a United States visa application. An experienced United States Immigration attorney can predict what the officers will wish to see in order to favorably adjudicate a petition. However, simply retaining an attorney will not guarantee that a Request For Evidence will not be made, but if an RFE is sent, then the attorney can handle it and deal with the documentary deficiency.

The RFE will specify which documents are either missing or illegible. After specifying the deficiency, the RFE will go on to state how the deficiency can be dealt with and the deadline the applicant and petitioner will have to remedy the problem by sending the requested documentation.

In a way, an RFE is similar to a 221g refusal from the United States Embassy. The reason these requests are similar is that both require that the applicant or petitioner provide further documentation before an approval will be granted. The major difference between these two requests is the fact that officers of the United States Department of State issue 221 g requests while officers of the United States Department of Homeland Security issue requests for evidence. In both cases, the documentation is requested usually in an effort to conduct due diligence to ensure that the Immigration benefit should be accorded to the beneficiary.

In K1 visa applications the adjudicating officer is usually requesting evidence that shows the bona fides of the relationship or the status of one of the parties. In K3 or CR1 visa applications, the officer is usually seeking evidence regarding the couple’s marital status or the status of the parties before the marriage occurred.

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