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USCIS Announces 60-Day RFE and NOID Response Grace Period Extended Until January 2021

Sep 22, 2020

On March 30, 2020, USCIS announced that due to the COVID-19 crisis, RFE, NOID, and other notice respondents will have a 60-day grace period to file a response following the due date.  That means any response filed within 60 days of the deadline will be considered received by USCIS.  This grace period has been officially […]

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Rate of H-1B RFEs Overturned up nearly 10% from Last Year

Sep 15, 2020

The rate of RFE responses to H-1B initial petitions held stead from the second quarter of 2019 this year, rising from 35.3% to 35.8% this year.  However, while in 2019 only 58.8% of RFEs were successfully answered, this year 68.2% were approved in the second quarter of 2020.  We at CCI are proud to say […]

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New H-1B Regulation to Codify Specialty Occupation and Employer-Employee Relationship Restrictions

Sep 9, 2020

Since 2017, H-1B visa applicants have faced specialty occupation and employer-employee relationship issues from USCIS wrongly adjudicating petitions based on the visa’s own eligibility rules.  So far, RFE and Denial responses and court challenges have been successful in overturning these decisions.  Now, a new regulation has been sent for review to the Office of Management […]

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3 Essential Preventative Steps to Avoid an RFE

Sep 1, 2020

RFE rates are still high for H-1B petitions, and processing delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic are making it even harder for employees to get their visas approved to meet their start dates.  Having to answer one or two – and sometimes as much as three – rounds of RFEs have been pushing back employee […]

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Who Qualifies for an E-3 Work Visa?

Aug 3, 2020

The E-3 work visa is very similar to the H-1B visa, except that only Australian citizens are eligible.  That means if you are an Australian citizen with a specialty occupation job offer in the United States, this is the visa for you. There are 10,500 annual E-3 visas, not including E-3 visa extensions or transfers.  […]

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Special Report: Who is at Fault for that RFE?

Jul 26, 2020

The H-1B approval rate for the second quarter of FY2020 came in at 87.1%, a nearly 4% rise from the same time last year.  However, the RFE rate remained high, at 35.8%, with a 68.2% rate of approval after response.  That means around one in every three H-1B petitions is likely to receive an RFE, […]

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RFE Alert: How to Prevent or Overturn an Employer-Employee Relationship RFE or Denial

Jul 22, 2020

One of the H-1B visa eligibility requirements is that there must be an employer-employee relationship.  What this means is that the employer must be able to hire, fire, promote, and otherwise control the work the H-1B employee performs. Consulting firms are vulnerable to employer-employee relationship issues because of the independent and irregular nature of the […]

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RFE Alert: How to Prevent or Overturn a Specialty Occupation RFE or Denial

Jul 15, 2020

In the past year, USCIS faced three convictions regarding illegally denying RFEs due to specialty occupation issues.  Despite these judicial decisions, USCIS continues to adjudicate H-1B petitions wrongly, which means H-1B beneficiaries still must take steps to prevent and fight these specialty occupation RFEs. Here is the issue: USCIS defines a “specialty occupation” as a […]

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RFE Alert: How to Prevent or Answer an RFE for Unaccredited, Incomplete, or Missing College Education RFEs

Jul 13, 2020

There are many pathways through education and they don’t all include the classroom.  However, USCIS needs a clear quantitative measure of qualitative learning – whether it’s on the job, from incomplete college, or from an unaccredited program. H-1B beneficiaries that have the specialized skills and knowledge necessary to perform the specialty occupation but do not […]

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