Welcome back to our blog! In this video, we are excited to cover new updates from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with respect to missing and/or delayed Requests for Evidence also known as “RFEs.”
Did You Know? Where an application or petition is deficient, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue a Request for Evidence asking for additional information or documentation to be provided before the adjudicating officer can make a final decision for your case. Requests for Evidence are sent to the applicant’s mailing address and specifically identify the information or documentation needed, as well as the deadline for responding to the Request for Evidence.
Want to know more? Just keep on watching.
More and more individuals have been reporting their case status change to “Request for Evidence” issued but have not received the request in the mail. In this post, we talk about what you should do in this situation and the latest recommendations from USCIS.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have seen many operational delays at the USCIS level. From interview scheduling delays to the slow issuance of receipt notices, the agency has been struggling to keep up with its workload. In the last year alone, the biggest obstacle has been the slow issuance of Requests for Evidence especially for cases pending at the Texas Service Center (TSC) and the Vermont Service Center (VSC). The agency has said that eventually all Requests for Evidence will be sent by mail. The issue has been that the agency has been experiencing severe mailroom backlogs leading to such delays.
So, what should you do if you have not yet received your Request for Evidence in the mail?
USCIS has acknowledged these delays and has advised applicants to contact USCIS to speak to a customer service representative about the issue by calling 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm Eastern Standard Time. Applicants should continue to inquire until they have received their Request for Evidence by mail.
Once your Request for Evidence has arrived, if the stated deadline is not sufficient time to respond to the Request, you may still respond to the RFE, and include evidence proving that you received the Request for Evidence very late. This is very easy to prove because your envelope will include a stamp showing the date the Request for Evidence was mailed to you.
Applicants should also note that USCIS has extended its flexibility policy and will accept a response to a Request for Evidence received within 60 calendar days after the due date, so long as the RFE was issued between March 1, 2020, and October 23, 2022. This policy will also apply to late and missing RFEs that are re-issued by USCIS.
For re-issued RFE’s, USCIS will grant an additional 60-day time period to respond from the date stated on the original RFE. We suspect that USCIS will continue to extend its flexibility policy through the end of the year.
The Bottom Line
In summary, if you have a pending case with USCIS and your online case status shows that you will receive a Request for Evidence, but you have not yet received it, you must contact USCIS to notify them of the delay. Eventually, your RFE will be located and re-issued to you. It may arrive one or two months later, but you should still have enough time to respond to your RFE because of the extended 60-day flexibility policy. If the additional 60-day time period has passed, you can still respond to the RFE and include evidence of USCIS’ delay in your response, explaining that your late response was through no fault of your own.
For its part, the Texas Service Center is working on resolving its mailroom delays. According to the service center, as of July 12, 2022, they have caught up with issuance of receipts and notices. As always, do not panic. Remember to be proactive and follow up with USCIS if you are experiencing delays. We hope that you found this information helpful.
Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
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