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RFE stands for “Request For Evidence.” This happens when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) makes an inquiry and request additional information to make a decision on a petition or an application. RFEs are issued for different applications and petitions submitted to USCIS. This note below will focus on the most frequent RFEs that USCIS issued on H-1B petitions. An RFE can be for information about either the beneficiary or the petitioner, or both.


When they issued an RFE, USCIS will usually provide 90 days to allow the Beneficiary or the Petitioner to submit documents that prove that the case should be adjudicate favorably. One should make sure that their documents answer all inquiries completely and thoroughly.


USCIS usually will request documents based on the law and regulations. It is therefore recommended to retain the services of an immigration attorney to respond to an RFE.


The Most frequent H-1B RFEs are about the following subjects:


  • Validation Instrument for Business Enterprise
  • Specialty Occupation
  • Non-Typical Industries
  • Potential Problems with Beneficiaries’ Degrees
  • Employer-Employee Relationship Questions
  • Changes of Status Requests
  • Important Details to Consider
  • Consider Professional Legal Assistance


Validation Instrument for Business Enterprise (VIBE)

The Validation Instrument for Business Enterprise, shortened to VIBE, is a tool used by the USCIS to confirm information about petitioning employers. An RFE can be issued if there has been a change in your employer business (e.g. change of address or name). USCIS may issue an RFE asking for information such as a lease agreement, recent financial statements or wage reports, or the petitioning employer’s Tax ID number to verify that the petitioner is a legitimate business.



Specialty Occupations

In order to be granted an H1B visa, an employee must be qualified to work in a “specialty occupation.” Typically, a specialty occupation requires a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, and the job should require a degree. There are other requirements that may apply. USCIS may issue an RFE questioning Specialty Occupation. In that case, detailed information about the job offered to the H-1B worker to confirm that the occupation meets this requirement.


A full note on H-1B Visa Status and Requirement will be available soon for your convenience and information.



Potential Problems with Beneficiaries’ Qualifications

Sometimes, the beneficiary will possess a bachelor’s degree in a different field of study than the proposed occupation. USCIS may issue an RFE questioning whether the Beneficiary qualifies for the job offered.  When this happens, the petitioner must show how the beneficiary’s degree is related to the position or how the beneficiary has sufficient experience that is equivalent to the degree normally required.



Employer-Employee Relationship

In order for an H1B petition to be approved, there must be proof of an existing employer-employee relationship. If the beneficiary will not be working at the employer’s business site, this relationship can be difficult for the USCIS to determine without more information. An RFE may request information to establish the employer’s control and supervision of the employee.


Changes of Status Requests

If the H-1B petition is for an individual changing status to H-1B, USCIS may request additional information that show that the individual maintained the status they are trying to change.


By Attorney Monique Ndaya Mutombo. Schedule a consultation today.










This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship

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