If you’re applying for a green card, a visa, or another immigration status or benefit, the last thing you might want or expect is a request for evidence from USCIS.
Fortunately, these requests are by no means unavoidable. With proper preparation and guidance, you can reduce the time you wait for a decision from USCIS by limiting the likelihood of receiving this extra obstacle.
At The Gaston Law Firm, P.A., we help our clients avoid the following issues that typically trigger requests for evidence:
- Submitting the wrong type of birth certificate. USCIS requires a specific type of birth certificate from each country. Generally, you will need the long-form version that includes information about at least one of your parents.
- Forgetting to include all required tax documents. For example, many people fail to include W-2s for every employer they had throughout the year.
- Failing to include convincing evidence that you will be financially supported in the U.S. Generally, your sponsor must make at least 125% above the poverty line, but USCIS may heavily scrutinize your application if your sponsor doesn’t make much more than this. Additional information like six months of paystubs, a letter from an employer, and records of a strong income history may help you avoid a request for evidence. In some cases, however, you will simply need a joint sponsor.
- Including documents in another language without an official translation. Your translations must be complete, and they must include a certificate from your translator verifying that the translation is correct.
- Submitting an application with missing, incomplete or incorrect documents. Unfortunately, there is no master list of documents to include because each visa/immigration benefit has a different set of required evidence and documentation. Closely following directions is critical, and seeking legal counsel is highly recommended.
One category of immigration that experiences particularly heavy scrutiny is marriage-based visas. USCIS is greatly concerned about marriage fraud, and adjudicating officers will deny applications if they believe the applicant is engaged or married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident simply because they want to obtain a green card.
No matter what type of visa or status you seek, we urge you to involve our team at the beginning of your immigration process so we can help you prevent time-consuming obstacles like requests for evidence and more.
What to Do if You Receive a Request for Evidence
Rest assured that a request for evidence does not mean your application is more likely to be denied. A request for evidence simply means the adjudicating officer wants to review more documentation before making a decision regarding your case.
The most important thing to do when you receive a request for evidence is to follow the instructions carefully and submit the requested evidence on time. If you miss the deadline, the adjudicating officer will make a decision based on the information you originally sent. In most cases, this means your application will be denied.
Give Your Application the Greatest Likelihood of Success
At The Gaston Law Firm, P.A., we provide our clients with award-winning counsel and representation. Before founding our firm, Attorney Gaston worked as a criminal prosecutor, which is why he is uniquely qualified to handle complex, high-stakes cases. With our firm on your side, you can trust that you have the support you need to accomplish your immigration goals.
Let’s get started with a case evaluation. Call (888) 388-6859 or reach out to us online today.