USCIS approval trends

Overturning the RFE for Specialty Occupation

It’s RFE season and CIS is coming down especially hard on “borderline” occupations this year. These are jobs that don’t necessarily require a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent or higher according the the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). Some borderline jobs include management positions, certain computer and tech positions, certain healthcare occupations, and other jobs that vary in specialization based on the individual circumstances of the unique job itself.When an employer fills out the Labor Conditions Application, they must choose the employee’s occupation from the OOH. This selection is used by CIS to determine the prevailing wage the H1B employee must be paid. Employers of H1B candidates with borderline jobs can choose a job from the OOH that emphasizes a central aspect of the occupation that requires a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalency or higher. This is where three problems arise that result in some very serious RFEs:First, most jobs don’t meet the duties and responsibilities outlined in occupations in the OOH 100%. This is a vulnerability CIS takes advantage of to issue an RFE.Second, when employers do this, the job on the petition does not match the job on the LCA.Third, the wages employers are paying their H1B workers is called into question because the wages being paid to the H1B worker is not the same as the wage level as stated for the occupation in the OOH.These are very serious RFEs.Does this mean employees with borderline occupations are out of luck this RFE season? No, but it requires answering the RFE with a lot of evidence, documentation, citations, and analysis. The goal is either to prove that this particular occupation is uniquely specialized as to require an advanced degree, or that the candidate’s degree equivalency meets the educational requirements stated for the OOH job indicated on the LCA. Don’t try to answer this RFE alone. This is not something you can do without help from experts in international education, the details of H1B educational requirements, and CIS approval trends, and is familiar with the various OOH/ONET positions and their requirements. While there are no guarantees with CIS, at, our experts have been able to overturn these RFEs with a 100% success rate. Visit and let us help you solve your RFE dilemma.]]>

Overturn the Dreaded Level 1 Wage and Specialty Occupation H1B RFE

It’s no secret that CIS approval trends, especially with regards to the much sought-after H1B visa, change from year to year. RFEs for petitions for FY-2018 have started arriving and this year, CIS is going after entry level wages for H1B jobs.Here’s the scoop:H1B visas are reserved for highly skilled foreign workers in specialty occupations. This means a candidate must hold a US bachelor’s degree or higher, or its equivalent to qualify, and the job must be specialized to the point of requiring a minimum of that degree or degree equivalency to perform its duties. Part of the petition is the employer submitting a Labor Conditions Application which indicates that the H1B employee will make prevailing wages for that job in that geographic location for companies of that size. Some of these jobs pay entry level wages.That’s where employers have been running into trouble this year. CIS has been consistent in issuing RFEs for candidates making entry level wages because there is question as to whether these entry level jobs are adequately specialized to meet H1B educational requirements.While the rationalization behind this is that many entry level jobs do not require a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent, many professions DO require this education to gain entry to the field. At, we work with RFEs and difficult cases on a regular basis and understand what CIS is really looking for in the evidence they request. To have us review your case at no charge and no obligation, please submit the following documents to• LCA• Beneficiary’s resume and educational documents• Employer Support Letter• Detailed job description and duties• RFEWe will get back o you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis and, if we can help you, the costs of this and how many to order.]]>

2017 H1B Education Trends You Need to Know Before Your File

Three-Year Bachelor’s DegreesCIS has not been approving candidates with three-year bachelor’s degrees, PARTICULARLY the Indian three-year bachelor’s degree. International education experts understand that in most cases the academic content is the same if not greater than a US four-year bachelor’s degree just condensed into three years. CIS still requires the missing fourth year be accounted for, and that’s what really matters in this situation.If you or your employee or client has a three-year bachelor’s degree, DO NOT make the mistake of submitting an H1B petition without making sure the missing fourth year is CLEARLY accounted for. This requires a detailed credential evaluation written by an evaluator with the authority to convert years of work experience into college credit. CIS allows for three years of work experience in the field in which the candidate took on progressively more roles, duties, and responsibilities of increasing complexity to be evaluated as the equivalent of one year of college credit. Talk to a credential evaluator with experience working with H1B cases involving three-year bachelor’s degrees.Degree Specialization does not match the Job Offer In the not-too-distant past, CIS would approve candidates with degrees in fields related to their industry. However, the past six or seven years has shown that CIS will ONLY approve petitions in which the degree specialization exactly matches the job offer, and we don’t predict that this trend will change any time soon.If you or your employee or client has a degree in a major that is different from his or her field of employ, or has a generalized degree, or has an job that doesn’t have many exact majors like Computer Systems Analysis, DO NOT make the mistake of filing with the transcripts alone. The H1B visa is for workers in highly specialized occupations and a highly specialized skill set. If your education or if your employee or client’s education alone does not show that he or she possesses the specialized skills and knowledge necessary for the field of employ, the H1B requirements are not CLEARLY met. This doesn’t mean that the candidate isn’t qualified, especially since the employer clearly seems to think so. What you need to do in this case is send your or your employee or client’s transcripts and work history to a credential evaluator who can write a detailed evaluation that explains the equivalency of your experience, or your employee or client’s experience to a Bachelor’s degree in the right specialization. This means looking at the course content, as well as years of progressive work experience in the field, and writing a thorough evaluation backed by evidence, precedent decisions, and documentation.Degree that Doesn’t Call itself a “Degree”Some certifications from countries outside of the US are the functional equivalent of US bachelor’s degrees. This means that while these degrees don’t call themselves “degrees,” the steps required to earn these certifications are the equivalent of the US academic value of a bachelor’s degree. One such certification is the Indian Chartered Accountancy. While the Canadian Chartered Accountancy and the US CPA are do not contain the steps required for a bachelor’s degree equivalency, the Indian Chartered Accountancy does.If you or your employee or client has a degree that doesn’t call itself a degree like the Indian Chartered Accountancy, DO NOT make the mistake of filing without a credential evaluation that explains the functional equivalency of your education or your employee or client’s education. This is a very detailed process that requires a lot of CIS hand-holding, taking them through the steps of education of the degree step by step.About the AuthorSheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director at, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to or call 800.771.4723.]]>

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