Murthy Takes Action: Texas Service Center RFE Trend

Attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm have noticed a trend in requests for evidence (RFEs) issued by the Texas Service Center (TSC) in adjustment of status (Form I-485) cases. These RFEs are asking for documents that were included as part of the initial I-485 filing. We have addressed this matter through appropriate channels. Here the issues raised are outlined, and our analysis and possible recommendations for consideration by those who may have received similar RFEs.

TSC RFEs on Recently-Filed I-485s

Around February 2012, we at the Murthy Law Firm began seeing unusual RFEs from the TSC. These were unusual because they requested documentation, such as birth certificates, copies of I-94s, and copies of passports; all routinely included with the initial I-485 filing. It is not uncommon for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to issue RFEs requesting such documents. Typically, this is because the initial filing omitted some of the required documents, or there is some deficiency within the documents submitted.

In these cases, however, there was nothing missing or incomplete in the initial I-485 filings. Receiving RFEs for documents previously submitted is also not that uncommon. There are times when documents are overlooked by the USCIS examiner or, perhaps, even misplaced. It quickly became clear, however, that the situation was larger than simply the occasional mistake. The RFEs involved a number of different USCIS officers, and more than just a few cases.

Murthy Takes Action

Once we identified this issue as a pattern, our firm contacted the TSC, through appropriate channels. We provided case examples. It is not clear whether the problem is connected to how the cases are processed by the lockbox, or whether there is a problem at the TSC. It has been brought to TSC’s attention, however, and hopefully a resolution will be found swiftly, to avoid this situation in future cases. The Murthy Law Firm learned that additional complaints of similar problems followed our communications.

Suggestions and Conclusion: Respond to RFE Promptly

If MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers receive RFEs of this type, it simply is necessary to respond with the requested documents. The cases for which we received such RFEs have been processed quickly to approval upon the filing of the RFE response. The RFEs were only issued in cases that were filed within recent months.

There is no reason to waste time and effort arguing with the USCIS as to whether the documents were provided with the initial filing, though this fact should be mentioned in the response. The required documents should simply be resubmitted in a full response to the RFE. It is important to respond to such RFEs quickly, as approval requires the availability of an immigrant visa number. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) advised on March 16, 2012, that visa bulletin cutoff dates in EB2 India and China will likely retrogress in May or June 2012. This means that, for many, there will not be an EB2 visa number available until a later, unknown date.

Individuals often worry in such situations and wonder who is at fault. The problem here lies somewhere within the USCIS processing system, particularly at TSC. As stated, we at the Murthy Law Firm have brought the issue to the attention of concerned USCIS officials to help our clients and others whose cases are pending. We expect a favorable resolution in the near future.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.