Why Am I Getting An H1B Request For Evidence?

Updated on April 10, 2024

For anyone involved in an H1B visa application, receiving a Request for Evidence (REF) can be a very worrying and stressful experience.

An REF comes at a time after your application has been filed and it means that there is some piece of documentation missing or unclear in your application pack. Your employer will receive details of what piece of evidence is needed. They will also be given a deadline, by which they must have submitted all of the requested evidence or the application will go no further.

In this article we will look at some of the most common reasons REFs are sent.

Reasons you are getting an H1B Request for Evidence

Beneficiary qualifications

Positions that qualify for an H1B visa have a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree, and all sponsored applicants must have the relevant degree for the position. If the applicant does not have the relevant degree, an REF may be sent. In some cases, an applicant will have to explain how their degree is relevant to the field of work or prove that a foreign degree carries a similar qualification to one achieved in an American university.

An REF may also request that an education evaluation be submitted by an official with expertise in the field of work and the authorization to approve college level credit. In some cases, work experience and education may be used to prove the applicant qualification, with three years of experience deemed equal to one year of university education. Letters and references from previous employers will be needed in this scenario.

Loans for Visa Holders!

Check Loan Options

Loans for up to $25,000. No cosigner required. No prepayment penalty.

Relationship with employer 

This typically happens in situations when the applicant’s employment will see them work off-site. Here an REF will look to determine whether or not the employer and employee will have enough of a relationship that the employer will be able to control when, where, and how the employee will carry out their job.

This often happens in the consultancy industry. The employer may be asked to provide documented proof that there is sufficient work to warrant the application’s approval.

Change of status 

If an application for an extension or change of status has been submitted, the applicant may be asked to prove that they maintained the status of their previous visa. An applicant seeking to extend their H1B status will be asked to provide documents relating to work, while an applicant looking to change status from an F1 visa will be asked to provide documents relating to university and OPT or CPT employment.

Have you received an REF on a previous H1B visa application? Do you have any advice that you feel may help someone who received an REF? Please let us know in the comments section.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

Get the Checklist