How Many I-129F Requests for Evidence (RFEs) Turn Into Denials?

I-129F processing tree


(Request for Evidence): when USCIS requests additional evidence from the petitioner


One common concern among applicants is the fear of receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE). Are those concerns justified? They might be.

In this blog post, we shed light into the RFE process by analyzing I-129F case data.

Gathering The Data

To obtain reliable statistics, we focused on I-129F cases received in October 2021. At the time of writing, 95.5% of cases from that month had already been processed, ensuring a meaningful analysis. For added confidence, we cross-referenced our findings with data from November and December 2021 and found similar results.

In October 2021, a total of 3430 cases were received. However, some cases (like rejections and early withdrawals) never had the chance to receive an RFE and need to be removed from the data analysis. After doing so, we are left with 3109 cases.

Crunching the Numbers

Among the cases in our sample, 30% received an RFE. Of those RFE-ed cases:

  • 556 were Approved (59.7%)
  • 224 were Denied (24.1%)
  • 73 had not yet responded to their RFE (7.8%)
  • 44 were still waiting for an answer after their RFER (4.7%)
  • 34 withdrew their application (3.7%)
Current Status of October 2021 RFE cases

Since we can’t predict the fate of the cases still awaiting a decision, we compare the 556 approvals to the 224 denials, leading to a 71% approval rate (29% denial rate) for RFE cases.

In contrast, for cases that did not receive an RFE, the denial rate was significantly lower at just 3.6%. It's incredibly rare to face a denial if you haven't received an RFE.

Percent Approved vs. Denied

While it may be disconcerting to discover that the chance of denial is over 8 times higher for cases that receive an RFE, it's crucial to keep things in perspective. Even with an RFE, you still have a 71% chance of approval.

You're Not Alone: The Commonality of RFEs

If you find yourself receiving an RFE, remember that you're not alone. In fact, it's quite common. While it may initially cause anxiety, it's essential to approach it as an opportunity to strengthen your application.

The RFE journey is an integral part of the visa application process and, although cases that receive an RFE face a higher risk of denial, the majority still obtain approval.

— Nika, Track My Visa Now