Responding to a Request for Evidence (RFE) for an I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

Question: I am a naturalized citizen and filed all of my own immigration paperwork. Recently, I filed my wife’s I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. I submitted the following evidence with the petition: joint tax returns, a joint mortgage, joint health insurance policies, a life insurance policy naming my wife as the beneficiary, joint tax statements, photos, and mail addressed to both my wife and me at our joint addresses. Despite this overwhelming evidence, I still received a Request for Evidence (RFE).

I provided everything I could with the initial petition, so I am not sure what else I can provide. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Thank you for your question. Your experience highlights the one issue that practitioners like me encounter all the time. We make every effort to provide enough information to avoid an RFE, however, despite our best efforts, we end up having to provide additional information. RFEs are, in some cases, an financial burden to our clients, and ultimately reflect poorly on the practitioner ( and in most cases unjustifiably).

It appears from the information above that you provided a lot of evidence with your I-751. Without the benefit of reviewing your I-751 petition and the evidence you provided with it, I cannot advise you on what additional information you should include. However, here is a list of evidence you should consider including in your RFE response: (1) leases in both of your names, (2) If no leases, affidavits from everyone you lived with, (3) affidavits from neighbors who saw you living together, (4) affidavits from friends who visited you at your homes, (5) pay stubs showing joint address, (6) W-2s or any other documents showing joint address, (7) Facebook or Instagram pictures, (8) Wills, (9) Gym memberships, (10) Cell phone records showing calls and texts, (11) HIPPA releases, (12) Emergency contact designations. 

This is not an exhaustive list. Rather, it is a guide to help you consider options that you may not have considered before. If you find that you are scraping the bottom of the barrel for information that is okay, we all experience that feeling. You will have to be creative with the information you provide, but nevertheless insure that you provide evidence that answers the RFE request. In addition, make sure that the evidence you present dates back to a time prior to the issuance of the RFE. Providing evidence dating after the RFE will most likely be given less weight and be viewed as an attempt to overcome the RFE, not real proof that you and your wife have a valid marriage.

I hope this information was helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the office at (716) 565-6270 or by email at nmurchie@murchielaw.com. Best of luck!