According to Forbes, about two-thirds of annual H-1B cap-subject visas are awarded to beneficiaries in computer occupations.  As of June 2021, there were over 1 million computer positions actively vacant.  However, H-1B applicants working as computer programmers have been hit the hardest by specialty occupation issues in their petitions.

A few years back, a H-1B visa approval trend emerged wherein occupations that are listed in the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook as normally but not always requiring a bachelor’s degree minimum were adjudicated to not meet the specialty occupation requirement.  H-1B eligibility requirements state that to qualify as a specialty occupation the job must normally require a bachelor’s degree minimum, but USCIS began adjudicating the exception as the norm.

There are three other ways to meet the specialty occupation requirement:

  1. The minimum bachelor’s degree requirement is the industry norm for the position in question, or this position is uniquely complex.
  2. The H-1B employer always requires a bachelor’s degree minimum for this position.
  3. The nature of the job is uniquely complex as to require a bachelor’s degree at minimum.

If the position in question does not ALWAYS require a bachelor’s degree minimum as stated in the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, you will need to prove that it meets at least one of the three alternatives. 

This will require documentation of past hiring practices and the ad for the job along with ads for the same position for parallel companies that show an unbroken pattern of a minimum bachelor’s degree requirement.  You will also need to provide a detailed breakdown of the duties and responsibilities of the job along with an analysis of how complex skills and knowledge are applied.  Along with this evidence and documentation, provide an expert opinion letter written by an expert in the field of the H-1B job to lend credibility to your case.  This expert should have at least a decade of experience working in the field of the H-1B job, have held leadership roles, and have made hiring decisions regarding the position in question and supporting positions. 

At CCI we work with experts in every H-1B field that have the credentials and experience required by USCIS to accept their letters as evidence in your case.

For a free review of your case and consultation, visit  We will respond in 4 hours or less.

Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI  Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.

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