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Over the better part of the last decade, computer programmers have been running into H-1B eligibility issues for the first time.  This is because according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, entry level computer programmers can qualify for a position with just an associate’s degree.  This is the exception, not the norm, as the position typically requires a bachelor’s degree. 

For a job to qualify as a specialty occupation and meet H-1B eligibility requirements, the rule states that it must normally require a minimum bachelor’s degree or higher for entry into the position. Unfortunately, the USCIS approval trend to adjudicate the exception as the norm for specialty occupation eligibility is a persistent one.  Computer programmers applying for H-1B status run a high risk of RFE before approval for this reason.

Here is how to prevent it:

Include an expert opinion letter in your initial petition submission written by an expert with extensive experience working in the field of the H-1B job.  This expert should have experience making hiring decisions regarding this position and supporting positions.  Provide additional documentation for the expert to write an opinion, and to provide to USCIS in the initial petition that shows the position meets specialty occupation requirements.  This includes the ad for the job and similar jobs that show a bachelor’s degree requirement, as well as proof of past hiring practices for the position that show your company has a history of hiring those with a bachelor’s degree minimum to this position.  Also include a breakdown of the duties and responsibilities of the job and how they require skills and understanding gained through completion of a bachelor’s degree in the field.

At CCI we work with experts in every H-1B field and have 24 hour availability to write expert opinion letters for your petition. The most important part is that you provide the expert with enough evidence and documentation regarding the position to write a compelling letter.

Computer programmers are far from the only H-1B beneficiaries at risk of specialty occupation RFEs for the same reason.  Find out before USCIS does so you can take preventative steps to make sure your H-1B employee starts work on October 1st, 2023.  We can help!

For a free review of your case, visit  We will respond in 4 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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