What Does USCIS Case Status “Request for Additional Evidence” Mean for My Parent Green Card 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 case and ensure you’re eligible for a green card. 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 Attorney Curtis Lee
Written November 15, 2022

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

When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives your parent green card application, it’ll begin reviewing it. Part of this process consists of checking if there’s sufficient evidence to support your parent getting a green card. If there isn’t, USCIS will send you a request for additional evidence. You’ll first receive this notification on USCIS’s online account portal, and the agency will also mail you the request via Form-797E: Notice of Action.

Depending on the specific reason for the request for additional evidence, the case status notification could be worded differently. You might see “Request for Initial Evidence Was Mailed” or “Request for Initial Evidence Was Sent.” These mean the same thing regarding what you’ll need to do, namely provide additional documentation to USCIS.

Does the Request for Evidence Mean My Parent Green Card Application Was Denied?

No, your application has not been denied. A request for evidence means USCIS needs more information from you before it decides if your parent should get a green card. The denial of a parent green card application means USCIS has decided that your parent shouldn’t receive a green card. 

That being said, if you don’t provide USCIS with the documents requested by the deadline stated in Form I-797E, then there’s a chance the request for evidence could lead to a green card denial.

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Request for Evidence Was Sent” for My Parent Green Card Case?

After you receive a request for evidence (RFE), you’ll need to gather the information USCIS requested and submit it to the agency by the deadline. Form I-797E will list the information and documents the agency needs, as well as identify the law that applies to its request for additional evidence. It should also list the documents you already sent in.

To ensure you meet the evidence request deadline, USCIS needs to receive the additional documents by the deadline. In other words, send your response to the request for evidence well before the deadline listed in Form I-797E. If you only have it postmarked by the deadline, it’ll mean the agency gets your response too late. 

Even if you have plenty of time to submit your documents before the deadline, send them in as soon as you can. While USCIS awaits your documents, it will place your parent green card application on hold. Each day you wait to mail in the documents means an extra day added to the time it takes for your parent to become a lawful permanent resident.

How Do I Reply to a Request for Evidence (RFE)?

The process for responding to a request for evidence is the same for most people. You receive Form I-797E, gather the documents identified in Form I-797E, and mail them to USCIS. However, the documents USCIS requests wiill be different depending on your situation.

You don’t need to send in original documents unless USCIS specifically asks for it. If you must send in an original, be sure to make a copy and keep it for your records. Also, you can ask if there’s an alternative document that can provide USCIS to get the information it needs.

Finally, be sure your response is timely. Sending the documents to USCIS past the deadline stated in Form I-797E could result in USCIS denying your parent’s green card application.

What Evidence Might I Need to Send?

The specific documents you need to send will depend on your parent’s immigration status and/or circumstances. But here are two examples of what you might need to send USCIS.

The first example involves Form I-864: Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA. This form assures the United States government that you can financially support your parent(s) after they arrive in the United States. After reviewing Form I-864, USCIS might need more information from you to decide if your claims are strong enough. So your response to this request for additional evidence would relate to your financial situation.

Another example could relate to the fact that your parent green card application included documents written in a language other than English. If you did this, you’ll need to have those documents translated. But not just any translation will do. If they weren’t properly translated, the request for additional evidence could mean you need to provide the proper translation.

Where in the Parent Green Card Application Process Might I See “Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent” as My Status?

Getting a green card for a parent who’s already in the United States will require two main components:

  • Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative

  • Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

USCIS will most likely send a request for additional evidence after it receives either of these forms. It’s also possible to have to provide additional evidence when your parent tries to get another immigration benefit, such as a work permit.

A request for additional evidence may also come up during consular processing, getting your parent a green card when they’re located outside the United States. The request might occur after submitting Form I-130 to USCIS or DS-260 to the National Visa Center (NVC).

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

Probably not, but it depends on your situation. If you think you have a handle on what you need to do to respond to the request for evidence and don’t want to hire an attorney, check out our guide to USCIS requests for evidence and how to respond to them

However, if you’re confused by Form I-797E and don’t understand how to respond, it may help to talk to an experienced lawyer.

How Do I Know if USCIS Received My RFE Response?

There are two ways to confirm that USCIS has your request for evidence (RFE). First, you can wait for USCIS to mail you a confirmation letter stating it received your RFE response.

Second, you can check the USCIS online case tracker. You’ll need your receipt number to check your case status. Using this tool, you can check for any case status updates, including the one you’ll see when USCIS receives your RFE response. It’ll most likely be worded as “response to USCIS request for evidence was received” or something similar. You can also use this online tool to check for future case status updates showing how your parent’s green card case is progressing or if USCIS needs additional information.