So You Got an RFE Letter … What Does That Mean?
A Request for Evidence (RFE) letter is sent when USCIS can’t determine whether to approve or reject your petition due to insufficient information submitted.
The RFE can ask for further information to verify your identity, your education and skills, or other aspects, but it’s usually due to your employer-employee relationship.
Remember, the officer reading your petition is looking for evidence that you are who you say you are and your job offer is legitimate. USCIS handles fraudulent cases, turning away or catching those attempting to enter the US through illegitimate means.
It’s easier to get your petition approved when your employer is a known entity, having previous H-1B foreign workers in the past. However, if there’s a questionable relationship between the employee and employer, or the employer is an unknown entity, they may issue an RFE letter.
It’s not a denial. It’s simply requesting information such as the job offer letters, contracts, and other proof that the connection is legitimate.
Documentation to Send to Avoid an RFE
While processing your visa, the adjudicating officer may need supporting documentation from you to back up any claim on your petition. These documents can include:
● Copies of your degree
● Original bank statements
● Letters of recommendation from prior supervisors
● Leases or deeds in your name
● Contracts that show your identity and job offer
● Brochures, marketing material, websites, and any other proof that the company petitioning the visa exists
Receiving an RFE letter means you weren’t denied. But time is limited, and you have a short window in which to respond to the request before your petition is denied or rejected. As soon as you receive the RFE, contact your immigration attorney. They will help you create a response and submit it in a timely manner.
How to Prove Your Employer-Employee Relationship is Valid
Even after submitting all of the above documentation, you’ve received the request for more evidence regarding your professional relationship.
How can you show it’s legitimate sufficiently enough to satisfy USCIS? There are a few ways to approach this situation.
First, if the beneficiary works in a facility where they are in daily contact with the supervisor, this is considered traditional employment. The employer has full control over the employee’s schedule, duties, and hiring/firing status. You can prove this with a job offer contract that includes these details.
If the work requires off-site employment on occasion, the petitioner has to demonstrate that they still maintain control over the beneficiary’s work status. For instance, if the beneficiary is a researcher who will work with multiple labs, the hiring company must show they retain the authority to pay, hire, and fire the worker. The foreign employee should have an office or other permanent location on-site.
Finally, when the job is going to permanently be off-site, the employer must provide the tools and resources for the employer to complete the job. They must show adequate evidence that they retain control over the worker’s job status, that the worker reports to the petitioner for duties, and undergoes regular performance reviews through the petitioner.
These are three basic examples of an employer-employee work relationship. Yours may look different, and that’s fine, provided you can present evidence that it’s still a valid contractual obligation. Your immigration attorney can assist you in this situation.
Once you receive an RFE letter, you have a short window in which to respond. If you are unable to provide evidence that a qualifying employer-employee relationship exists or do not respond within the window, the petition will likely be denied.
Take the uncertainty out of this equation by calling Visa2US. Our professional experts know how to reply to USCIS once an RFE is received and the best way to proceed to maximize your chance of approval. An RFE isn’t the end of your petition but must be handled with care.
Let Visa2US expedite your response and optimize the results so you can move on to the next step in your H-1B visa process.