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Proactively Identifying H-1B Visa Application Pitfalls

In recent years, the frequency of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) related to H-1B visa petitions, including the daunting Triple Threat and Nightmare RFEs, has surged. At CCI, our extensive experience with challenging cases and RFEs annually enables us to pinpoint potential red flags that could lead to RFEs from USCIS. The strategy is to identify and rectify these issues in your application proactively, supplementing it with the necessary evidence and documentation to fortify any vulnerabilities.

Discrepancies Across Documentation
USCIS has a keen eye for inconsistencies across application documents, including resumes and support letters. Such discrepancies prompt a thorough review, transforming minor oversights into significant RFE concerns. Ensuring document uniformity prior to submission is crucial.

Education Qualifications Concerns
A red flag is raised if the applicant’s qualifications are not directly equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the precise job field of the H-1B petition, except when accompanied by a credential evaluation. USCIS demands clear evidence of the applicant’s educational credentials equating to a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific field of employment. This is particularly crucial for degrees obtained outside the US, in fields not directly related, or for applicants with incomplete higher education. A comprehensive evaluation that accounts for course content, non-academic training, and relevant work experience is essential to demonstrate the required degree equivalency.

Employment at a Third-Party Location
IT consulting companies often encounter scrutiny if the H-1B beneficiary is to be placed at a client’s site, either in full or part. Such arrangements necessitate detailed documentation, including a work itinerary covering the visa’s three-year term and proof of the employer’s ongoing control over the beneficiary’s work, to mitigate concerns over job continuity and supervision.

Specialty Occupation Criteria
For a position to qualify as a specialty occupation under H-1B requirements, it must traditionally necessitate at least a bachelor’s degree, as per the US Department of Labor’s standards. However, USCIS interpretations have tightened, requiring that such educational prerequisites be invariably mandatory. Addressing this involves substantiating the unique specialization of the role through an in-depth job description and expert testimony from seasoned professionals in the field, demonstrating the direct applicability of a higher education degree to the job duties.

Level One Wage Issues
USCIS has demonstrated a tendency to equate level one wages with entry-level positions, potentially undermining the specialty occupation justification. This interpretation can suggest either a misclassification of the job level or an underpayment issue. Counteracting this perception requires an expert opinion letter justifying the wage as standard for the specialized position, supplemented by employer documentation rationalizing the wage determination.

Before submitting your H-1B petition, consider allowing our team at CCI to conduct a thorough review to identify and rectify any potential red flags.

Let us review your cases at no charge what so ever at

About Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig, the director of CCI, excels in resolving RFEs and denials for work visas, specializing in educational and employment visa challenges.

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