What Does the USCIS Case Status “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” Mean for My Work Permit 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 Form I-765 and ensure you’re eligible for a work permit. 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 13, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent.” What Does That Mean for My Work Permit Application?

Applying for a work permit, also known as an employment authorization document (EAD), is an involved process. Sometimes, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will discover that an applicant hasn’t included all the documentation required. Other times, the agency simply needs additional verification. 

When this happens, USCIS will update your case status in your USCIS account to “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent.” This is often called a request for evidence, or RFE. It will then send Form I-797E: Notice of Action in the mail. This form will explain what kind of additional evidence you must submit before USCIS will resume reviewing your case.

USCIS may request more evidence for several reasons. So, if you see this shift in your case status, don’t panic. The agency may simply need to verify your entrance to the country, a form from your employer, or a missing translation document.  

Does a Request for Evidence Mean My Work Permit Application Was Denied?

No. USCIS simply needs more information before it can decide if you’re eligible for an employment authorization document. There is no reason to panic if USCIS sends you an RFE. Your case hasn’t been denied.

That said, it’s important that you send in the requested evidence well in advance of the deadline noted in the RFE. If USCIS doesn’t receive the information by the deadline, it will likely deny your work permit request. A denial means that your request for a work permit has been declined and your fees will not be returned. If your case is denied due to a delay on your part, you could be forced to restart the work permit application process

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Evidence Was Sent” for My Work Permit Case?

Read through the Form I-797E to fully understand what documentation USCIS is requesting from you. A Notice of Action contains four parts:

  • The law that pertains to receiving a work permit

  • A list of the evidence you submitted

  • A list of the evidence that is missing

  • A deadline 

Pay close attention to the part that lists what’s missing. This is what you need to give USCIS in your response. Keep in mind that the deadline listed in your Notice of Action is not a postmark date. USCIS must have your evidence response packet in hand by that date. If your RFE respond arrives late, you risk having your work permit request denied. 

If you have any questions about this request or don’t understand what USCIS is asking for, you may want to consult an immigration lawyer.

How Do I Reply to a Request for Evidence?

Before replying to a request for additional evidence, make a copy of the USCIS Form I-797E for your future reference. Read it thoroughly and make sure that you understand exactly what is being asked of you. Make and send copies of original documents unless USCIS specifically indicates that it needs an original. Sending copies is safer in case your response gets lost in the mail.

When assembling your response packet, keep in mind that the information requested will be unique to your case, work permit type, and circumstances. For example, you may have failed to include a required certified document translation. As long as you understand exactly what USCIS needs from you and how to meet that need, you should be able to successfully navigate this minor delay in your case.

Where in the Work Permit Application Process Might I See “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” As My Status?

Sooner rather than later. When USCIS receives your application, it reviews the documentation that has been submitted to determine whether anything is missing. This is why you’ll see the “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” case status close to the beginning of the review process. 

However, because the work permit application process is so varied for different kinds of applicants, this status shift can occur at virtually any time that USCIS is reviewing your case.

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

Many requests for evidence are straightforward enough for applicants to answer on their own. If you feel confident in knowing what USCIS is asking for, you can check out our RFE Guide to walk yourself through the process.

That said, some people prefer to work with an immigration attorney, and in some cases this can be helpful. If a disability or language barrier makes it difficult for you to manage an RFE on your own, connecting with a lawyer can set you up for success. If you’re unsure of what USCIS needs from you or how to get the documents you need, a lawyer may be able to help. 

Keep in mind that you usually have just one opportunity to provide USCIS with the evidence it’s requesting. If you make a mistake, your application could be delayed or denied.

How Do I Know if USCIS Received My RFE Response?

You can check your status online with the USCIS case status tool. To do so, you will need your receipt number, the 13-character number located on your original receipt notice. Once you enter the number into the case status tool, click “Check Status.” If USCIS has received your RFE packet, your status should change to “Response to USCIS Request for Evidence Was Received” or a similar acknowledgment.

You’ll want to check your mailbox frequently and monitor your case status online until your case is fully resolved. Any additional requests for evidence will be updated in these two ways. Staying on top of your case status can help you to avoid delays in your work permit application review process.