Level 1 Wages RFE: Problems, Solutions, and Prevention for Next Year

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The H1B RFE of the year is the Level 1 Wages RFE. In this RFE, CIS targets computer programmers at Level 1 Wages arguing that because these professionals are paid Level 1 Wages, their position is entry level. They then reference the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) in the part that says sometimes employers will hire entry level computer programmers with only a US Associate’s degree. Since the H1B visa requires a US Bachelor’s degree or higher, entry level computer programmer is not specialized enough to qualify.

Here are the main problems with this RFE:

• The Occupational Outlook Handbook ALSO states that employers normally require entry level computer programmers to hold a US Bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for the job.

• Being paid Level 1 Wages does NOT mean it is an entry level position. That’s not how wage levels are calculated. In many cases, the reason these specialized jobs are set at Level 1 Wages is because the employees that hold them are recent college graduates with little to no work experience in the field and therefore require a high level of supervision and guidance. The H1B program is an incentive for college students to come to the United States for school in that it allows them to remain in the country working jobs that require their Bachelor’s degree after they graduate. This RFE is a hindrance to this incentive.

When it comes to the Level 1 Wages RFE, CIS is simply wrong. However, it’s still up to CIS who’s visa is approved and who’s is not. So what can we do? We need to point out these problems in the RFE response, and also include expert opinion letters that explain the specialization of the job and how wage levels are actually calculated, as well as documentation that shows the job is specialized to meet CIS requirements for the H1B visa. This includes the ad for the job and similar jobs for similar companies to show that a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required, as well as the part of the Occupational Outlook Handbook that states employers normally require a Bachelor’s degree or higher for entry level computer programmers. This is a heavy burden of proof, and you will need help.

At TheDegreePeople.com, we have seen a 90% success rate in answering the Level 1 Wages RFE. To have us review your case at no charge or obligation, please submit the following documents to predocs@cci123.com:


• The Beneficiary’s Resume and Educational Documents

• Employer Support Letter

• Detailed Description of the Job and its Duties

• The RFE

We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis and, if we can help you, costs and instructions on how to utilize our services.

The Level 1 Wages RFE is just another RFE that we now need to learn how to answer now, and how to prevent next year.

In his informational video H1B RFE for Wage Level 1 for Computer Programmers, American Visa Law Group Managing Attorney Hasan Abdullah explains, “Well, obviously very simple: go with Wage Level 2 if you can. If you can’t go with Wage Level 2, maybe you want to try a different occupation. […] Some occupations are prone to RFEs on whether or not it’s a specialty occupation.”

There are jobs like Computer Systems Analysis that are notorious for being a target for RFEs. If this is the route you choose to take next year, be sure to consult with a credential evaluator who works with H1B RFEs so you don’t end up just walking right into another RFE while trying to avoid this one.

This article was written by Rebecca Little