When USCIS finds one problem with an H-1B RFE, they tend to find more because it triggers a scrutiny of the case. In recent years, difficult RFEs that raise two or more issues have become more and more common, including the Triple Threat RFE and the classic Nightmare RFE. These RFEs are virtually impossible to answer by their own guidelines in the timeline allotted. So how can petitioners successfully answer them?
1. Read the RFE and then put it down.
DO NOT get caught up in the wording. Understand the areas of the case that the RFE is calling into question – even if it is ALL of them – but don’t overthink it. Make a list of the petition areas that need more evidence and documentation, but don’t get caught up in the RFE’s wording because it will paralyze your response.
2. Go back to the original H-1B eligibility requirements and USCIS approval trends.
One you have identified the areas of issue in the petition, go back to the basics and see what specific H-1B eligibility requirements you need to prove are met for visa approval. At CCI TheDegreePeople.com, we always keep an eye on USCIS approval trends because the norm has been to restrict H-1B eligibility requirements. Specialty occupation, degree specialization, employer-employee relationship, and wage level eligibility have all been restricted by USCIS approval trends and new rules codifying the trends we have been seeing for years. Understand the requirements your revised case must meet.
3. Gather and submit additional evidence and documentation for issue areas indicated in the RFE.
For education issues, include a credential evaluation that shows the beneficiary has the educational equivalent of the required specialized degree by US educational standards. For specialty occupation and wage level issues, include an expert opinion letter that lends weight to the case along with additional documentation. For specialty occupation, that means proof that an advanced degree as a minimum requirement for entry into the position is an industry standard, company standard, or a justifiable unique situation. For wage level issues, include a breakdown of the factors that went into setting the wage level. For employer-employee relationship issues, show how the employer will be able to control the employee’s work for the duration of the H-1B visa, including when work is being performed at third-party worksites. For consulting firms, include a complete itinerary of the work to be performed for the duration of the visa along with client and customer contact information.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with difficult RFEs every year. We can help you identify points of weakness in your case and advise what additional evidence and documentation to include to prevent, answer, or prevent a second round of difficult RFEs.
For a free review of your case visit www.ccifree.com. We will respond in 4 hours or less.
Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs, NOIDs, and Denials for work visas.