What to do if your H-1B gets RFE’d

UnknownNow that everyone knows if there H-1B application made it through the lottery process or not, the next issue is “What if USCIS issues a RFE on my H-1B.  What should I do?”   While I cannot provide specifics, because each RFE is unique to that case, I can give some general tips.

  1. Make sure to read the RFE carefully:  You would be surprised how valuable this one tip can be.  While USCIS usually separates different requests by section, sometimes they do not.  We have seen RFE’s where they are discussing one area of the application and the further documents they need and then have a one line paragraph asking for some other piece of evidence unrelated to the previous paragraph – and this is prior to having a separation of sections within the RFE.  You do not want to miss any request, as forgetting to send in even one or two pieces of evidence can lead to the denial of your case.
  2. Respond to every request:  This goes along with the above.  Even if you think you sent in all documentation about a particular area (your degree for instance).  Check the documents you sent in.  Sometimes you will find that something was missing – a translation, one page of the document, etc.  However sometimes you will also find that what was requested was indeed already sent it.  In those cases we indicate that in the response, but then send in the documents again.
  3. You must have objective evidence to show everything:  If you are trying to show that your position requires a bachelor’s degree, just getting subjective evidence (a letter from your employer) that this is the case, will, most likely, not be enough.  Instead it is very important to get a substantial amount of objective evidence that you can provide USCIS to make your point.  Each case is different, so the type and amount of evidence will vary, but objective evidence is very important.
  4. If you are unsure what to do, or the RFE is complex, get the services of a competent, attorney:  Attorney’s who handle H-1Bs on a daily basis already have a good idea of what USCIS wants and the types of evidence that they prefer when you are trying to show various aspects of an H-1B case.   Hiring a good attorney can be the difference between success and denial, so you want to make sure that you hire an attorney you have confidence will handle the case appropriately.

One last thing to remember, the fact that USCIS issues an RFE does not mean your case will or will not be denied.  It simply means that they require some additional evidence.  While you need to take it seriously and to respond timely and fully, many cases are approved even after being issued an RFE.

If you have any questions leave a comment below or send me an email.  Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.


Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.

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