USCIS began accepting cap-subject H-1B electronic registrations on March 1st and will continue to accept them until March 18th. In this time, petitioners planning to sponsor H-1B employees for FY2022 can submit one electronic registration per employee for a fee of $10 through the myUSCIS online portal. Those selected to submit complete petitions will be notified on March 31st.
That means it’s time for employers to get every potential H-1B employee registered. Even at this stage before the lottery, it is important to be aware of any issues that may arise come filing time.
- Education Issues – the employee must hold a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent in the exact field of the H-1B job. This is a blend of H-1B requirements and the USCIS approval trend that degrees in fields not exactly matching the H-1B job receive RFEs rather than approvals.
- Specialty Occupation Issues – Trump-era adjudication trends still persist even though the denial rate has dropped. Proposed changes to H-1B rules still influence adjudication trends even if they are not yet written into law. In regards to Specialty Occupation, previously for a job to qualify it must normally require a bachelor’s degree minimum to be hired. USCIS began adjudicating the qualifier as ALWAYS, making the exception the norm. Computer programmers were hit especially hard by this trend.
- Employer-Employee Relationship Issues – this is another issue influenced by Trump-era adjudication trends and in current proposed legislation that continue to influence USCIS approval trends. If the H-1B employee is working as a consultant, or for a company that contracts work offsite, any gaps in work for the duration of the three-year visa period and any work conducted at a third-party worksite raise red flags.
If the case includes any of these situations, it is never too early to start working with your team to identify solutions. Find the weaknesses and red flags in the case and address them with additional evidence and documentation before USCIS adjudicators do.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with difficult cases every year. We know what triggers RFEs and Denials, and we know what additional steps to take to prevent them. 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.