The Request For Evidence (RFE) for L-1 Visa Application or Extension
1. The Request For Evidence (RFE)
When USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) needs more information to proceed an immigration application, it will issue the petitioner a Request for Evidence (RFE) notice. The petitioner should respond to the RFE within the timeframe indicated in the RFE notice, usually 30 to 90 days, so that the USCIS immigration official adjudicating the immigration case will have enough evidence to make a decision.
If you receive an RFE notice from USCIS, you should not panic. It does not mean that the denial of your application is inevitable, it only mean that USCIS needs more information from the petitioner, in order to make a right decision. USCIS also has the power to deny an immigration application without first issuing Request for Evidence, so the petitioner should be thankful for the opportunity to correct information, provide more documentation and evidence, and convince the USCIS immigration official to approve your immigration petition.
The petitioner should return the RFE response before the deadline given by USCIS. If you fail to respond the RFE notice, USCIS will either determine that you abandoned your immigration application and issue a denial, or it will make an ultimate decision on the case without the information that it requested, most likely resulting in a denial.
Therefore, it is important that you change your address with USCIS if you move, or make arrangements for your mail to be forwarded to you if you travel extensively. If USCIS sends you a RFE, you don’t want to miss it.
2. USCIS Adjudicator's Evaluation for L1 Visa Application and Request For Evidence (RFE)
Simply presenting evidence which relates to the L-1 visa application requirements does not necessarily mean that the L-1 application should be approved, since the USCIS adjudicator needs to evaluate the submitted evidence.
If the USCIS adjudicator determines that the evidence does not meet the standard for the L-1 visa application, the additional evidence may be requested from the petitioner, or it is called Request For Evidence (RFE).
An USCIS adjudicator may issue a Request For Evidence (RFE) on L-1 visa application cases that were clearly not approvable. The issuance of RFEs in these cases resulted in delays in the processing time. On the other hand, many cases could be approved if the applicants had been given the opportunity to provide additional information in response to the RFEs.
A Request for Evidence (RFE) from a USCIS Service Center is that the USCIS adjudicator is requesting additional evidence to address and support specific parts of the pending L-1 visa application. The petitioner may have certain days indicated in the RFE notice to respond the requests in the RFE notice. If the petitioner does not respond within the indicated time, the petition may be denied by USCIS. After USCIS receives the response to an RFE notice, further action will generally occur within 30 - 60 days, but may take longer for some cases.
3. Understand the Potential Request For Evidence (RFE) for Your L-1A Visa or L-1B Visa Application or Extension
After the USCIS Form I-129 - Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker submission, it is not very rare that the petitioner receives a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice from an USCIS Service Center for your L-1A / L-1B visa application or extension. In some occasional situations, a few petitioners may receive a letter of Intent to Deny (ITD). The possibility that an L1 visa application may get RFE changes from one USCIS Service Center to another USCIS Service Center.
The RFEs contents also very significantly. Usually, there are two kind of RFEs. The first kind of RFE is called the broad brush RFE by immigration community, which generally asks the petitioner to prove the beneficiary's eligibility for the L-1A or L-1B category according to the basic criteria setup in the regulation.
For this kind of broad RFEs, it seems like that the USCIS Service Center believes that the petitioner did not submit any noteworthy supporting materials at the initial petition submission to prove their beneficiary's eligibility for L1 visa. USCIS had regulations and internal memos to require a supervisor's approval for any adjudicator to issue such broad brush RFE. But in the practical circumstances, even this kind of RFEs violate the USCIS' regulations, the petitioner still needs to reply the RFE requests one by one, with new evidence and related supporting materials.
Another kind of RFE will ask the petitioner to submit specific supplement materials, such as evidence to show the U.S. company will grow to a size to support a managerial position, or submit evidence for the duties of general managerial functions, or submit probative evidence verifying that the beneficiary's specialized knowledge is uncommon and noteworthy. For this kind of RFEs asking for particular evidence or supporting materials, sometimes it is difficult for a petitioner to provide the exact required documents.
