3 Pro Tips to Successfully Answer the Level 1 Wages H1B RFE

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At TheDegreePeople, we see difficult RFEs come across our desks every year. This year, CIS rolled out a new RFE, the Level 1 Wages RFE, that has everyone panicking. No one saw it coming, and it’s arrived in unprecedented numbers.

First, it’s important to understand how the Level 1 Wages RFE is justified. CIS cites a passage in the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook that it uses to determine what jobs meet H1B specialization requirements. This passage states that some employers will hire entry level computer programmers with only a US Associates degree. To meet H1B qualifications, a job must require a minimum of a US Bachelors degree or higher. This is the justification CIS uses to rationalize that computer programmers working at Level 1 Wages are working entry level jobs that don’t require a specialized skill set and knowledge base that meet CIS specialization requirements.

There are two main problems here. 1) That same passage states that employers usually require a US Bachelors degree for entry level computer programmers, and 2) just because a job is set at Level 1 Wages doesn’t mean it’s an entry level position.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Show CIS that the job is not an entry level position. This requires documentation including the ad for the job, a detailed job description, comparisions to similar positions for similar companies in that geographic region, and more.
  2. Include an expert opinion letter in the RFE response. This also requires an expert opinion letter debunking the reasoning CIS gives for assuming the job is entry level.
  3. Before you submit an RFE response, make sure that the entire case is reviewed to address the Level 1 Wages RFE, and preempt a second round of RFEs.

The Level 1 Wages RFE is the hot RFE of the year, but this does not mean that other common RFEs are on hold for this season. In fact, we’ve seen that candidates who fail to preempt other RFEs in their response have been getting hit with more common RFEs.

There are certain jobs, certain degrees, and certain situations that are RFE magnets. That’s why it’s important to resist getting distracted by this new RFE and remember that there is an entire petition to strengthen and defend.

For a no charge and no obligation review of your case, or your employee or client’s entire case, please send the following documents to predocs@cci123.com:

• LCA

• Beneficiary resume and educational documents

• Detailed description of the job and its duties

• Employer support letter

• RFE

We will get back to you within 48 hours with a full review of the case and our recommendations for how to respond.

This article was written by Rebecca Little

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