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  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: June 3, 2020
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Requests for evidence have become an increasingly common trend for O-1 visa applications. These requests for evidence, or “RFEs,” require documentation demonstrating the extraordinary ability of O-1 visa applicants. According to USCIS data, in 2019, there was a close to 30% rate of RFEs. This is the highest level since 2015.

What Is A Request For Evidence?

When there is a lack of documentation or supporting evidence in a visa petition, the USCIS will send an RFE. If there is any claim in a petition that is not well-supported, an RFE will be issued and sent to the applicant. Your application processing will then be placed on hold until you have provided the requested evidence. The RFE will contain a deadline for submitting the evidence, and failure to meet this deadline could result in your application stalling.

Common Reasons For A Request For Evidence

RFEs can be issued for a variety of reasons. However, in O-1 visa cases, most RFEs are issued for some common reasons. In order to qualify for an O-1 visa, there are specific evidentiary criteria that must be met. You have to have received a major internationally or nationally recognized award in your field or meet three of eight evidentiary criteria. Evidence must be submitted to demonstrate that you meet the qualifications. Some common RFEs include:

  • Published Material—evidence of your published material may be insufficient. There may be an RFE to show that you are one of the best in your field or that the journals that published your material qualify as major publications.
  • Judging the Work of Peers—many applicants don’t have evidence that complies with this requirement. This is often due to the nature of their work.
  • Original Contributions of Major Significance—just publishing material may not be enough. There must be evidence that your work helped other people. There could be evidence in the form of letters and testimonies from other professionals regarding your contribution.
  • Employment in Critical or Essential Capacity—you must have proof that the role you occupied was critical or essential and that you worked for a reputable organization

Contact An Experienced Immigration Attorney

If you are applying for an O-1 visa and need help with a request for evidence, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.

Image of Attorney Magdalena Cuprys, Esq with 4.7 start reviews

Attorney Magdalena Cuprys is a seasoned immigration lawyer based in Orlando and Coral Gables, Florida. With three languages under her belt and years of legal experience working with immigrants of all kinds, she brings considerable experience and insight to the field and works hard to explain immigration concepts, empower future citizens, and keep current and prospective immigrants up to date on US immigration law.

Connect with her firm, Serving Immigrants, to stay updated on the latest developments in United States immigration law and gain valuable insights needed to navigate the challenging legal landscape of immigration in Florida. 

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