H-1B filing season is over, but that doesn’t mean the work is done. Last year, CIS rolled out an unprecedented number of RFEs challenging occupational specialization.
Last year, computer programmers at level 1 wages were targeted for RFEs claiming that the job entry level computer programmer didn’t meet the H-1B specialization requirement that a candidate must hold a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent as a requirement for entry into the position.
CIS used a passage from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) to justify this RFE. The passage stated that some employers will hire entry level computer programmers with a US associate’s degree as a minimum requirement. Since H-1B jobs require a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent as a minimum requirement for a job to meet the H-1B definition of occupational specialization, CIS determined that entry level computer programmer was not an H-1B eligible job.
There are two main problems with this reasoning:
First, the fact that a job is set at level 1 wages does not mean it’s an entry level position. There are more factors that go into determining wage levels than just that.
Second, that same passage in the OOH also states that employers will usually require a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent as a minimum requirement for entry into the occupation of entry level computer programmer. If it is a normal industry standard to require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree than it should meet H-1B specialization requirements, even though not all employers adhere to this general industry standard. A bachelor’s degree minimum is still an industry standard for this position, and THAT is what you need to prove to CIS to get the RFE overturned.
CIS uses the OOH to determine whether or not a job meets H-1B occupational specialization standards. However, as we learned last year, they are very selective in the wording and passages they use to justify their decisions. That means, you need to know what the OOH has to say about the job in question inside and out so you can call out CIS when they use OOH wording to justify your RFE, or your employee or client’s RFE.
If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with what OOH has to say about your job, or your employee or client’s job and document it. You will need documentation that the advanced degree is an industry standard, or that your client’s position is uniquely complex to require an advanced degree, and that employees having this degree as a minimum requirement for the position is a consistent hiring practice of the sponsoring employer. Included in the evidence, you will also need an expert opinion letter to weigh in on why and how this job meets H-1B specialization requirements.
At TheDegreePeople.com, we have experts on hand 24/7 to review your case and write the expert opinion letter you need, or your employee or client needs to get that H-1B visa approved. For a free review of your case at no obligation, visit ccifree.com/. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis and our recommendations.
This article was written by Rebecca Little