specialty occupation rfe

Case Study: Specialty Occupation RFE Overturned with Some Expert Opinion Letters but not Others

The Specialty Occupation RFE has become the new nightmare
facing H-1B beneficiaries, their sponsors, and their lawyers.  They can be answered successfully with the
inclusion of an expert opinion letter, but this does not always work.

There are two reasons why:

1. The letter is
lacking in detail.  
USCIS requires a
very detailed letter with a breakdown of the daily duties and responsibilities
of the job and how specialized knowledge and skills are required to carry them
out.  They need to understand this position
and its educational requirements within the broader context of the industry,
and they need to know all of the factors that went into setting the wage
level.  A detailed expert opinion letter
can only accomplish this if you provide said expert with as many details as
possible.  USCIS needs to know absolutely
everything.

2. The expert lacks
field experience.  
Every expert we
work with at CCI TheDegreePeople.com has extensive experience working in their
field of expertise.  While some of our
experts are professors in that field, they also work directly in the
field.  Teaching about the field is not
good enough for USCIS to consider someone an expert – they must WORK IN THE
FIELD beyond simply teaching it, and have extensive field experience and
respect within the field of specialization. 
When the right expert writes a detailed letter, the Specialty Occupation
RFE is overturned and the visa is approved. 
When the WRONG expert writes it, even if the letter is detailed, USCIS
denies the visa.

Make sure you work with the RIGHT expert this RFE season.  We have the right kind of experts on hand in every field ready to help you get that RFE overturned.  Your job is to provide the details, and their job is to lend their authority to strengthen your case and get that RFE overturned.  Get a free review of your case. We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.

H-1B Specialty Occupation Survival Guide for the FY2020 Lottery

Next week, USCIS begins accepting H-1B petitions on Monday April 1st.  We suspect that this year there will be more than enough petitions to fill the 65,000 general H-1B cap-subject visas and the additional 20,000 H-1B visas for advanced degrees, resulting in a lottery.

Getting selected in the lottery is just the first step of the process.  Last year, the rate of RFEs for H-1B petitions jumped 45% from the year before, and of the petitions that received an RFE only 60% ended up being approved.

The two most common RFE issues that blocked beneficiaries from getting their visas approved outright – and in some cases entirely – were specialty occupation and wage level.  These two issues often came tied together as USCIS made the assumption that occupations set at level one wages were entry level, and many of these assumed positions did not ALWAYS require a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher for entry not the position.  For this reason, USCIS stated that the beneficiary either was not being paid the prevailing wage for the specialty occupation, or the job did not meet specialty occupation requirements.

This year, USCIS adjudicators have the authority to deny petitions outright without first issuing an RFE to give beneficiaries the chance to strengthen their case.  That means you have to get it right the first time. 

Here’s how:

When the petition is filed, be sure to include a detailed job description that clearly shows the complex nature of the job, including examples of duties in which theoretical or practical application of specialized knowledge must be applied.  You need to provide sufficient documentation that the job is complex in nature, and that the position requires a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to perform. This can be done by providing the ad for the job along with ads for the same position in different companies within the industry, documentation of past employer hiring practices to show that the position always requires this educational minimum qualification, and an expert opinion letter from a professional with extensive experience WORKING IN THE FIELD of the H-1B job that explains why this position meet specialty occupation requirements, and why the wage level is appropriate.

Petitions are rejected when there is not sufficient evidence to show that the job, the employer, the beneficiary, and the contract all meet H-1B requirements.

USCIS has assured H-1B hopefuls and their sponsors that a petition will not be denied simply because the wages are set at level one.  Don’t take chances.  Make sure to give USCIS a detailed breakdown of all of the factors that went into setting the wage level backed up with an expert opinion letter.

Remember, the right expert to write the opinion letter USCIS will accept – because expert opinion letters are often rejected – is someone who has extensive experience working in the field.  A professor in the field is not sufficient; the expert must have actual working experience in the field rather than just teaching it for the opinion to have weight.  At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we vet our experts to make sure they have the right credentials and work experience.  We have an over 90% approval rate for specialty occupation and wage level RFEs.  The more information you can provide your expert about the H-1B job the better the letter will be and the higher chance that you, or your employee or client will have of H-1B visa approval.

