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Case Study: Specialty Occupation RFE for Engineer Successfully Answered

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Sheila Danzig


The numbers show that the same specialty occupations approved for H-1B visas just a few years ago are now being called into question. 

According to Forbes, in FY2017 only 3% of H-1B extension petitions were denied.  These petitions are for beneficiaries whose H-1B visas were previously approved.  Then, in FY2018, the denial rate more than doubled, jumping to 12%, and then to 18% in the first quarter of FY2019.  All of the top 27 employers of H-1B beneficiaries experienced this spike in denials for the same jobs they had been approved for.

Meeting specialty occupation requirements for H-1B visa approval has become much more difficult.  Jobs that had never before been called into question are now met with RFEs.  One of these is the job of engineer.

Last year we had dozens of clients come to use with specialty occupation RFEs for engineer.  They were caught off guard because they did not expect they would have to defend the complexity of their job.  These are different times, and it is essential to submit the initial petition in anticipation of a specialty occupation RFE.  Last year, these RFEs were successfully answered with detailed documentation of the duties, responsibilities, and day-to-day tasks of the job that show practical and theoretical application of a highly specialized body of knowledge and skill.  Petitioners also had to include the ad for the job, ads for the same job for different companies in the industry, and the employer’s past hiring practices to prove that requiring a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent is the standard for the position in question.  All of this documentation was shared with an expert in the field with extensive field experience.  At TheDegreePeople.com we work with experts in all H-1B fields.  Our engineering experts used the information provided by petitioners to write the expert opinion letters needed to overturn specialty occupation RFEs. 

When all of this is submitted with the initial petition, it greatly cuts a beneficiary’s chance of receiving a specialty occupation RFE.  While there are no guarantees with USCIS, we always keep an eye on their approval trends, and meet each year’s new challenges with expertise and tact.  If you, or if your employee or client received a specialty occupation RFE, we can help.  Visit ccifree.com/ for a free review of your case.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.


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