Every year, H-1B applicants file completed petitions only to receive an RFE…with EVERYTHING in it. Complex RFEs that take issue than more than one requirement area have become increasingly common over the past decade and are expected to continue to arrive. It may seem like you have to rewrite the petition from scratch to meet its demands, and there is never enough time and money to make it work.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with complex RFEs every year, from the Double RFE to the Triple Threat to the Nightmare. We advise answering them in these three steps:
1. Go back to the basics. Read through the RFE with your team, then put it down and go back to the original H-1B eligibility requirements. It is essential to keep one eye on USCIS approval trends when identifying where in your case eligibility requirements are not met. For example, USCIS has been taking issue with occupations that do not ALWAYS require a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree even though eligibility requirements state that NORMALLY will suffice. USCIS requires an exact degree specialization match to meet educational requirements. Consultants require a complete itinerary of the work to be performed for the duration of the H-1B visa along with additional documentation of how the employer will be able to control the H-1B employee’s work offsite. Level one wages tend to raise a red flag as USCIS assumes this means the position is entry level and applicants are back to square one with specialty occupation issues all over again. Identify where your case needs work and fortify accordingly.
2. Include and expert opinion letter. If you receive a complex RFE, do not submit your response without an expert opinion letter to lend weight to your case for visa approval. This letter can address specialty occupation and wage level issues and is based on the evidence and documentation you can provide about the position and the company. USCIS won’t just accept any expert’s opinion letter as valid. This expert must have at least ten years of experience working directly in the field of the H-1B job, have leadership experience within the field, and ideally have made hiring decisions regarding the H-1B position and supporting occupations.
3. Include a credential evaluation to fill in any gaps between the education the beneficiary has and the education the beneficiary needs. If the beneficiary has anything OTHER THAN a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the exact field of the H-1B job, you will need to include a credential evaluation. It must be shown that the beneficiary has the academic equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the exact field of the H-1B job by US academic standards. This requires a detailed credential evaluation that takes course content, non-collegiate training, and years of progressive work experience into account. USCIS accepts that three years of work experience in the field of the H-1B job wherein the employee took on progressively more complex duties and responsibilities can account for one year of college credit in the field. If a work experience conversion is required, a professor with the authority to grant college credit for work experience must write this conversion.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with the right kind of experts in all H-1B fields and professors with the authority to grant college credit for work experience. We always watch USCIS approval trends closely and can help you identify where your case needs to be strengthened. Receiving an RFE means an opportunity to strengthen your case.
Let us review your case for free. Visit www.ccifree.com and we will respond in 4 hours or less.
Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.