visa of dual intent

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.]]>

Five Tips to Successfully Answer Your H1B RFE

  • Find out who is at fault for the RFE.
  • This is not to cast blame, but rather to find out where evidence is lacking and who dropped the ball. Sometimes CIS is at fault. It’s no surprise that CIS makes mistakes. A candidate can file a spotless H1B petition on time, in order, and still receive an RFE. Sometimes the attorney will file the petition wrong. Sometimes the candidate is mistaken or misleading about the actual academic value of their education, sometimes the credential evaluator made a mistake, and sometimes the evaluator wrote an accurate evaluation without taking CIS approval trends and H1B requirements into consideration. Find out who is at fault, and from there discern what must be done to rectify the situation.
    1. Read the RFE, but don’t read into it TOO much.
    Sit down with your team, read the RFE, figure out what is being asked of you, and then put it down. Getting caught up in the wording of an RFE can distract you from what CIS is actually asking. Instead of focusing on the verbatim of the RFE, discern what they are trying to learn about the candidate based on the evidence they request. RFEs like the Nightmare RFE are virtually impossible to answer by following its own guidelines. The RFE will not tell you how to answer it. Look instead to tip number three.
    1. Go back to the initial H1B requirements.
    Instead of getting caught up in what the RFE is asking, go back to the original H1B requirements and find out what was lacking in the initial petition. CIS issues an RFE when they don’t feel they have enough information to make a decision of whether or not you or your employee or client meets visa requirements with the evidence and documentation originally given. H1B visas are for highly skilled foreign workers employed in specialty occupations that require a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent as a minimum requirement for the job. The job must meet this requirement, and the candidate must hold that degree or its foreign equivalent in the exact field of their H1B job. Furthermore, you must prove that the candidate and the employer have an employer-employee relationship, the employer is economically viable, and the candidate will be receiving the prevailing wages and benefits for that job in that geographical location for companies of that size. Find out which of these requirements is lacking in evidence and work with your team to fill in the evidentiary gaps left open in the initial petition.
    1. For candidates with foreign degrees, incomplete college or no college degrees, or degrees that do not exactly match the job need a credential evaluation.
    If you or your employee or client is in one of the above situations, you need to include a credential evaluation in your response to the RFE. CIS will not approve the visa unless there is a clear explanation of why the candidate meets the educational requirements. If you or your employee or client has a foreign visa, it needs to be evaluated for US academic value. For foreign bachelor’s degrees that take three years to complete instead of the US four, the candidate will need a work experience conversion that converts three years of progressive work experience in the field into college credit towards that specialization to account for the missing fourth year. If you or your employee or client has a degree in a field that doesn’t exactly match their job, they will need a work experience conversion as well, and a close examination of their course content to write an equivalency to the correct specialization.There are many other situations in which a credential evaluation is required. Don’t take chances, simply go to ccifree.com and attach your or your employee or client’s client’s educational documents, a current resume, and the job title or desired equivalency and we will get back to you within 24 hours with a free pre-evaluation and analysis with all of your options.
    1. If a credential evaluation is needed, make sure you work with an agency that understands H1B visas.
    A common education RFE occurs when a candidate submits the right credential evaluation for the wrong visa. Different visas have different requirements for what is acceptable for equivalencies and conversions. The evaluation agency you need understands the nuances of the H1B visa and also keeps an eye on CIS approval trends, which change.When you’re talking with a potential credential evaluation agency, keep this in mind: if they don’t ask about the visa or job, they don’t understand what they need to write an evaluation for the visa. Without this information, it is impossible.About the Author Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

    Job Description and the Degree Requirement: Is Your Candidate H-1B Qualified?

    st. If the past several years are any indication of what is to come, you will only have a five-day window to get your client or employee’s petition in the H-1B lottery.Before you even get started, there are two very important questions about whether or not the job and the employee are H-1B qualified you and your client or employee should be asking:

    1. Is the job itself a specialty occupation?
    2. Is my employee or client educationally qualified for this specialty occupation?
    To qualify for H-1B visa status, the job must require a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent or higher to show that the position requires the employee to possess specialized skills and knowledge to carry out successfully. Mid-sized companies in particular are asked to justify why someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher is required for the job, and you need to show this through evidence and documentation. For example, the ad for the job can be used as proof if it indicates that as a minimum qualification the employee must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. You can also show that similar jobs for similar companies also have these specialized requirements. However, if the job requires a generalized degree – even if it is a bachelor’s degree – you may run into problems because a generalized degree does not indicate that specialized knowledge and skills are required. This is where alternative forms of evidence, like expert opinion letters and examples of similar jobs for similar companies come in particular handy. It is on you to prove that you require a highly skilled employee with a specialized knowledge base to successfully carry out the duties of an H-1B job.Say you’ve established that your company absolutely needs an employee with a bachelor’s degree or higher and a specialized knowledge base and skill set to carry out the duties of this H-1B position. NOW you need to show that your H-1B candidate is that employee with the required education and specialized knowledge base and skill set. How do you do this? If your candidate has a bachelor’s degree or higher from a US college or university with a major that is an exact fit for their field of employ, it is straightforward. If your candidate has a degree from a different country or with a major in a different field – even if it’s in a related field – from their field of employ, you will need to take one more step to meet this H-1B requirement.CIS does not accept a three-year degree as the equivalent of a US four-year degree at face value. However, when evaluated for academic course content, an evaluation agency with the authority to convert classroom contact hours into college credit can use this technique to take a close look at your client or employee’s degree and bridge the missing year. An evaluator with the authority to convert years of work experience into college credit can follow the 3-1 rule and convert three years of progressive work experience in the field into one year of college credit. Both of these careful evaluation methods can also be utilized to show specialization in the candidate’s field of employ if they have worked in the field or taken enough classes throughout their college career in that field.Don’t wait until it’s too late to get started on your employee or client’s H-1B petition. This is US immigration, which means it’s a bundle of details and documentation that often takes time and energy to get in order. If your client or employee needs a credential evaluation to show that they meet CIS educational requirements, start looking for the right credential evaluation agency to meet your needs. The right agency should be able to right an evaluation as unique as your client’s education, and they should have a firm understanding of CIS trends and the different academic requirements for different visas.About the AuthorSheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI, TheDegreePeople.com, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com or call 800.771.4723. ]]>

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