h1b support

Round 2: What to do if the 2nd RFE Arrives After Resolving the First RFE

If the petition process and first round of H1B RFEs aren’t stressful enough here comes round two of RFEs.  When CIS finds something wrong with a petition, it opens the floodgates to finding more details out of place that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.  The best way to prevent round two of RFEs is to prevent round one by identifying the common RFE triggers inherent to the situation in your case and plan accordingly, but this doesn’t always work.If you or your employee or client is facing down RFE round two, don’t panic.  The petition has not been denied, CIS just needs more information to make a decision.The trick with any RFE is not to get caught up in the wording or individual demands, but rather to go back to the basics and see where evidence and analysis is lacking.  To qualify for H1B status, the job must be a specialty occupation, which means as an industry standard or a standard hiring practice a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the specialization is required for entry into the occupation.  The beneficiary must hold a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its acceptable equivalency in the exact field of the specialty occupation.  The employer must be economically viable and pay the beneficiary the prevailing wages and benefits for the specialty occupation, and there must be an employer-employee relationship in which the employer can hire, fire, promote, supervise and otherwise control the work the beneficiary does.Read the RFE and identify which of these requirements CIS is having trouble adjudicating.  Is it the job?  Is it the education?  Is it the working conditions?  At TheDegreePeople we work with difficult RFEs every year and we know how to identify where cases are lacking in evidence and analysis, and which common RFE traps beneficiaries fall into as CIS approval trends change from year to year.  Let us review your case for free before you answer that second round of RFEs.  Visit ccifree.com and we will get back to you in 48 hours or less.]]>

Case Study: H1B Specialty Occupation RFE – OVERTURNED

  • A position being set at level 1 wages does not mean it is an entry level position. There are many factors that go into determining what wage level a position is set at.
  • Most employers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for this position, and that is what the standard SHOULD be for determining the overall level of specialization for a given position. The norm, not the exception, should define the rule.
  • With an expert opinion letter from TheDegreePeople, the RFE was overturned and our client’s visa was approved.If you, or your employee or client receives a Specialty Occupation RFE, let us help you. Visit ccifree.com/. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a no-charge and no-obligation review of your case.]]>

    Specialty Occupation RFE: Know the Job Inside and Out

  • CIS assumes that because the job is set at level 1 wages it is entry level.
  • According to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook entry level computer programmers are sometimes hired with only a US associates degree, which falls short of H1B educational requirements for a specialty occupation.
  • This RFE was based on two misconceptions. First, just because a job is set at level 1 wages doesn’t mean it’s entry level. Determining the wage level for any given position is complex, involving a great number of factors. Second, while some employers will hire entry level programmers with only an associate’s degree, this is the exception for the position, not the norm. The exception should not make the rule for determining whether an entire occupation meets specialization requirements.While this job got the most grief last season, any job can be met with a specialty occupation RFE. To answer this RFE, you need to know the job in question inside and out, far better than CIS does. That means knowing the passage in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, having the ad for the job documented that shows its minimum educational requirements, and having documentation of the requirements for similar jobs in similar companies in the industry. You also need documentation of the employer’s past hiring practices with regards to educational requirements for this job.If this job is uniquely specialized and requires an advanced degree to perform its duties even though similar jobs in similar companies in the industry don’t require an advanced degree, you will need to clearly and thoroughly explain why this is the case. Both the employer and an expert who can add weight to the argument with an expert opinion letter need to offer detailed explanations.If you, or your employee or client receives a specialty occupation RFE, you will need an expert opinion letter to fortify your case. We have experts on hand with the highest rate of success in answering these RFEs. For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com/. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.]]>