4. The Request For Evidence (RFE) for L-1A Visa Application or Extension
For an L-1A visa application or extension, the Request For Evidence (RFE) notice from USCIS may ask some tough questions. For example, you may be asked to provide the job description, education level and salary of those employees under your management as an evidence. You may also be asked to provide the education level and salary details of your supervised employees, and probably the education level and salary of some client employees not in your control.
The following is an example of RFE questions for an L-1A visa extension:
Evidence of Managerial Position in the United States. You must show that the position in the United States involves qualifying managerial duties, you may have to prepare a detailed response for the below queries:
1) How the beneficiary will manage the organization, department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
2) How the beneficiary will supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manage an essential function, department, or subdivision of the organization;
3) Whether the beneficiary will have authority to hire and fire, or recommend similar personnel actions, such as promotion and leave authorization, if other employees will be directly supervised. Provide information how employees will be directly supervised, how the beneficiary will function at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the managed function; and
4) How the beneficiary will make decisions on daily operations of the activity or function under his or her authority. If the beneficiary will be a first-line supervisor, submit evidence showing the supervised employees will be professionals.
5. The Request For Evidence (RFE) for L-1B Visa Application or Extension
For an L-1B visa application or extension, the Request For Evidence (RFE) notice from USCIS may ask some tough questions also, such as "Specialized Knowledge". For L-1B visa application, USCIS normally believe that "simply making positions that are normally associated with specialized knowledge staffs are not sufficient for classification. The actual scope, function, and specialized knowledge of both the beneficiary and the business must be reviewed."
The following is an example of RFE questions for an L-1B visa extension:
Upon review of the record as presently constituted casts doubt on the eligibility for the classification requested. The record asserts that the beneficiary is coming to the United States to fulfill the duties of a temporary intra-company transferee in a capacity that involves specialized knowledge.
Section 101(a)(15)(L) defines an "intra-company transferee" as: "an alien who, within 3 years preceding the time of his application for admission into the United States, has been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to render his services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge, and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him"
Submit evidence to show the beneficiary, within 3 years preceding the time of his application for admission into the United States, has been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation, or an affiliate or subsidiary, and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to render his services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that involves specialized knowledge.
6. Get Help for Your Request For Evidence
If you get a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice for your L1 visa application or extension from an USCIS Service Center, it is necessary that you must work hard to provide requested evidence in a short time, and persuade the USCIS adjudicators to approve your case. It is critical to appropriately and proficiently reply the Request For Evidence. Incorrect response of the RFE will directly result in your L1 visa application or extension rejection.
To help you replying the RFE, we provide the high quality and case-proven "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of Request For Evidence for L-1A / L-1B Visa Application or Extension". In the RFE package, we present methods of analyzing RFE questions, RFE replying strategies, means of strengthening your case, detailed RFE cases analysis, sample cover letters, and more.
With the RFE package, you get all the information you need and step-by-step knowledge and strategies of how to prepare an efficient, professional, and complete response to your RFE notice of L1 visa application or extension, and eventually get your L1 visa approval.
For more information, please see How to Prepare a Successful RFE Response for Your L-1A / L-1B Visa Application or Extension
7. The Notice of Intent to Deny
An L-1 visa application case may be denied if it is clearly not approvable. These are cases where basic regulatory requirements are missing. This includes cases where an applicant is categorically ineligible to receive a L-1 visa. USCIS also recognized that sometimes the adjudicators request full range of information when only a small amount is needed to make a final decision, so it wastes examination resources through the review of unnecessary, duplicative, or irrelevant documents.
A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is that the USCIS adjudicator is giving notice that USCIS will deny the pending case, unless you provide certain extra documentation. The petitioner may have certain days indicated in the NOID notice to respond. If the petitioner does not respond within the prescribed period, the petition may be denied. Once the USCIS receives your response to an NOID, further action will generally occur within 30 - 60 days, but may take longer.
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