RFE rates have been tough on H-1B beneficiaries hired to the position of computer programmer, particularly if they are making level one wages.  This trend began several years ago when USCIS stopped approving H-1B visas outright for jobs that normally but not ALWAYS required a bachelor’s degree as a minimum educational requirement.  This hit programmers hard and swift, particularly because historically these professionals had no issue with visa approval.

What changed?  H-1B specialty occupation requirements state that the position must normally require a at least a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  USCIS began adjudicating this as always, making the exception the rule for approval.  This was met with lawsuits, but not everyone has the resources to take USCIS to court. 

If you, or if your employee or client is applying for an H-1B visa to work as a computer programmer, especially if the position is set at wage level one, here is how to prevent a specialty occupation RFE:

  1. Provide added evidence and documentation that this particular position is uniquely specialized as to require a bachelor’s degree minimum to perform the duties and responsibilities of the job.
  2. Provide the ad for the job and ads for the same job in similar companies to show the bachelor’s degree minimum requirement, and proof of past employer hiring practices.
  3. Include an expert opinion letter written by an expert with at least ten years of experience working in the field of the H-1B job.  This letter will lend weight to your case.  Ideally, this expert has held positions of authority in the field that involved making hiring decision regarding the position in question, and supporting positions that depended on the employee hired to the position in question having the skills and knowledge necessary for a functioning operation.

At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with experts in all H-1B fields with the experience necessary for USCIS to accept their opinion letters as evidence to support your case.  This strategy works to prevent and answer specialty occupation RFEs for computer programmers, and other borderline positions that normally – but not always – require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum educational hiring requirement.

For a free review of your case, visit www.ccifree.com.  We will respond in 4 hours or less.

Sheila Danzig

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

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