Our strategy for all visa applications is to prepare the application as carefully and thoroughly as possible so it is approved immediately. As of November 2016, we had have not received a single Request for Evidence (“RFE”) for any of the O-1 visas that we filed in 2016. That means that all fifty-seven (57) O-1 visa applications filed by our office in 2016 have been approved outright. The same applies to the Extraordinary Ability Green Cards we filed in 2016. This is compared to numerous law offices who receive RFEs 50% of the time. While our rates may be higher than those of other law offices, we rarely build a charge for an RFE into our retainer. That is because (unless we have warned the client their case is not strong) we prepare the case to go through the first time. While other lawyers may at first appear to be less expensive, and offer free consultations, they often charge an additional $1,500-$2,000 for responding to RFEs. RFEs are very stressful, expensive and time-consuming, and they can slow down the process by months. It may seem attractive to take a risk with a “less expensive” lawyer, but we believe it is better to work with a lawyer who has an exceptional track record, and for the clients to save themselves the great possibility of anxiety, as well as extra time and fees, and ultimately, the risk of denial. The reason we charge a consultation fee before we agree to take on a case is in order to examine all documents in detail, brainstorm with the client, and discuss strategy and process. Thorough analysis and review at the start pays huge dividends.
What is a Request for Evidence (“RFE”)?
An RFE occurs when the Immigration Service requires additional evidence to continue processing a visa application. The missing evidence might be something quite basic, such as a certified translation of a birth certificate, or it might be something more complex. In the latter case, the Immigration Officer may be questioning whether the evidence submitted is strong enough to meet the criteria for a particular visa. For an H-1B, does the evidence show that the position in question is really a specialty occupation? For an O-1 visa, does the evidence submitted show that the applicant really meets the criteria of extraordinary ability? Our policy is to submit a very thorough and detailed application up front and thus to avoid receiving an RFE, which causes anxiety and delay.