H1B Approval Trends: Level 1 Wage and Specialty Occupation Issues

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Every year is different when it comes to the H1B visa.  This competitive visa status allows highly skilled foreign nationals to come to the United States for three years with the option to extend, and work jobs that require a US bachelor’s degree or higher.  STEM industries in the US depend on the H1B visa to stay competitive in the global marketplace.  Workers under this visa status can bring their families with them for their stay in the United States, and have the option to seek a Green Card should they decide to stay.

Over the past decade, the prevalence of RFEs in response to H1B petitions rose significantly.  CIS approval trends change from year to year.  Over the past few years, education issues were the primary target of CIS inquiries.  This year, it’s employment issues, and they tend to come in pairs.

This year, the infamous DOUBLE RFE includes two separate employment issues.  H1B visa holders must work specialized jobs that require a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent in the exact field of the H1B job, and they must be paid the prevailing wages and benefits for the job in that industry, for companies of that size, in that geographical location.

The first employment issue arises when the job on the Labor Conditions Application (LCA) does not exactly match the job indicated on the H1B petition, or if there isn’t sufficient documentation that the job meets CIS specialization requirements for the H1B visa.

The second employment issue arises when the employer indicates a job is Wage Level 1 on the LCA.  CIS will call into question whether a job with entry level wages is adequately sepcailized, and if the duties indicated for the job on the LCA do not exactly match the duties for the job indicated in the H1B petition – which they rarely do 100% – CIS has grounds to issue an RFE.

Both of these issues can be dealt with in one response with the right expert opinion letter.  At TheDegreePeople.com, our experts have been able to overturn every one of these Double RFEs that have come across our desk this year.  If you, or your employee or client is facing an employment issue RFE, simply go to ccifree.com for a free consultation.

This article was written by Rebecca Little