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What is the process for USCIS to review the response to an RFE?

What happens after I respond to a request for evidence to the USCIS? How long does it take USCIS to review the response to an RFE and make a decision? Is there a difference between a project RFE versus a personal RFE? What can I do to decrease the risk of getting an RFE in the first place?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The RFE review process usually takes USCIS 60 to 90 days to complete, depending upon the complexity of the issues raised in the RFE and the quality of the RFE response. There is no procedural difference in a project RFE or a personal RFE. In the former, USCIS usually requests clarifications to the business plan or evidence of updated business activity. In the latter, USCIS usually requests information about the petitioner's source and/or path of invested funds.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A comprehensively prepared I-526 or I-829 petition decreases the chance of getting an RFE issued by USCIS because it will address all elements of the case and provide all required supporting evidence to back up the legal argument in the case. A project RFE means USCIS has questions regarding project related documentation and a regional center's legal counsel will generally address that. A personal RFE means USCIS has questions about your source of funds, for example. Your EB-5 immigration attorney should prepare a response to RFE. There is no specific time frame when USCIS will respond to RFE. On average it make take a couple of weeks or several months to receive an adjudication after RFE response submission to USCIS.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The best assurance to avoid RFEs is to hire a competent attorney to help you get it right-a project RFE is when there is a project issue, whereas a personal RFE usually relates to your proof of lawful source of funds.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The USCIS examiner will review the submission sent to respond to an RFE. This USCIS examiner also makes the decision whether to approve the I-526 petition or the I-829 petition. A well developed and thorough I-526 petition filing or an I-829 petition filing is the best way to decrease the risk of getting an RFE.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no required response time by USCIS after a response to RFE is provided. But by average, USCIS responds within 30-60 days with a final decision. In order to avoid being issued an RFE, you and your attorney need to make sure the information/documents submitted are complete, accurate, and meet the standards for EB-5 Petition requirements and that any potential red flags in your case are thoroughly explained, supported and documented so that USCIS does not require additional information/documentation.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In terms of the possibility of receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE), the best way to avoid getting one in the first place is to make sure that the initial EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526 is prepared in a comprehensive and thorough manner, hopefully based upon a project that with which the U.S.C.I.S. Examiner is already familiar. It is very hard to predict how long it would take for the U.S.C.I.S. to review the response to RFE as it would depend upon the time and resources available.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Time to respond to RFE varies depending on officer assigned and complexity of the issues being addressed. Best way to avoid an RFE is to send in a complete and strong case to begin with.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no black and white answer. It really depends on the issue in the RFE. I have seen approvals come in within 30 days of RFE response, and then there are those that take 6 months. If the RFE is a simple updated TEA, this would go fast, maybe 30 days. If the RFE issue is complex, could take a few months.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Majority of EB-5 cases get approved without RFEs according to USCIS. I have had only 3 RFEs on Source of Funds in 11 years of practicing in EB-5 cases. Many of the Regional Centers who have successfully done multiple EB-5 projects know what the winning formula is and could get their projects approved without RFEs. Thus, avoiding RFEs is to choose the project wisely and work with professionals who know what they are doing rather looking for cheap, untested options. As to the length of time USCIS could take, it could take reviewing the RFEs as they do in adjudicating the I-526. If the RFE response is provided quickly while the adjudicator has the case on top of the pile and fresh in his/her mind, the decision could be quick after the response. However, if the response is filed at the tail end of the 3-4 months that RFE response is given, and the adjudicator has moved onto other cases, your case could take a while for that adjudicator to go back and review the old case and refresh his/her recollection of what they did and why they asked for the additional evidence.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for your question. The time for USCIS to respond to a request for evidence (RFE) varies, depending on the scope of the request. It is important that you have sought the advice of immigration counsel in responding to the RFE, as the smallest of errors can lead to significant issues.

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    Blake Harrison

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally, you should receive a decision after submitting your response to the RFE within a few months. The process is the same whether the RFE is about the project or your personal documents. RFEs can be avoided if the original application contains all required documents. However, sometimes USCIS will add additional document requirements between the case being filed and adjudicated, which can make avoiding an RFE difficult in certain circumstances.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    CIS checks to ascertain that you have responded within the time allowed. Then the information, project or personal, is sent to the adjudicator who requested the information. The adjudicator has no time limitation on when to complete the case. Most complete the case in about 2-6 weeks. Could take longer, depending on the workload.

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