H-1B Adjudication Season: What to Expect, How to Prepare

With H-1B filing season over and the lottery completed on April 11th, 2019, it is now time to wait – and to prepare.

USCIS notifies those who have been selected in the H-1B lottery first, and premium processing cases are expected to be alerted that they were selected by the first week of June, with rejection receipts expected to finally arrive at the end of July.  While beneficiaries cannot contact USCIS directly about their petitions, lawyers and employers can.  Another way to tell if your petition, or if your employee or client’s petition was accepted in the lottery is to check the bank account from which the processing fee check was written to see if it was deposited.  If it was deposited, the petition was accepted.  Again, you may not be able to tell for some months now.

This is not the time to wait.  This is the time to formulate a plan to answer any RFEs or Denial that you or your employee or client may receive.  We anticipate this year to follow the same trends as last year with high RFE and Denial rates, especially effecting Indian beneficiaries, computer programmers, and workers making level one wages. 

According to the National Foundation for American Policy, in the first quarter of 2017 the RFE rate for H-1B petitions was 17.3%.  By the fourth quarter, the rate had jumped to 68.9%.  Looking at last year, the first quarter of 2018 saw a 19.8% rate of rejection for H-1B petitions.  That number climbed to 22.4% by the fourth quarter.

If you or your employee or client is selected in the H-1B lottery, there is a very high chance they will receive and RFE or Denial.  This year, in a USCIS memorandum, adjudicators have been given the authority and encouragement to deny visa petitions outright without first requesting evidence.  We do not know how this will play out in reality, but while a Denial is harder to overturn than an RFE, it is NOT the end of the road.  H-1B RFEs and Denials are successfully answered every year.  It is much easier to do when you plan ahead.

The key is to identify where in your client’s case USCIS is likely to find red flags based on H-1B eligibility requirements and USCIS approval trends.  Petitions from Indian beneficiaries – especially those with three-year Indian bachelor’s degrees – tend to attract RFEs.  Computer programmers, especially those making level one wages tend to attract RFEs.  Candidates with incomplete college, a generalized degree, or a degree specialization that does not match the field of the H-1B job tend to attract RFEs.  These are just a few examples.

At TheDegreePeople.com we work with difficult RFEs every year and we get them overturned with the right credential evaluations and expert opinion letters.  We advise beneficiaries and their teams on what evidence, forms, and documentation they need to proceed, and we come up with creative solutions to virtually impossible RFEs to get them overturned.  For a free review of your case visit HERE.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.