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RFE Season is Rolling in with MORE Specialty Occupation RFEs

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Sheila Danzig


Every year, a higher percentage of H-1B beneficiaries selected in the lottery receive an RFE this time of year instead of outright visa approval.  If you, or if your employee or client received an H-1B RFE this year, there is a high probability that is was a specialty occupation RFE.

Last year, USCIS bombarded H-1B petitioners with RFEs questioning whether their job met the requirements for “specialty occupation.”  H-1B visas are work visas for foreign employees working jobs that require a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent, and require application of specialized knowledge, skill, and understanding to perform.  Last year, jobs that had never before been called into question were receiving these RFEs.

Here is how to handle them:

1. You will need to provide the ad for the job that shows the degree requirement along with ads for the same position in the industry working for similar companies to show that the degree requirement is an industry standard.

2. You will need to provide evidence of past hiring practices for the company to show a consistent history of hiring employees with these advanced credentials.  If this job is particularly specialized in a way that is not represented by an industry standard, this is especially important.

3. You will need to provide a detailed description of the duties and responsibilities of the job that clearly show application of specialized knowledge, understanding, and skill.

4. You will need to provide an expert opinion letter from a professional with extensive field experience in the industry.  An instructor will NOT cut it unless they are also working in the field.  The strength of this expert opinion letter will depend on how much information you can provide them from the first three points.  The more details you can provide, the stronger case they can write to explain to USCIS why you, or your employee or client has been hired to a specialty occupation.

At TheDegreePeople.com, we have experts in all industries on hand 24/7 to write the opinion letter you need, or your employee or client needs to address that H-1B specialty occupation RFE.  For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.

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