by Emily Neumann, Attorney at Law
As you know, H1B Visa Request for Evidence (RFE) can be very frustrating from everyone perspective as you would need to submit the info and wait for USCIS. It can be very tense moments for employer as well as employee. This article focuses on the most common RFE reasons (part 2).
Most Common H1B RFE (Request for Evidence) reasons.
As mentioned in first article, below are the six common RFE requests that are given by USCIS.
- Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE)
- Specialty Occupation
- Needs of the Petitioner for the Services of the Beneficiary
- Beneficiary Qualifications
- Employer-Employee Relationship
- Maintenance of Status
You should read the first part of this article H1B RFE Reasons? – VIBE, Specialty Occupation, Petitioner Needs, to get information on first three. This is a continuation of the other article covering the rest.
H1B Petition – Beneficiary Qualifications ?
Not only must the H1B visa related position itself be one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a specific field, but the sponsored worker must also possess the required bachelor’s degree. Sometimes, an individual’s education may not be in the exact field, but in a related field instead. Some RFEs may request an explanation and documentation of how the degree is related to the position. Or, where the sponsored worker lacks a U.S. bachelor’s degree, he or she must document that a foreign degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
An RFE may request that an education evaluation be submitted, or if an evaluation was submitted, there may be a request for proof that the evaluation was prepared by an official who has authority to grant college-level credit at an accredited college or university with training and/or work experience in the profession. Also, a combination of education and experience may sometimes be used to document the beneficiary’s qualification. USCIS allows three years of professional experience to substitute for each year of college-level training. The adjudicating officer must decide whether the quality of experience is at high enough level to qualify as “professional.” Experience is generally documented through letters from past employers and an RFE may be issued if the experience letters used for the evaluation lack specificity.
Employer-Employee Relationship – Any violation?
Typically in situations where the sponsored worker will work off-site, USCIS will look at a number of factors to determine whether a valid employer-employee relationship exists. In considering whether or not there is a valid “employer-employee relationship” for purposes of H-1B petition adjudication, USCIS must determine if the employer has a sufficient level of control over the employee.
The petitioner may be requested to submit documentation to establish that it has the right to control over when, where, and how the beneficiary performs the job. This issue often arises with businesses in the consulting or staffing industries. In addition to documenting right to control, an employer in the consulting/staffing field must also provide project-related documents to confirm that specialty occupation work is available at the off-site location (usually a client company).
Maintenance of Status – No violation of Status ?
Any time an H-1B petition requests an extension of status or change of status, the sponsored worker must document that he or she has properly maintained the current status. Read H1B Visa vs. Status in USA. For an H-1B extension, this would typically include pay statements. For students in F-1 status, more documentation is often requested in an RFE regarding coursework, OPT or CPT employment, class attendance and the like.
In my experience, approximately 90% of H-1B RFEs will relate to one or more of the six issues described above. It is always helpful to be aware of these issues prior to filing as satisfactory documentation can often be submitted with the petition in order to avoid an RFE.
Did you had a different RFE ? How was it addressed ? Share your thoughts ?
Thanks to Emily for writing the guest article for us. Please reach out to using her using her contact info for any immigration issue, she is a highly qualified immigration attorney and can help you with your case !
————————————-About the Author————————————–
Emily Neumann practices business immigration law and is a partner in Reddy & Neumann, P.C. in Houston, TX. Neumann writes a blog on immigration law (immigrationgirl.com) and shares updates on Twitter (@immigrationgirl) and her Facebook page to help her clients stay informed of the latest news.