What Does the USCIS Case Status “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” Mean for My DACA Application?
If you log in to your U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) account online and see the case status “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent,” it means that USCIS needs more information from you to process your case and ensure you’re eligible for DACA status. USCIS will mail a Form I-797E: Notice of Action that outlines exactly what additional evidence is needed and why. The notice will also include a deadline for submitting the requested information. It’s important to submit the requested information before the deadline to ensure USCIS continues processing your application without too much delay.
Written by Amy Lane Carst.
Written January 16, 2023
My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent.” What Does That Mean for My DACA Application?
Receiving a “Request for Additional Evidence” (RFE) may seem alarming, but it does not mean that your case is more likely to be rejected or denied. Getting an RFE means exactly what it sounds like – USCIS needs additional evidence or documentation to see if you’re eligible for DACA.
Although this is the status update you will see on your USCIS account, you will also receive an official notice in the mail. When you get the official mailed notice, called Form I-797E, be sure to make a photo copy and keep it in a safe place.
It’s also important to note that you may receive a slightly different status update, such as “Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed,” or “Request for Initial Evidence Was Sent (or Mailed).” Any of these variations of the RFE mean the same thing.
Does a Request for Evidence Mean My DACA Application Was Denied?
No. Receiving a Request for Evidence just means that USCIS needs more information to make a decision on your case. A “Case Was Denied” status is very different and means that USCIS reviewed your case and decided that you do not qualify for DACA status.
An RFE does not mean that your case was denied or even that it is more likely to be denied. However, if you fail to respond to the RFE appropriately and within the listed time frame, your case is likely to be denied. If you are unsure of how to respond to the RFE, you may want to seek legal help. You can speak with an independent attorney for $24/month with our Ask an Attorney program.
What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Evidence Was Sent” for My DACA Case?
The most important thing to do if you receive a Request for Evidence is to respond to the request before the stated deadline. That does not mean that your reply must only be postmarked by the deadline. Rather, USCIS must receive your reply by or before the date on the notice.
If you don’t reply in time, USCIS is likely to deny your DACA request. If USCIS does deny your DACA application, you will not get DACA status and your application fees will not be returned to you.
In order to respond appropriately to the RFE, you must understand the specific request being made on Form I-797E. The RFE has four parts:
Evidence that is missing
The deadline for responding
Step one is to review the section listing any missing evidence. Without this documentation or evidence, USCIS cannot make a decision on your DACA case. In this section, USCIS may list eligibility requirements you haven’t yet satisfied. If you don’t understand the RFE, consider enrolling in our Ask an Attorney program. You can ask an immigration attorney for help for just $24/month.
The response deadline is the second most important section on Form I-797E. It is crucial to gather the requested evidence and submit it to the mailing address provided in a timely manner. If USCIS does not receive your response by the deadline, your application is likely to be denied.
How Do I Reply to a Request for Evidence?
How you will reply to a Request for Evidence depends on the reason for the request. When you receive the notice from USCIS, you should:
Make a copy of the notice and keep it in a safe place (you will need to submit the original with your response packet)
Review the notice to determine what information USCIS is requesting
Gather the requested information
Submit the requested information to USCIS in a timely manner
Generally speaking, USCIS only wants photocopies of the requested documents. If they need the original, they will specify this. USCIS may also list acceptable alternatives for certain documents.
It’s also a good idea to assemble your RFE information in the order that USCIS listed the requested evidence. Page one should be the original copy of the RFE. Page two should be a cover letter that lists all enclosed information. The remaining pages should be copies of any requested documentation in the order USCIS listed these in the RFE.
Although the general process of responding to an RFE remains the same from case to case, the documentation requested of you will depend on the reason for the RFE. USCIS might issue an RFE in a DACA case because it needs:
Proof of your continuous residence in the United States
An explanation or clarification of travels abroad
Information about any criminal charges or convictions
Proof of education status
Consider using a shipping service with tracking when you mail your response packet to USCIS. This could serve as valuable proof that you submitted the requested evidence on time if there are any additional questions or the packet gets lost in transit.
Where in the DACA Application Process Might I See “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” as My Status?
When applying to renew your DACA status, you must submit three forms to USCIS. These are the same forms you filled out when you originally applied for DACA status, including:
Form I-821D: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This is the main application form.
Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization. This is the application for a work authorization, better known as a work permit.
Form I-765ws: This worksheet accompanies Form I-765.
You can submit your DACA renewal forms and filing fees by mail or online by creating a USCIS online account. One of the benefits to renewing online is that you will be able to more easily track the status of your application after submission. To learn more about the renewal process, check out our DACA Renewal Guide.
RFEs usually arrive after you send your initial application to USCIS. Remember, an RFE is an opportunity for a second chance to submit evidence you didn’t submit in the initial application. If you submit a timely, accurate response to USCIS, you should be able to get your application back on track.
Do I Need an Immigration Attorney To Help With a Request for Evidence?
It is possible to apply for DACA renewal and respond to any Requests for Additional Evidence without hiring a lawyer. That being said, the decision whether to use an immigration attorney or not is dependent on you and your case. If you understand the RFE and your case is relatively straightforward, you should have no problem proceeding without a lawyer.
If, however, your case is complex, unusual, or you are uncertain about how to reply to the RFE, it may be in your best interest to get legal help. You really only have one chance to respond to the RFE. If your response is not satisfactory or isn’t received in time, your case is likely to be denied. Although you may have the option to appeal such a decision, doing so can be costly. If you have questions about your DACA application you can try contacting USCIS. If you don’t get the answers you need, you can speak with an independent attorney for $24/month with our Ask an Attorney program.
How Do I Know if USCIS Received My RFE Response?
You can see if USCIS received your RFE response by checking your case status online. If USCIS received your response, your case status should soon be updated to “Response To USCIS' Request For Evidence Was Received.” You should also check your mailbox. USCIS sends an official notice for important status changes via mail.
Once you see this case status, you should continue to check back regularly. Subsequent status updates will tell you how your case is progressing and whether USCIS needs any additional information from you.
We can help you understand your DACA case status and determine how to handle any additional requests. If you need help beyond what we can provide, we can connect you with an immigration lawyer through our Ask an Attorney program.