April 1st is coming up fast, and it’s time to organize those H1B petitions. Before you begin the filing process, it’s important to know for certain that the candidate and the job meet H1B eligibility requirements.
H1B requirements state that the job must require a minimum of a US bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent to perform, and the candidate must meet this educational standard in the field of the H1B job. That means you or your client or employee needs a US bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent in the correct field. Candidates with education from outside of the US, incomplete education, or complete education with a major in a field that doesn’t exactly match their H1B job get RFEs without taking precautionary measures in the initial petition. Last year, we saw a spike in occupational RFEs where computer programmers at level 1 wages were targeted for lacking in specialization.
This year, before you file, make sure that the requirements are met, and that you have the additional documentation and evidence needed to prevent any RFEs you or your employee or client may be susceptible to given their circumstance.
There are two factors to take into consideration when determining H1B eligibility:
1. The Occupation
Does the beneficiary’s occupation meet H1B requirements? To qualify, it must require a minimum of a US bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent to carry out the complex duties of the job. To prove this, you will need to clearly show that this educational requirement is the standard for the industry, meaning that similar jobs in the industry at similar companies also have this minimum educational requirement. If this job is uniquely complex, you will have to clearly show how its duties require an unusual level of specialization. If you or your employee or client is a computer programmer at level 1 wages, you will need to include an expert opinion letter that explains how wage levels work in this instance – that level 1 wages does not mean the job is an entry-level position – and a detailed description of the job’s duties showing that a minimum of a US bachelors degree or its equivalent is needed.
2. The Education
The beneficiary needs to have a US bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent in the exact field of the H1B job to get approved without an RFE. If you or your employee or client has a degree from outside of the US, a degree with a major that doesn’t match the job exactly, a generalized degree, or no completed degree, you will need to submit a credential evaluation along with the petition that fills in the missing gaps. This evaluation must be tailored to the beneficiary’s unique situation that takes their pathway through education, the job, and the visa requirements into consideration alongside CIS approval trends, graduate program and university admissions precedents, international trade agreements regarding educational portability, international education, and a whole host of other factors. If you talk to an agency and they don’t ask about the job or visa, look elsewhere, because without this information the right evaluation cannot be written.
However, before you go through the process of ordering the evaluation and organizing the petition, you need to make sure you have, or your employee or client has the progressive work experience, external training, and academic course content to meet CIS educational requirements. For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com and submit the educational documents and resume, and indicate the job in question. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis, whether or not the beneficiary can meet CIS educational requirements, and if so what is needed to be done to meet these requirements clearly.
This article was written by Rebecca Little