What is the Difference Between an RFE and a NOID?


If your visa or adjustment of status isn’t immediately approved, you could get one of two documents.

One of those documents is a Request for Evidence (RFE) document, and one is a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). 

These documents have similarities, but it’s important to understand their differences. USCIS tells you very different things when they issue either document, and both letters have different, yet equally strict, response deadlines.

Both could also mean the end of your immigration case if you fail to respond on time or if you fail to respond properly.

What is an RFE?

When USCIS sends an RFE, they are telling you that they think you have made an innocent mistake, that they think you have accidentally omitted a piece of evidence that they required, that they need certified English translations for some of your documents, or that the evidence you have submitted isn’t quite strong enough to help them make a decision.

Your RFE will list all the missing evidence. You will receive a new form, Form I-797E, which must be submitted along with a copy of the original RFE and all the new evidence you will submit.

You have ninety (90) days to submit your RFE packet to USCIS. If you do not send everything they ask for the second time around, if the evidence you send is still insufficient, or if you fail to respond, USCIS will simply close your case and deny your application. 

What is a NOID? 

A NOID is essentially a much stronger request for evidence. While a NOID is not a denial but a close next step. 

NOIDs tell you that USCIS believes you either presented insufficient evidence or believe you have made a fraudulent claim on your application. Your response must be very strong to keep USCIS from processing the denial. 

You have just thirty (30) days to respond to a NOID. 

What should you do if you receive an RFE or a NOID? 

You have just one chance to respond to RFEs and NOIDs alike. Get it wrong, and you’re likely to miss out on your dream of becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States of America. 

While you may reapply in the future, the truth is your visa will be under far more scrutiny because you have already been denied once, and you will have to present evidence of significant changes in your circumstances since your last application. You may also be able to appeal the denial, but you’ll want your response to be as strong as possible in order for any potential appeal to be as strong as possible.

If you’ve received either letter and aren’t already working with an immigration lawyer, contact our office today. We can help you give USCIS exactly what it wants and needs to push your application through.

See also:

4 Good Reasons to Bring an Attorney to Your Green Card Interview  

Can You Apply for a Green Card After an Overstay? 

What is an Affidavit of Support? 

We Help Solve Immigration Challenges

How can we help you? Click on one of the boxes below to get started:


Employment & Investment Visas

Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.


Family Visas

Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.


Deportation Defense

Are you afraid of deportation? If you are a foreign national involved in the beginning stages of removal proceedings, the deportation attorney at Hykel Law in Philadelphia can help prevent this unfortunate situation. We can evaluate your immigration case and find the best strategy to defend you from removal proceedings to help you stay in the United States.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now