The rate of RFE responses to H-1B initial petitions held stead from the second quarter of 2019 this year, rising from 35.3% to 35.8% this year. However, while in 2019 only 58.8% of RFEs were successfully answered, this year 68.2% were approved in the second quarter of 2020. We at CCI are proud to say that 96% of the RFEs handled by our experts were successfully overturned!
As we await third quarter data, it may be hard to predict approval trends in the fourth quarter because a new regulation is currently under review of the Office of Management and Budget that would codify H-1B restrictions. However, what we can see is that fighting RFEs works, and H-1B applicants should continue to respond with strong cases for visa approval.
The proposed regulation may force H-1B employers to restructure their hiring process from the very beginning to ensure compliance with restrictions. First, those who hire H-1B employers to work at third party sites must show that the employer will be able to control the work of the H-1B employee, even offsite. In addition, they must provide contracts that show the H-1B employee will have ensured work for the duration of the three-year visa. Over the past few years, employers have already been forced to due this by new interpretation of unchanged USCIS H-1B eligibility requirements.
The second change may be harder to address as it has to do with the dreaded specialty occupation issue. In past years, USCIS has issued RFEs for jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree or higher in ALL cases, making the exception the rule instead of adhering to the verbiage of the regulation, “normally.” Answering these RFEs has required calling attention to this misinterpretation of the rule. This new regulation would effectively change “normally” to “always,” and require that the degree specialization is an exact and singular match to the H-1B job. To address this, employers must show documented past hiring practices, the ad for the job, and past hiring practices of ad jobs for the same position at similar companies that they ALWAYS require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialization.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com, we work with difficult RFEs and USCIS approval trend curveballs every year. With the help of international education experts, professional experts in all H-1B fields, and experienced credential evaluators, we come up with solutions that work to prevent and answer RFEs and Denials. We can help you beat the odds. Don’t file without an expert review of your case to address any weaknesses before USCIS adjudicates the petition or RFE or Denial response.
For a free review of your case, visit www.ccifree.com. We will respond in four hours or less.
Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.