    H-1B Support: Refuting the Specialty Occupation RFE

    specialty occupation according to USCIS statutes. Here is where it gets murky:There are two very similar but profoundly different definitions of specialty occupation within the same CIS statute.INA § 214(i)(1) defines it as, “An occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”INA § 214.2(h)(4)(ii) holds the same definition EXCEPT instead of stating the degree must be in THE specific specialty, it states itmust be in A specific specialty.Employers will hire H-1B employees for positions when they have a degree that exactly matches the job, or that is related to the job in such a way that there is significant specialized knowledge and skill overlap. This still tends to be a narrow range of degree specializations. In the past, CIS has approved visas according the second definition that allowed for beneficiaries with degrees in related fields that did not exactly match the H-1B job because the job requiring that minimum credential would qualify for H-1B eligibility under that definition. In recent years, CIS has switched to the first, strict definition that requires beneficiaries have “a bachelr’s degree or higher in THE specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”However, if you, or your employee or client receieves an RFE for specialty occupation, disputing these definitions will not help you. The important part to focus on in BOTH of these definitions is: “or its equivalent.”In the Tapis International v. INS decision, it was established that equivalent encompasses academic and experienced-based training in various combinations. This means that a job or a candidate doesn’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in THE specific speciality to be eligible for H-1B. There are four options, one of which must be met:

    1. The job in question normally requires a minimum of a US bachelors degree or higher for entry into the position in the United States.
    2. This minimum degree requirement is normal for this job in similar organizations in the industry.
    3. The job in question is uniquely complex to need a US bachelors degree or higher as a minimum requirement for entry into this position.
    4. The employer sponsoring the H-1B beneficiary commonly requires a this degree as a minimum for entry into the position, and this can be proven by their hiring history.
    If the job meets one of these four requirements – and the beneficiary meets the educational and experiential requirements as well – the job meets H-1B eligibility requirements. However, you will need evidence to back up that the specialization of the job in question is consistent with industry standards or employer hiring practices. This requires a detailed employer support letter, but CIS will NOT just take the employer’s word for it. Your RFE response must also include an expert opinion letter to back up that the job does meet H-1B specialization requirements. At TheDegreePeople.com we have experts on hand 24/7 to review your case and write the letter you need, or your employee or client needs to get that RFE overturned. Every year, we work with difficult H-1B RFE cases and we get them overturned virtually every time. For a no charge and no obligation review of your case, visit ccifree.com/. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis and expert consultation on how to best proceed.]]>

    H1B Alert: Don't Submit the Right Evaluation for the Wrong Visa

  • Did they ask about the visa?
  • Did they ask about the job?
  • Do they work with H1B cases and their RFEs on a regular basis?
  • The right evaluation agency for you case, or your client or employee’s case is the one that asks about the visa and the job, and works regularly with H1B cases and H1B RFE cases.At TheDegreePeople, we follow CIS approval trends, and work regularly with H1B cases and their RFEs. We know what triggers common RFEs, and we know how to prevent them. For a free review of your case, or your client or employee’s case, visit http://ccifree.com/.]]>

    Dealing with the Level 1 Wages RFE this Year and Next

    predocs@cci123.com:• LCA• Beneficiary’s Resume and Educational Documents• Employer Support Letter• Detailed Job Description• RFEWe will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full review of the case and our recommendations on what to do next.As we’re wrapping up RFE season, we’re coming right up on filing season.  While we won’t know whether preventative measures will work for this RFE until next RFE season, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of dealing with the Level 1 Wages RFE again.  If the job can be set at Level 2 Wages, or the job title can be classified as a different occupation, including these changes in the petition and on the LCA may help prevent the Level 1 Wages RFE.  Remember, the LCA and the petition must be consistent, so whatever you enter in the LCA must be the same in the petition.  The job title must match the job description, so it’s important to be very careful when taking this preemptive measure.  We can consult with you on this.  If can also be helpful to include an expert opinion letter from an RFE response in the initial petition to clear up the misconception about Level 1 Wages and entry level positions from the start.To preempt RFEs that we have seen coming in after having answered the Level 1 Wages RFE, it’s always a good idea to include a thorough credential evaluation in the initial H1B petition to close any gaps between your or your employee or client’s education and their H1B job.  Foreign degrees, incomplete or nonexistent college education, and generalized degrees or degrees in specializations that are not an exact match for the job title all require credential evaluations to clearly show CIS that the education meets H1B requirements.  If you’re not sure whether you or your employee or client meets H1B educational requirements, let us review the case before you file in April.]]>

    Scroll to Top