One of the most common RFEs H-1B applicants have faced over the past few years is the wage level issue RFE. Beneficiaries working at wage level one are particularly at risk for this RFE because USCIS assumes that this indicates the position is entry level, and in some cases this call into question whether the proffered position meets specialty occupation requirements.
As you can see, wage level issues quickly escalate into RFEs that cover a variety of issues that all must be answered. Fortunately, all of these associated issues, along with the initial wage level issue, can be answered with one expert opinion letter from an expert in the industry with extensive experience working in the field, and with sending in additional supporting evidence. This evidence must include a detailed breakdown of the factors that went into determining the wage level.
The three factors that determine wage level are the employee’s education and experience, and the level of supervision that will be necessary to ensure the job is performed properly. In many cases in which a wage level is set at level one, the employee has the advanced degree required to be hired to the H-1B job, but not the experience required to work without a high level of supervision. A big reason the H-1B program exists is to draw talented students from abroad to the United States for college and grad school with the option to stay and work after graduation on this dual-purpose H-1B visa. For this reason, many who apply for H-1B visas have the education, but the not the experience, and therefore require a high level of supervision to start working the H-1B jobs they have been hired for. These jobs meet H-1B specialty occupation requirements, meaning they require a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher to perform, even though the initial wage level is set at level one.
With changes to USCIS adjudication standards, the burden of proof placed on the H-1B applicant has increased exponentially. If you, or if your employee or client is applying for H-1B visa status, there is a high likelihood that they will run into wage level or specialty occupation issues. The best way to prevent this is with an expert opinion letter and any additional evidence that would otherwise be associated with answering an RFE. At TheDegreePeople.com, we work with difficult H-1B RFE and Denial cases every year, and we can help you identify areas of vulnerability in your case, or in your employee or client’s case and determine which preventative measures will be most effective.
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