O1 Visa RFE Request For Evidence | O1 Visa Lawyer

O1 Visa Request For Evidence Response

  • Request for Evidence
  • RFE
  • Extraordinary Ability in the Arts

O1 Visa Request for Evidence Explained: How to Overcome Yours

Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker O-1B Extraordinary Ability in the Arts

Request for Evidence is also referred to as an RFE. They are the same thing. An RFE is a notice you get in the mail from USCIS after you submit your application. It can mean you are going to get denied, but it could also mean you are going to get approved. Or it could mean whether you are going to get approved or not is uncertain. It's important to have your RFE evaluated by an experienced attorney who can tell you what type of RFE you have (Easy, Medium, Hard) and what your possible steps forward are.

  • There was something wrong with the format of the evidence you submitted.
  • There was something wrong substantively with the content of your application.
  • You got an overly stern USCIS officer.
  • Your USCIS officer ran out of time and needed to delay your case.

Non-Criteria Related Request For Evidence Issues for O1 Visas

Job Offer Issues
Some O1 visa applicants get RFEs relating to their Job Offers, especially if they were applying with an agent and using an itinerary. The issues are almost always the format of the Job Offers. Think of USCIS as a very stern school teacher that is going to give you an F if you make a single spelling error. If part of your RFE contains the language below, you likely made a formatting error, ommitting the right words or details, and they need to be fixed to get the approval. If part of the reason you are getting the RFE is related to your Job Offer, the RFE language will be part or all of the below, or something like:
Petitions for O-1 nonimmigrants may be filed by a:
• U.S. employer;
• U.S. Agent; or
• Foreign employer through a U.S. Agent.

U.S. Agents. It appears that you are a U.S. Agent. A U.S. Agent may file on behalf of a beneficiary who is traditionally self-employed or uses agents to arrange short-term employment with numerous employers or where a foreign employer has authorized an agent to act in its behalf. A U.S. Agent may:
• Perform the function of an employer;
• Represent the beneficiary and multiple employers with whom the beneficiary is contracted to work; or
• Represent a foreign employer.

Contracts. Petitions seeking O nonimmigrant classification must include a copy of the contract or a detailed summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the beneficiary and either the petitioner or the employer.

You may still submit evidence to satisfy this requirement. Evidence that may be submitted includes:
• A written contract or a detailed summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the beneficiary and either the petitioner, or the employer must specify:
• The terms and conditions of the employment or services;
• The wage offered; and
• Any additional services provided.

Description of the Competitions, Events, or Performances. You must provide a description of the competitions, events, or performances in which the beneficiary will participate. An event means an activity such as, but not limited to, a scientific project, conference, convention, lecture series, academic year, tour, exhibit, business project, or engagement during the requested validity period.

You may still submit evidence to satisfy this requirement. Evidence must include a description which includes: • An explanation of the nature of the events or activities including the beginning and ending dates of the events or activities; and
• A copy of any itineraries that shows dates, names of the employers, and locations of the events.

Union Issues
Almost all O1B visa applicants have to get a union or peer group letter in order to be approved. Less O1A applicants need them, but some do. You may have either not gotten the letter or gotten one from the wrong group. USCIS usually tells you which Union to get the letter from in the RFE, but sometimes they tell you wrong, so be sure to check with your attorney. If part of your issue was the Union Letter, the RFE language will say something like (O1B Language Sampled):

Consultation. In general, petitions seeking O-1B nonimmigrant classification for the arts must include a written advisory opinion from a U.S. peer group in the area of the beneficiary’s ability. The U.S. peer group may include a person or persons with expertise in the beneficiary’s field and/or an appropriate labor or management organization. If you can show that an appropriate peer group, including a labor organization, does not exist, a written advisory opinion is not required. However, if you submit a written opinion from a peer group that is not a labor organization and a relevant labor organization exists, USCIS will forward a copy of the petition and all supporting documentation to the labor organization to provide them an opportunity to submit an advisory opinion, which may increase the processing time of the petition.

You may still submit evidence to satisfy this requirement. Evidence may include:
• Documentation to show that you attempted to obtain an advisory opinion and that the consulting organization did not provide a consultation letter;
• Written advisory opinion regarding the nature of the work and the beneficiary’s qualifications. The advisory opinion must state:
• The beneficiary’s ability and achievements in the field of endeavor;
• The nature of the duties to be performed;
• Whether the position requires the services of an alien of extraordinary ability; and
• A statement of facts that supports the conclusion reached in the opinion. If it is provided by an organization, it must be signed by an authorized official of the group or organization.

A consulting organization may also submit a letter of no objection if it has no objection to the approval of the petition. Also, if the beneficiary will perform duties similar to those performed within the last 2 years, you may submit a copy of the previous consultation with a request to waive the requirement for a new consultation.
Please see http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/o-1-individuals-extraordinary-ability-or-achievement/o-1-visa-individuals-extraordinary-ability-or-achievement for a non-exhaustive list of consulting organizations.

Translation Issues
This happens when the documents you submitted weren't translated in the manner that USCIS requires. If part of your issue were your translations, the RFE language will say something like:

Request for English Translations. All foreign language documents must have a complete English translation to establish eligibility. You submitted the following documents which are in a language other than English:
Please submit the English translation(s) for the document(s) noted above. In addition, the translator must certify that:
• The translations are accurate and complete; and
• He or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English."

Criteria Related Request For Evidence Issues for O1 Visas

If you got an RFE relating to your criteria, thats a little bit more serious than if you only had non-criteria issues. But again, it depends on the specific language of the RFE. You will know you got an RFE relating to criteria if you see the following language, or something similar, in your RFE:
Evidence of Prominence in the Field of Endeavor

The O-1B classification requires the petitioner to show that the beneficiary has extraordinary ability in the arts, which is defined as distinction. To establish distinction, and qualify as an individual of extraordinary ability in the arts, the beneficiary must be recognized as being prominent in his or her field of endeavor. Prominence may be demonstrated by:
• Submitting evidence that the alien has been nominated for, or has been the recipient of, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director's Guild Award;
• Establishing that the beneficiary satisfies at least three of the six criteria discussed below; or
• Submitting comparable evidence if the regulatory criteria do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation.

The beneficiary does not appear to satisfy at least three of the eight criteria to show national or international acclaim and recognition. You may still submit evidence to satisfy the criteria in this section. The documentation you provide should show by a preponderance of the evidence that the beneficiary has sustained national or international acclaim and is one of the small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

How to Interpret Request For Evidence Results For Each Criteria
Based on whether you submitted evidence for a criteria, and whether that evidence was enough, your RFE is going to say one of three things under each criteria:
1) Based on the evidence currently in the record, it appears that you have met this criterion.
This means they agree that you meet this criteria.
2) It does not appear that you have attempted to qualify the beneficiary under this regulatory criterion. You may still submit evidence to qualify the beneficiary under this regulatory criterion.
This means you didn't think you met this criteria, so you didn't submit any evidence for it.
3) To qualify the beneficiary under this criterion, you submitted:
The evidence you submitted is not sufficient.
You may still submit evidence to qualify the beneficiary under this criterion.
This means that you did submit evidence, but they didn't like it and aren't going to give you this criteria unless you fix it.

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