Rate of RFE Responses to H-1B Visa Petitions Shows Sharp Increase

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H-1B visas are in high demand. The 65,000 visas issued annually are filled quickly after the USCIS begins accepting applications in April even though the deadline isn’t until October. Due in part to this high volume of applicants to live and work on US soil the USCIS has issued more Request For Evidence (RFE) responses to petitions than ever before.

If you received an RFE in response to your H-1B application, don’t panic. This is a not a denial, you have been given the opportunity to expand on your petition. Receiving and RFE indicates that a decision about whether or not to issue your visa cannot be reach by the information in the petition. They request more information to determine if your job really exists and if you are really qualified for it. Be sure that you clearly understand what is requested in your RFE and be sure to submit all of the requested documents on time.

Just five or six years ago, only 4% of H-1B petitions received an RFE in response. Now, over 25% of petitions get RFE responses. This is a HUGE increase. One big change responsible for this increase is that the standards to qualify for a “specialty occupation” have tightened. In the past, “specialty occupation” meant a broad range of professions requiring a bachelor’s degree or the specialized training in a field related to the profession. Now, the applicant’s degree is required to fit the field exactly. For example, someone with a business degree may be rejected for an H-1B visa for a job as an accountant even though it is a related field. The degree must be in accounting to get an H-1B for an accounting position. Fortunately, there is a way to address this.

If you have a degree in a related but not exact field to the job you are applying for an H-1B visa for, you can bridge this gap by proving that you have work experience in the field. This requires a detailed evaluation that provides documented evidence and analysis from an evaluator with the authority translate work experience into college credit and show that you are trained for the specialized field you are applying to work in. If you can provide this documentation, you have a higher chance of getting your visa. You will need to find an evaluation agency to do this.

However, another reason RFE’s are sent out is to verify the credentials of the evaluation agency. CCI only uses professors with these qualifications to conduct your evaluation. Before ordering an evaluation from an agency, verify that the professor who will write the evaluation has this authority. They should have a letter from their institution clearly stating their credentials.

If you have received an RFE for an education situation go to cciFree.com for a no charge review of your case.

This article was written by Rebecca Little