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K-1 Visas: USCIS Request for Evidence During COVID-19 Crisis

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing K-1 Visas. That is a K-1 fiancée visa and we are discussing this specifically within the context of a Request for Evidence and how to deal with that during this COVID-19 crisis; this COVID-19 outbreak that we are currently dealing with as a result of the outbreak that occurred up in China.

Now specifically we are talking about Request for Evidence; I am not talking about the entire process. So first of all let's discuss what is a Request for Evidence also called an RFE. So what is a Request for Evidence?  Well it is basically exactly what the title would seem to imply. It is a request by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service for the petitioner to produce further evidence in association with their case. 

Now we try to prepare our petition packages as carefully and as well documented as we can. That being stated, notwithstanding the fact that we may provide an otherwise quite stellar petition in our opinion, especially in this Administration, there seems to be something of a propensity for issuing these Requests for Evidence. I did not see the volume of these requests in times past that I have seen here recently especially under the Trump Administration I should say, but we are seeing more. 

The question for this video is how best to deal with that. Well in my opinion, dealing with RFEs moving forward is going to be basically the same as it ever was for lack of a better term however it may take longer due to delays caused by COVID-19. Fortunately, a recent announcement from USCIS seems to take this into consideration. So the announcement is titled USCIS Announces Flexibility for Request for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny. Quoting directly: "In response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a pleasure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to Requests for Evidence RFEs and Notices of Intent to Deny dated between March 1 and May 1 2020. For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020 any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID, will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken. USCIS is adopting several measures to protect our workforce and community and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time."  So any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE will be considered by USCIS. So it essentially tacked on an extra two months to whatever the deadline is. But to be clear RFEs and NOIDs dated between March 1 and May 1, so if you fall into that window, your RFE falls into that window, you get a little extra time to answer that RFE. For some people that may not really matter, for other people it maybe a rather extensive response. 

So this may be a real boon to people. I definitely think it is laudable on USCIS's part to take into consideration the fact that this COVID-19 can delay responses on people's case resulting from an RFE moving forward.