H1B Speciality Occupation RFE Response
Our readers and clients who have been involved in the H-1B program and especially over the last 12+ months must have experienced or at least heard about the “specialty occupation” requests for evidence (RFE) and H1B Denials which have been and continue to be issued by USCIS. Our office has been receiving and handling numerous such RFEs and Appeal the denial cases, we have been working with clients and with the broader immigration attorney community to formulate a strong strategy for responding to this kind of cases.
The Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, issued by the Trump administration to, “promote economic growth, create good jobs at decent wages…create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States” has brought with it a shift in adjudicatory scrutiny of H-1B and similar non-immigrant petitions. This increased scrutiny has carried with it a heightened level of complexity in Requests for Evidence (“RFE”) issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”).
Our Assistance for Specialty Occupation RFE through our “H1B Expert Opinion Letters”
We have been very deeply involved in specialty occupation cases and, having handled hundreds of such RFEs through our “Expert Opinion Letters”, we feel that we have been able to understand the facts and documents USCIS adjudicators expect to see in order to issue an approval. Our office will be happy to provide Expert Opinion Letter to responding USCIS Specialty Occupation requirements.
What is an Expert Opinion Letter?
An expert opinion letter for USCIS could either be one of two things:
A letter or an affidavit from firms or individuals in the industry that attest that similar organizations routinely employ and recruit only degreed individuals in a specific specialty.
A letter from an industry-related professional association indicating that they have made a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty a requirement for entry into the field
Specialty Occupation requirements why is it so important for the H1B approval?
In simple words, to be approved, “An H-1B application must show that the foreign employee will work under specialty occupation and he/she is fully qualified to give their services in the H1B Specialty Occupation zone”
Well, the specialty occupation issue is not new. One of the explicit requirements for each H-1B petition to get the approved is that the petitioner must prove that the offered position is “specialty occupation” and they are hiring a foreign-born individual who has a “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to perform the job duties”
The petitioning employer must be able to prove to USCIS, by a preponderance of the evidence that;
- The position they intend to hire the beneficiary of an H-1B petition for requires at a minimum a bachelor’s degree or if the beneficiary studied outside the USA, they must hold US four-year bachelor’s degree equivalent report;
- It is common in the industry for that particular type of position to require a bachelor’s degree; and
- The job duties to be performed by the beneficiary are so specialized and complex and the beneficiary is qualified to perform such job duties without any external training by the employer.
- Also, The Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, issued by the Trump administration influence on Petitioner must prove that no American born citizen can perform the job where the foreign-born citizen willing to give the services.
Our office will continue monitoring related developments and provide updates. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any help in preparing or otherwise assisting with H-1B specialty occupation RFEs.