A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter sent to the petitioner after a USCIS examiner has reviewed the petition and decided that additional information is required before a decision can be made.

For H-1B cases filed using the normal processing times, this usually occurs three to four months after the case is filed. For Premium Processed cases, this occurs within 15 days of filing.

Only one response may be sent for a Request for Evidence and all of the requested information must be included at that time. USCIS will not send a second RFE if the petitioner fails to submit all of the requested information. If the response is deficient, the petition may be denied.

On occasion, the information submitted by the petitioner in response to an RFE will result in the USCIS examiner requesting further clarification through the issuance of a second RFE. This does not happen often.

Petitioners are normally given 84 days to respond to an RFE; however, USCIS will finish its handling of the case sooner if the information is submitted before the 84 day deadline. There is no fixed time frame for how quickly USCIS will make a decision after a response to an RFE is received; however, a decision is normally made within two to four weeks.

If you are the petitioner or beneficiary of an H-1B visa petition and receive a Request for Evidence in the mail, you should immediately notify the attorney handling the case. USCIS may have sent the RFE to you by mistake. Do not assume a copy was sent to the attorney as well.

Petitioners and beneficiaries should not become alarmed simply because an RFE has been issued in connection with their case. RFE’s are routinely issued by USCIS and often address issues which are purely administrative in nature. The issuance of an RFE does not necessarily mean there was anything wrong with the case when it was filed or that it is going to be denied.

If you are notified that an RFE has been for your case, provide all information requested of you as completely as possible and as quickly as possible. Then do your best to wait patiently until a decision is issued.