What Does the USCIS Case Status “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” Mean for My Form I-129F Application?
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 Form I-129F and ensure you’re eligible for a K-1 fiancé visa. USCIS will mail 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 Jonathan Petts.
Written November 29, 2022
My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent.” What Does That Mean for My Form I-129F Application?
After applying for a K-1 fiancé visa, you may see the case status “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” when you check your online USCIS account. This status means that USCIS needs additional documentation or evidence to verify the facts of your case. For example, you may need to further prove that you and your fiancé intend to marry within 90 days of your entrance to the United States.
You may also see similar statuses such as “Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed” or “Request for Initial Evidence Was Sent (or Mailed).” All of these statuses mean the same thing — USCIS needs more information from you.
You will see this status online on your USCIS account. But USCIS will also send an official notice of action by mail called Form I-797E that will provide more information.
Does a Request for Evidence Mean My Form I-129F Application Was Denied?
No, a request for evidence does not mean that your application was denied. A request for evidence just indicates that USCIS needs more information from you to process your application.
A case denial means USCIS fully reviewed your Form I-129F and decided that you do not qualify for a fiancé visa. This status, “Case Was Denied,” will only appear at the very end of your application process.
However, if you don’t send the additional requested documents by the deadline on your notice of action or Form I-797E, your case is then likely to be denied or rejected. In other words, sending the additional information on time is very important.
What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Evidence Was Sent” for My Fiancé Visa Case?
If your case status says “Request for Evidence Was Sent,” you should respond as soon as you can. Your notice will contain a due date for sending in the additional information. It is critical that the USCIS office listed in your notice receives your Request for Evidence (RFE) packet reply by the deadline. In other words, your packet cannot just be postmarked by the deadline; it must be received by the deadline.
To send your packet in on time, you will need to understand what the RFE is asking for. Form I-797E, the official notice that USCIS sends, will explain what information you need to send and by what date. You will need to read this notice carefully to understand what kind of documents USCIS wants from you and when you need to mail them.
However, if you don’t understand the notice sent to you or you don’t know how to respond, you may want to get legal help from an attorney. If the due date for the RFE is soon, properly submitting it could be the difference between getting a fiancé visa or not getting one.
How Do I Reply to a Request for Evidence?
To reply to a request for evidence, first read over the notice of action. Make a copy of it for your records. Next, determine what information USCIS needs from you. Gather this information. Usually, this will involve providing a photocopy and not an original of the document unless USCIS explicitly states otherwise. You should then assemble the documents into a response packet and send it to USCIS before the deadline.
This general process of addressing a request for evidence is usually the same across the board. However, the types of documents you submit depend on the reason USCIS provides in your notice. For example, you may get an RFE if you did not provide a proper English translation of your documents. In that case, you would then need to provide a certified translation of the document in question.
You may also get an RFE for additional proof that you and your fiancé met in person within two years of when you filed Form I-129F. In that case, you may need to provide copies of airline tickets, passport stamps, photos, or written statements verifying your meeting.
Where in the Form I-129F Application Process Might I See “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” As My Status?
Not until USCIS does its initial review of your application. To obtain a fiancé visa, you fill out Form I-129F and submit it along with the filing fee and all required supporting documents. After USCIS receives and examines your initial form, it will send a request for evidence if necessary.
While waiting for your response, USCIS places your application on hold. Once you submit satisfactory evidence within the deadline, the application process will proceed. USCIS will inform you if you need to appear for an interview or biometrics appointment, where your fingerprints will be taken. Finally, USCIS will approve your application, and you will receive a fiancé visa!
Do I Need an Immigration Attorney To Help With a Request for Evidence?
Whether you need an immigration attorney’s help depends on how complex your case is and whether you understand the RFE. If your case is fairly straightforward and you understand what the RFE is asking for, you can probably obtain the necessary documents and submit them without a lawyer.
However, if your case has any complexities or you don’t understand what kinds of documents the RFE wants, it may be helpful to hire an attorney. If you don’t submit the documents correctly, your Form I-129F application may be denied. Usually, USCIS only gives applicants one chance to submit additional evidence correctly.
If your case is particularly complex, check out our Ask an Attorney program to speak with an independent lawyer for just $24/month.
How Do I Know if USCIS Received My RFE Response?
You will know if USCIS receives your RFE response based on a change in your case status. You can check your case status on USCIS.gov by entering your 13-character receipt number from your original notice of receipt. Your case status should change to “Response To USCIS Request For Evidence Was Received” after USCIS receives your response. USCIS will likely also send you another notice by mail to indicate its receipt.
Afterward, your case status will continue to change as your case progresses. USCIS will also let you know if they need any additional information from you.