What Does the USCIS Case Status “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” Mean for My Form I-539 Application?

In a Nutshell

If you log in to your 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 the immigration benefit you applied for. 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 ImmigrationHelp Team
Written December 10, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent.” What Does That Mean for My Form I-539 Application?

If you’re actively checking your case status in your USCIS account, you may discover that the status of your Form I-539 application has shifted to “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent.” You may also see similar statuses such as “Request for Initial Evidence Was Mailed” or “Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed.” This simply means that USCIS needs additional information or evidence from you before it can decide whether to grant the change in immigration status or the status extension you’ve requested.

USCIS will also send a formal notification of its request for additional information or verification by mail. This notice will arrive as Form I-797E, commonly referred to as a Notice of Action. This notification will detail the information USCIS is requesting from you. For example, your application may be missing a document translation, an original letter from your employer, or other required initial evidence mandated for your immigration status type.  

Does a Request for Evidence Mean My Form I-539 Application Was Denied?

No, getting a request for evidence (RFE) doesn’t mean that USCIS has denied your application. It just means that USCIS can’t determine your eligibility until it receives more information. By contrast, “Case Denied” means that USCIS has reviewed your application and determined that you’re not currently qualified to receive the extension or change in your immigration status that you’ve requested. 

If you get an RFE, it's important to send USCIS the information or evidence it has requested by the deadline. You can find the deadline listed on the notice of action (Form I-797E), which USCIS will mail to you. If you don’t respond to the RFE fully and on time, USCIS will have grounds to deny your application.

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Evidence Was Sent” for My Form I-539 Case?

It’s very important to respond to the request for evidence well in advance of the deadline listed on your Form I-797. USCIS needs to receive your supporting documentation by the deadline listed. The agency doesn’t consider a reply postmarked on the deadline as having met that deadline. The requested evidence needs to arrive at the appropriate USCIS service center by the deadline to ensure that your case isn’t denied.

If you’re unsure of what USCIS is asking of you or you aren’t sure of how to respond to its request for additional evidence, remember that you don’t have to struggle alone.

Making this effort could mean the difference between confidently meeting the USCIS deadline and missing your chance to secure the status change or extension you’ve applied for.

How Do I Reply to a Request for Evidence?

Before replying to a request for additional evidence, make a copy of the USCIS notice. Read it over and make sure that you understand it. While responding to an RFE is a standard process, the kind(s) of evidence that USCIS is specifically requesting of you will depend upon your unique circumstances and the type of status adjustment you’re seeking. For example, you may be missing a certified document translation.

Once you’ve determined what USCIS is asking of you, gather the requested evidence. If possible, provide USCIS with a copy of the evidence and keep the original unless USCIS is specifically asking you for an original document. This way, if your submission gets lost in the mail, you’ll have the original safely in your possession. Assemble a complete response packet, ensuring that you’re providing USCIS with everything it needs to review for your application. Remember to submit this packet well in advance of the listed deadline.

Where in the Form I-539 Application Process Might I See “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” as My Status?

It depends. The process of changing or extending an immigration status varies significantly, depending on your current status and the type of adjustment you are requesting. Because the status adjustment process is so varied, you may see a request for additional evidence status change at virtually any time as your case is being reviewed. That said, you’re most likely to see this status change early in the review timeline while USCIS officers are initially assessing your application.

Do I Need an Immigration Attorney To Help With a Request for Evidence?

If USCIS has made a straightforward request and you’re confident that you understand what you need to provide and how to get the requested documents, you can likely navigate this bump in the road on your own. However, if you have questions or do not know how to respond to this request effectively, connecting with an attorney may be a solid investment. That way, you’ll better ensure that you respond to the USCIS request appropriately and that a decision in your case isn’t delayed or denied due to a preventable misstep.

How Do I Know if USCIS Received My RFE Response?

Before checking your case status online, locate your receipt number from your original USCIS receipt notice. Head over to USCIS’s Case Status Tracker. Type in your receipt number and click “CHECK STATUS.” Once your request for additional evidence has been received, you’ll likely see a straightforward shift in your status to something like “Response to USCIS' Request for Evidence Was Received.”