How to Respond to I601A Waiver Request for Evidence

////How to Respond to I601A Waiver Request for Evidence
When the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver first went into effect in March of 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was issuing denials for lack of extreme hardship on I-601A waiver cases without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE).  That means applicants didn’t have an opportunity to address the perceived problem.  This was particularly troubling, since there is no opportunity to appeal or request to reopen a denied provisional waiver.  Your only option is to refile.  Now, USCIS is issuing RFE’s that sometimes are “boilerplate” in nature.  Meaning they don’t address what was submitted or why it is insufficient.  This article is meant to help you respond to these RFE’s.

Keep in mind that it isn’t always possible to predict when an RFE will be issued. You can get an RFE regardless of how strong your initial documentation is.

  1. If you have an attorney, have him or her compare your RFE with theirs.  The RFE’s should be the same, but some RFE’s include handwritten notations or where specific hardship factors are highlighted.  This gives insight into what the adjudicator is focusing on. It is important to review both copies in case only one contains such notations.
  2. Don’t resubmit the same the same evidence that was originally submitted.  You should reference the prior submission (a copy of your exhibit list or cover letter outlining prior documents); just resending the same information likely won’t help you.  Even if you think it is adequate, the adjudicator didn’t.  Even if the adjudicator is mistaken, review what was submitted and look for holes in the evidence, or arguments that can be strengthened or clarified. The RFE is an opportunity to further explain and supplement your arguments.
  3. Respond to the RFE with additional evidence for each allegation of hardship. Particularly focus on categories where the adjudicator noted a deficiency on the RFE. Are there are any new hardships or hardships that worsened since your initial application? Provide updated evidence to reflect those changes. Even if not much has changed since the initial filing, additional evidence might include (explain each piece of evidence submitted):
    • An updated affidavit or personal statement from the qualifying relative and from you;
    • Recent bills or expenses which evidence ongoing financial hardship;
    • An updated letter from a doctor regarding the ongoing nature of a claimed medical hardship;
    • Evidence of continuing appointments with a medical doctor or a psychologist; and
    • Additional country condition reports if the situation in your home country has changed or worsened.
  4. You must submit your response within the 30 day deadline to the address that is referenced in the RFE.

If you filed your I-601A on your own and received an RFE, you must consult with a qualified immigration attorney before you respond to the RFE.  Keep in mind you typically only have 30 days so don’t delay.

If you have questions call our knowledgeable staff at 888-695-6169 of fill out the contact form or live chat feature on this page.

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