For a free review of your case visit ccifree.com/.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less and have rush delivery options for the last minute.

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H1B 2019 Post-Memorandum: Who Caused that RFE?

Sometimes it’s no one’s fault, and sometimes it’s fault of USCIS.When working with any bureaucratic process, there is the possibility of error.  When working with USCIS, there is the understanding that processing errors occur, and that their approval trends are volatile and can be unpredictable.  It can be difficult to anticipate which parts of the law they will interpret which way from year to year.  If approval issues arise due to bureaucratic or human error, there will likely be a way to address it.  A Denial is not the end of the road, it is just harder to overturn than an RFE.  If it is no one’s fault, or if USCIS pulls a fast one on us again, we can find a way to work around it.Sometimes the lawyer caused the RFE.Occasionally, an immigration attorney will file the wrong document, or file the petition wrong.  While this is rare, it can cost an outright approval.  To prevent this, legal assistants are encouraged to check in with TheDegreePeople.com to make sure that they have all of the necessary immigration forms, labor forms, and documentation necessary to file everything on time, in the right order, and filled out appropriately.Sometimes the beneficiary caused the RFE.It is not uncommon for a beneficiary to misunderstand the US academic equivalency of their education.  Sometimes a bachelor’s degree in one country is not a bachelor’s degree in the United States because even though the words translate the educational value does not.  Some certifications and professional licenses in some countries are the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree in that field, while the US license or certification is not.  Sometimes a beneficiary will have a degree from an unaccredited academic institution, or even from a degree mill.  It is important for beneficiaries to understand their education, and what it means in terms of US value, and to make sure that their school is accredited.  If the beneficiary does not have the necessary education, it is their responsibility to make sure they have enough education and work experience to make up the equivalency.Sometimes it’s the employer or the job that caused the RFE.If the Labor Condition Application (LCA) is filled out incorrectly or misfiled, if there are discrepancies between the job description and the entry on the LCA, if USCIS feels that the wage level was set incorrectly or that the job does not meet specialty occupation requirements, issues will likely arise in the approval process.  It is recommended that all petitions now include an expert opinion letter clarifying that the job meets H1B specialty occupation requirements and explaining why the wage level is set as it is to meet H1B requirements.Before you file, let us review your case to make sure all your bases are covered.  It is more important this year than ever before to get it right the first time, because you may not get a second chance.  For a free review of your case visit ccifree.com/.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less. ]]>

Effective Now: Memorandum Lets Adjudicators Deny Petitions without NOID or RFE

th, 2018.  This memorandum allows adjudicators to deny incomplete applications, requests, and petitions without first issuing an NOID and RFE.Before the memorandum, adjudicators were required to issue an RFE or NOID instead of outright Denials unless there was absolutely no possibility that the case would be approved.  Now, adjudicators have broader discretion to flat out deny petitions.CIS says that the purpose of this memorandum is to deter “placeholder” petitions, which are incomplete petitions with vague answers that are later clarified in RFE responses.  Adjudicators can now deny these cases flat out.  Some examples include petitions submitted without supporting evidence or severely lacking in supporting evidence, petitions submitted with questions left unanswered, and petitions that require additional official documents or evidence but are submitted without them.While this amendment sounds alarming, in theory it really doesn’t change much for petitioners.  From what we can tell at TheDegreePeople, reports of issue have been exaggerated.  It has always been generally advised for petitioners of all visas to submit complete petitions, on time, with all supporting evidence and documentation included.  In this sense, nothing has actually changed when it comes to optimizing your chances of visa approval.However, laws on the books are different from laws in action.  To see the full scope of how this new memorandum will change visa approval, we will have to wait and see how it all plays out with USCIS.  In the meantime, it’s now more important than ever that you get the petition right the first time.  That means identifying where CIS is likely to have questions about your case and providing any additional evidence they will need before they have to ask for it.At TheDegreePeople, we have been working with RFEs for years and follow CIS approval trends.  The best way to answer an RFE now, as it has always been, is to prevent it in the first place.  Visit TheDegreePeople.com to chat with us about your case.Have you encountered issues with this new memorandum?  We want to hear about it!  Comment here to post your opinions and experiences regarding this matter.   ]]>

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