Filing period is well underway for the 127,600 H-1B registrants selected in the first lottery of FY2023. This March, USCIS received 483,927 electronic registrations, significantly increased from the 308,613 registrations submitted last year.
A larger number of registrations were selected in the lottery this year, as FY2022 required three rounds of lotteries to meet the annual H-1B visa cap. However, this higher number of selections may indicate a higher RFE and Denial rate is on the horizon. If your visa, or if your employee or client’s visa is not approved outright, that means more time, more money, more headache, and possibly a delayed employee start date resulting in workflow hindrances.
Education issues are perennial problems H-1B applicants face. The following situations regarding the beneficiary’s education are likely to trigger adjudication issues:
- Degree earned outside of the United States
- Three-year bachelor’s degree
- Degree earned from an unaccredited institution
- Incomplete college
- No college
- Generalized degree – no specialization
- Specialized degree but in a field that is not related to the H-1B job
- Specialized degree in a field related to the H-1B job, but not an exact match
If any of these educational situations apply, you need to show USCIS that the beneficiary has the academic equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree in the field of the H-1B job in terms of US academic value. You must do this in the initial petition filing to prevent education issues standing in between the H-1B employee and their visa.
Include a credential evaluation in the petition written to uniquely address the beneficiary’s education, training, and work experience, the H-1B job, H-1B eligibility requirements, and USCIS approval trends. This means evaluating college course content, non-collegiate professional training, and progressive work. Progressive work experience is work in which education occurred on the job as evidenced by the beneficiary taking on progressively more specialized duties and responsibilities as time progressed. USCIS accepts that three years of progressive work experience is the equivalent of one year of college credit in the major of the job. That means missing years of college can be accounted for with a work experience conversion. This conversion must be written by a professor authorized to grant college credit for work experience.
Through detailed analysis of coursework, work experience conversion, and citation of precedent decisions and other supporting documentation, a credential evaluation will effectively hold USCIS’ hand and walk them through the academic value of the beneficiary’s education and work experience.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com, we work with professors authorized to grant college credit for work experience, and each credential evaluation is written uniquely to fit the situation. Let us review your case for free to identify any education issues and address them effectively BEFORE you file.
For a free review of your case visit www.ccifree.com. 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.