The H-1B cap-subject application timeline has shifted for the FY2021 petition season starting this Spring.  On March 1st, electronic application opens and H-1B sponsors must register all potential H-1B workers electronically.  Registration will be open until March 20th and if the number of applicants exceeds the number of annual H-1B visas available – which we can almost GUARANTEE will happen – there will be a lottery.  Those selected in the lottery will then have 90 days to submit their complete petition.

This timeline comes with the trap of a false sense of time leniency.  For the past two years, we have seen rounds and rounds of complex RFEs and Denials instead of outright approval for cases that have historically been straightforward green lights.  If you, or if your employee or client is selected, you need to be ready to submit the completed petition with all additional evidence and supporting documents as soon as possible to ensure they have the right to work in the United States on their start date, October 1, 2020.  Answering rounds of RFEs will likely lead to a late start date and interrupt workflow to the detriment of sponsoring employers.

All H-1B employees to be registered in March should have as much of their petition as possible completed, including supporting immigration forms, education and work experience documentation, and information regarding the sponsoring employer, the business, and the H-1B job. 

When the letter of confirmation arrives, file the completed petition as soon as possible and anticipate any possible issues right from the get-go.  That means including a credential evaluation that closes any gaps between the employee’s education and the degree requirement – a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the exact field of the H-1B job.  That means employees with incomplete college, a degree earned outside of the United States, or a degree in a field that is not an exact match for the H-1B job needs a detailed credential evaluation written uniquely for the candidate, the education, and the job.  This may require a progressive work experience conversion wherein three years of progressive work experience in the field of the H-1B job is converted into one year of college credit towards a major in that exact field.

To address wage level, specialty occupation, and employer-employee relationship issues – which ran rampant in the RFEs we encountered last year – an expert opinion letter is needed to address these concerns within the case before they turn into RFEs or Denials.  This letter must be written by an expert in the field of the H-1B job who has over ten years of field experience, has worked in the field in many different positions including supervisory positions and positions of authority, who has credibility in the field, and who has hired employees to the position in question.

Before you file, it is important to go over your case and identify possible areas of weakness.  USCIS approval trends and recently declassified USCIS memos have shown a massively increased burden of proof placed on H-1B applicants since 2017.  At TheDegreePeople.com, we follow USCIS approval trends closely and help our clients prevent and answer difficult RFEs every year.  Let us look at your case to see where you need to fortify it before you file.  We have experts in every field and expert credential evaluators ready 24/7 to help you get that H-1B visa approved.  We offer rush delivery options to ensure that you, or your employee or client gets to work by their start date.

For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com/.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.