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Why an RFE is Issued and How to Effectively Respond

Why an RFE is Issued and How to Effectively Respond

Why an RFE is Issued and How to Effectively Respond

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a notice issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to petitioners seeking additional information or clarification to determine the eligibility of an immigration application. Understanding the reasons for an RFE and knowing how to respond effectively is crucial for successfully navigating the U.S. immigration process.

Reasons for an RFE

There are several common reasons why USCIS might issue an RFE, particularly for H-1B visa petitions:

1. Specialty Occupation

The USCIS may issue an RFE if the petition does not convincingly establish that the position qualifies as a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field. The petitioner must provide evidence that the job duties are complex enough to require such qualifications.

Evidence Required:

  • Detailed job description highlighting the complexity of duties.
  • Documentation showing that similar positions in the industry require a degree.
  • Copies of job advertisements for similar positions.
  • Expert opinions supporting the need for a degree.

2. Employer-Employee Relationship

An RFE may be issued if there is insufficient evidence demonstrating a valid employer-employee relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. This includes proving the employer’s right to control the beneficiary’s work.

Evidence Required:

  • Employment contracts outlining terms and conditions.
  • Organizational charts showing the beneficiary’s position.
  • Timesheets, payroll records, and benefits documentation.
  • Supervision and evaluation procedures.

3. Availability of Work (Off-Site)

If the petitioner fails to prove that there are specific, non-speculative assignments in a specialty occupation for the beneficiary for the entire period requested, an RFE may be issued.

Evidence Required:

  • Detailed itineraries of work assignments.
  • Contracts or work orders from clients.
  • Letters from end clients verifying the work.

4. Beneficiary Qualifications

USCIS might question whether the beneficiary is qualified to perform services in a specialty occupation. This includes having the appropriate educational credentials and work experience.

Evidence Required:

5. Availability of Work (In-House)

An RFE may be issued if the petitioner does not establish specific, non-speculative in-house projects for the entire period requested.

Evidence Required:

  • Project plans and timelines.
  • Budgets and funding documentation.
  • Documentation of previous similar projects.

6. LCA Correspondence to Petition

The Labor Condition Application (LCA) must correspond to the offered position. An RFE may be issued if there are discrepancies between the LCA and the H-1B petition.

Evidence Required:

  • A properly certified LCA.
  • Explanation and correction of any discrepancies.

7. AC 21 and Six-Year Limit

If the petitioner fails to prove that the beneficiary is eligible for American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC 21) benefits or an H-1B extension beyond the six-year limit, an RFE might be issued.

Evidence Required:

  • Documentation of prior H-1B approvals.
  • Proof of ongoing employment.
  • Evidence of pending or approved green card application.

8. Itinerary Requirement

For services to be performed in multiple locations, the petitioner must provide a detailed itinerary including dates and locations of work.

Evidence Required:

  • Comprehensive itineraries.
  • Contracts or letters from each worksite.
  • Evidence of specific projects at each location.

9. Filing Fees

An RFE can be issued if there is a question about whether all the required H-1B filing fees have been paid.

Evidence Required:

  • Copies of filing fee checks or payment receipts.
  • Proof of payment submitted with the petition.

The RFE Process

When USCIS issues an RFE, they will notify the petitioner either through regular mail or electronically. The notification will specify the evidence required and the deadline for submission, typically within 12 weeks. It is critical to respond within this timeframe to avoid denial of the petition.

Solutions to RFE

Expert Opinion Letter

Obtaining an expert opinion letter from a recognized industry professional or association can significantly strengthen your case. These letters confirm that the beneficiary meets the qualifications required for the position.

Required Documents:

  • Academic and work-related documents, translated to English if necessary, and notarized.
  • Detailed resume with job history and duties.
  • Supporting letters from previous employers with employment periods and job duties.

Beneficiary Qualification Letter

This letter serves to affirm that the beneficiary is qualified for the specialty position, providing additional verification of their credentials.

Required Documents:

  • Academic and work-related documents, notarized.
  • Transcripts and reference letters from colleges.
  • Academic records.

Why Choose Document Evaluation?

Navigating the RFE process can be complex and daunting. At Document Evaluation, we have a team of experts, including professors, Ph.D. holders, managers, and Olympians, who are adept at strengthening your case. Our experts understand the nuances of immigration requirements and can provide robust documentation to support your petition.

Our Expertise

Comprehensive Evaluation: Our team provides a thorough evaluation of your case, identifying any weak points and addressing them with appropriate evidence and expert opinions.

Customized Solutions: We tailor our services to meet the specific needs of each client, ensuring that the evidence provided is relevant and compelling.

Expert Network: Our network includes professionals with extensive experience in various industries, capable of providing authoritative opinions that carry weight with USCIS.

Detailed Documentation: We ensure all documents are meticulously prepared, translated, and notarized, leaving no room for ambiguity or errors that could lead to further RFEs or denials.


Receiving an RFE can be a significant hurdle in the immigration process, but understanding the reasons behind it and knowing how to respond effectively can make a substantial difference. By addressing each issue raised by USCIS with comprehensive and convincing evidence, you can improve your chances of a successful outcome.

At Document Evaluation, we are committed to helping you navigate this process with confidence. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in preparing a compelling response to your RFE, ensuring that you meet all the requirements and providing the strongest possible case for your petition. Trust Document Evaluation to support you with your RFE solutions and increase your chances of success in your immigration journey.

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