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Three Common H-1B Eligibility Issues to Look Out For

Petitioners selected in the FY 2024 H-1B lottery have been notified and have 90 days from the date of notification to file complete petitions.  We are a couple weeks into filing season and there is no time to waste! While the rate of RFEs has dropped, applicants are still running into issues due to strict USCIS approval trends which make it difficult for applicants to know what USCIS considers a red flag before it’s too late.

At CCI, we work with clients with RFEs every year.  We know how to answer them, and we also know that the best way to beat an RFE is to prevent an RFE by being aware of common eligibility issues and addressing them before it becomes a visa approval issue.

  1. Three-year bachelor’s degree. This is particularly an issue for applicants with Indian three-year bachelor degrees.  While there are comparable classroom contact hours between this three-year degree and a US four-year degree, USCIS is hung up on that missing fourth year of college.  The best way to prevent this is a work experience conversion that converts three years of progressive work experience into one year of college credit.
  • Degree specialization in a different field than the H-1B job.  Years ago, USCIS would accept that an H-1B employee with a degree in a field related to the H-1B job made them eligible for H-1B status.  Unfortunately, it has become the norm that the degree must be an exact match for the H-1B job.  If the degree is generalized or mismatched from the exact field of the H-1B job, a credential evaluation that takes course content and work experience in the field of the H-1B job into account can fill in any gaps between the degree the beneficiary has and the degree the beneficiary needs. 
  • Occupation does not ALWAYS require a bachelor’s degree or higher.  According to eligibility requirements, to qualify as a specialty occupation a job must normally require a US bachelor’s degree or higher to be hired.  USCIS has consistently been adjudicating the exception as the norm.  If a job does not ALWAYS require a bachelor’s degree or higher, such as Computer Programmer, USCIS has been issuing RFEs instead of approving the visa.  In this case, you will need an expert opinion letter written by an expert in the field of the H-1B job who has experience making hiring decisions regarding the position in question.  You will also need to provide additional documentation as to why this job in particular requires an advanced degree.

These are just three of the many perennial H-1B eligibility issues that applicants run into.  Employer-employee relationship and wage level issues are also common, along with other unexpected education issues that can typically be addressed with a detailed credential evaluation.  Before you file, let us review your case for free to catch those red flags before USCIS does and fix them.  We write each credential evaluation uniquely, we work with experts in all H-1B fields, and we will consult with you on what additional evidence and documentation is needed to strengthen your case.

For a free review of your case visit  We will respond in four 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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