If your H-1B application for FY2021 was rejected, you may get a second chance to file. USCIS is now accepting petitions from last year that were rejected because the start date was LATER THAN October 1, 2020.
Why is USCIS doing this? Last year, under the new two-step application process and the general uncertainties of the pandemic, the H-1B cap was not filled from filings from the initial selection so there was another lottery in August of 2020. While petitioners had until November 16, 2021 to file, the start date was still required to be set for October 1, 2020. If this is your situation, it’s time to clean up the petition and resubmit.
The H-1B approval process can be long and arduous with at least one round of RFEs to respond to. That means to get to work by the start date, applicants need to take steps to prevent issues that may delay visa approval. At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with difficult cases and RFEs every year. We keep an eye on USCIS approval trends and here is what we have noticed:
- If the beneficiary’s education is ANYTHING BUT a US degree in the exact field of the H-1B job, you will need to include a credential evaluation. This credential evaluation must take the job, the education, work experience, visa requirements, and USCIS approval trends into account.
- If the US DOL Occupational Outlook Handbook entry for the H-1B position does not ALWAYS require a bachelor’s degree minimum for entry into the position, you need to include additional documentation fortified with an expert opinion letter to meet specialty occupation requirements. This letter must be written by an expert in the field of the H-1B job with experience working directly in the field and in positions of leadership wherein hiring decisions regarding the position in question and supporting positions were made. Wage level issues can also be addressed in this letter.
- If the position is consultant or for a consulting firm, include a complete itinerary of the work the H-1B beneficiary will be performing for the duration of the H-1B visa period. This must include client and customer contact information.
Let us review your petition to identify areas of weakness and advise accordingly before you file. For a free review of your case visit www.ccifree.com and 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.