Level 1 Wages: Who is to Blame for this RFE?

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An important step in successfully answering any RFE is to find out who dropped the ball.

Sometimes, the attorney filed the petition wrong. Sometimes, the candidate simply doesn’t have the credentials to meet H1B requirements. Sometimes, the candidate does have the qualifications but the credential evaluation to prove it was either not included or written without consideration of the job or H1B visa. Sometimes, the job doesn’t meet CIS requirements for specialization.

However, when it comes to the Level 1 Wages RFE, CIS is to blame.

This RFE hit the H1B world this season from out of nowhere with unprecedented scope, targeting computer programmers working at Level 1 Wages. No one saw it coming, and everyone is scrambling to answer it.

In this RFE, CIS claims that computer programmers working at Level 1 Wages are entry level computer programmers, and that entry level computer programmers can be hired with only a US Associates degree as a credential. Since H1B requirements state a qualified candidate must hold a US Bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent, CIS claims that the job doesn’t meet specialization requirements for H1B status. CIS cites a passage in the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook that states sometimes employers will hire entry level computer programmers with Associates degrees.

There are several problems with this. This first and most obvious is that just because a job is set at Level 1 Wages doesn’t mean it’s an entry level position. That’s not how wage levels work. One of the main goals of the H1B program is to attract bright minds from around the world to US colleges and universities so they can stay on with H1B jobs working in STEM industries – industries in which the US desperately needs more highly skilled workers. After graduating with a Bachelors degree, candidates have little to no experience on the job even though they possess the specialized skills and understanding, as well as the degree. These workers still need a high level of supervision and guidance, which factors into their low starting wage. There are other nuances that effect how wage levels are set that CIS doesn’t take into consideration with its reasoning.

Second, that same passage in the Occupational Outlook Handbook also states that in most cases, employers will require a minimum of a US Bachelors degree for entry level computer programmers.

CIS is wrong on both fronts, and this RFE is their fault. This doesn’t change the fact that it’s on us to answer it.

At TheDegreePeople.com, we work with difficult RFEs every year, and we are always able to find creative solutions that work. For a free review of you or your client or employee’s case, please send the following documents to predocs@cci123.com:

• LCA

• Beneficiary Resume

• Employer Support Letter

• Detailed Job Description

• RFE

We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis of your case, or your client or employee’s case, and our recommendations of how to address this RFE and preempt a second round of RFEs in the process.

This article was written by Rebecca Little

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