How to Fight the H-1B Specialty Occupation RFE and Why it’s Important

Over the past two years, H-1B jobs that had previously been approved as specialty occupations – such as electrical engineer or computer programmer – are now receiving RFEs as responses to initial petitions instead of approval.  This is because USCIS has raised its standards of proof without a new law or regulation, and without notice.

While USCIS approval trends change from year to year – and there are never any guarantees with USCIS – this change was sudden, drastic, and is a threat to STEM industries in the United States.  Already H-1B restrictions are causing major STEM companies from expanding their business to the United States, and deterring international students from enrolling in US undergraduate and graduate schools, as the option to stay in the United States to work under H-1B status is a major impetus for these bright students to come in the first place.  Only 20% of graduate students in US schools studying electrical engineering and computer sciences are US citizens.  We need the other 80% to keep STEM industries in the US alive.

If you have received, or if your employee or client received a specialty occupation RFE this season, it is important to fight it, not just for this individual case, but for the health of the H-1B program and for the survival of STEM industries in the US.  At, we have answered countless specialty occupation RFEs successfully.  Here is how we do it:

First, we ask the beneficiary and petitioner to provide as much evidence and documentation they can to support the specialization and complexity of the position in question, as well as a breakdown of the factors that went into setting the wage level.  Specialty occupation issues often come hand-in-hand with wage level issues in this double RFE.  We prefer to answer them both at once to save time, and also to prevent a second round of RFEs in the future.  Include the ad for the job that shows a minimum educational requirement of a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent, different ads for the same position in similar companies showing this minimum educational requirement, and proof of past employer hiring practices that show the petitioner regularly hires employees to the position in question with this minimum educational requirement.  Also include a detailed breakdown of the duties and responsibilities of the job to highlight the theoretical and practical application of specialized skills and knowledge.

Second, we will take what you gave us and pass it over to an expert in the field of the H-1B job.  The expert will write an expert opinion letter explaining why this job meets USCIS specialty occupation requirements.  We work with experts in all H-1B industries, all of whom have extensive experience working IN THE FIELD.  USCIS will not accept expert opinion letters from professionals who are instructors or educators in the field alone.  The expert must have extensive field experience for USCIS to accept their opinion and approve your visa, or your employee or client’s visa.

Let us help you overturn your specialty occupation RFE, or your employee or client’s specialty occupation RFE.  Visit for a free review of your case and consultation.   

Scroll to Top