​How to Deal with RFEs

With the onslaught of Request for Evidence (RFE) being showered on nearly every H1B visa applicant by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), coupled with the oncoming new H1B application deadline on April 2, 2018 this time seems to be ripe enough to discuss the ways to deal with these RFEs. There was more than a 45% jump in the RFEs that were issued year 2017 compare to previous years. These numbers translate to roughly 85,000 RFEs. In today’s climate, this is a direct outcome of President Trump’s continuous rhetoric of wanting to curb the popular dissemination of the H1B work visa. This visa allows foreign workers to temporarily immigrate to the US for work, and these delays caused by the RFE is of a major concern to the potential H1B applicants and their employers abroad. These are being now requested not only of nearly every new applicant trying their luck in the annual cap of 65,000 visa being issued this year but also of the existing H1B visa holders who are looking for renewals. The biggest fallout of this is the obvious delay tactics to grant the visa coupled with the fear of not being able to perform professionally in a timely manner for the companies that have company relations with the firms here in the US.

These RFEs are primarily asked in the following areas –

  • Entry level wages
  • Specialty Occupation
  • Employee Qualifications

Below is a basic guideline on how to deal with these RFEs in light of the oncoming H1B application filing deadline this year:

  • Entry Level Wages

The Department of Labor defines the wages for entry-level and above-entry-level-but-with-no-experience level (Level lI). If the applicants are not making as much, then employers have to be prepared to justify the wages being allocated for these jobs that are complex enough to qualify for an H-1B, but still suitable for Level 1 or Level 2 wages. As evident in the H1B classified job vacancies, the position the applicant is applying for in the US although may be complex, it is still being applied for by a fresh graduate.

  • Employee Qualifications

This brings us to what are the applicants’ qualifications. Frequent RFEs are being meted out pertaining to the qualification requirement of that job. Does the qualification of the applicant even relate to the occupation? Does it have an equivalent of a U.S. degree? The applicant should be ready to undertake a credentials evaluation to showcase that his academic background and work experience coincides with the requirements of the position and that he qualifies for the job opportunity.

  • Specialty Occupation

Lastly, a common debate is whether the open position is a ‘specialty’ occupation or not. The STEM occupations easily qualify for the H1B visas however, many jobs that are filling up with H1B applicants do not qualify for a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, the H1B applicant should have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum to enter the occupation. In preparation for the RFE, his employer should detail out all technical skills, technologies, special attributes and possible coursework that relate to the job at hand and point out the “specialty” aspect of the position.

To understand more about the process on RFEs check out Request for Evidence on Path2USA.