The most common RFE reported by H-1B applicants has been Specialty Occupation issues. However, this issue often arrives in tandem with Wage Level issues, creating the Double RFE. Applicants for computer programmer jobs, entry level positions, and those making level one wages are at highest risk of this complex RFE.
Here’s how it works:
USCIS has been adjudicating the exception as the norm when it comes to positions that normally but do not always require a bachelor’s degree minimum for entry into a position. This is often the case for entry level positions, including computer programmer, which is a common H-1B occupation. USCIS will take issue with Specialty Occupation. Then, if the position is set at level one wages, they will claim that if the position is not entry level, the beneficiary is not making the prevailing wage for the job. However, if the position is entry level, there is a Specialty Occupation issue. And around it goes.
Here’s how we helped our client in this situation answer this RFE:
We proved that the position is not entry level, and so it did require a bachelor’s degree or higher EVERY time. Then, we showed USCIS the factors that went into setting the wage level. The beneficiary had the advanced degree, but no work experience in the field and therefore required a high level of supervision to start and thus a lower starting wage. We did this by guiding our client to provide evidence and documentation about the position for this company, and for parallel jobs in similar companies, as well as past employer hiring practices clearly showing the bachelor’s degree requirement. We also did this by guiding our client to document the factors of setting the wage level appropriately. Then, we tied it all together by providing our client an expert opinion letter written by an expert with extensive experience working in the field of the H-1B job. This letter analyzed the evidence and documentation presented, and leant weight to its conclusions that the eligibility requirements were met, covering both Specialty Occupation and Wage Level topic areas.
If you, or if your employee or client is facing a Double RFE, we can help! Visit www.ccifree.com for a free review of your case. 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.