Common H1B RFE Reasons? – Employer Employee Relationship, Qualifications, Status

In Apply H1B Visa by Guest Author66 Comments

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.

  1. Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE)
  2. Specialty Occupation
  3. Needs of the Petitioner for the Services of the Beneficiary
  4. Beneficiary Qualifications
  5. Employer-Employee Relationship
  6. 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.

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Comments ( 66 )

  1. Sukh

    Hi,

    I got an RFE last month regarding specialty occupation. I have tried to put together most of the documents. The only thing I am having trouble is expert opinion letter. There are numerous companies online and I don’t know which one to trust. Also, tips and tactics while going ahead with the process?
    Please help!

  2. sujith

    i got an rfe today. I need the final result (case approved hopefully) by Oct 1st. Is it even possible?
    i think it might take 1 week to just put the documents together and answer the questions…..
    is it possible for uscis to process the rfe within 2 weeks ?

    so scared 🙁

  3. Raj3

    Hi Kumar and Team,

    Thanks a lot for creating this wonderful forum and guiding thousands of people on Visa queries.
    Coming to my weird situation , my H1B is expiring on 30th Sep 2017 and my employer delayed my extension filing due to some pending documentation (i have multiple vendors between my employer and client).
    Its not yet field and my contract with client came to end suddenly to my shock.
    I’m searching for new project/job now.

    Questions: If i’m unable to find new client/project before my visa end date and employer is not able to file extension and I go back to India.
    Can I still come back to US on H1B work if i get new client ?
    How difficult it is ? will I be cap exempted ?
    Will there be any legal hazzles as i will be H1B out of status ?

    Thanks again for all your help.

  4. Kish

    Hi All,

    I was told by my employer that I have been selected in this year’s lottery but they haven’t shared the petition number though.

    Now suddenly last week I got a mail stating that my petition has received RFE and we need to submit the following documents by 29th July :

    1. SoW
    2. Purchase Order ,Milestone plans, Invoice ( if applicable)
    3. Client Letter & BRM letter
    4. Latest promotion letter & US organizational chart.
    5. US supervisor details.

    I have all the documents with me, but instead of SOW, my employer has given me a Work Order which comprises of Everything.

    So my question is , Will it work fine or do I need to get SoW precisely ?

    My manager said Work order is same as SoW.

    What are your thoughts ?

    Looking forward to your quick response please.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. RParashar

    My new employer filed H1B transfer but he hasn’t replied to RFE, it’s over 2 months already.
    Is there anything that I can do ? There is something fishy about him, can I report to USCIS or anywhere.
    I am stuck with him and I cannot even find another employer to file a transfer for me because there is already an outstanding RFE against my H1B petion.
    Earlier, I read news that a man was not allowed to enter at port of entry because he has an outstanding RFE pending in a separate H1B transfer against his petition.
    Guys, please help.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Do you have a copy of RFE ? It usually has a deadline that your employer has to respond by. I am not sure about the news you read on how port of entry is tied to open RFE… I suggest you speak to an immigration attorney and get this sorted out and get clarity.

  6. rfe

    does anyone know what does below document means if so is there a template online DETAILED ITINERARY OF SERVICES INCLUDING THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF THE TASKS TO BE COMPLETED

    1. kanika101

      Hi,

      Detailed itinerary of service is the details of the work location including different client and different states in USA you worked. Generally this RFE generated when you change your working location(state to state) while maintaining a legal status. when you provide the work location with address you have worked over the past years, you may need to provide a supporting document which can be a MSA or client business award letter. it is always better to have a legal attorney to handle.

  7. ravi

    i applied h1b visa in 2016 from a company it picked in lottery and now its is in RFE status. can you apply again a fresh h1b visa from other company this year 2017.

    if yes , will it be any issues or any thing.

  8. Premraj

    Hi today on January 17th I havwill got the blue farm stating check box “your application requires additional administrative processing before a final decision can be made”. They didn’t ask me any document or any thing. what shall I do in this case? I have already informed to my petitioner on this.

  9. Gaurav

    Hi Saurabh/Kumar,

    I got RFE on my application asking for Work Itinery and Professional evaluation for speciality occupation… Do I have to submit new client letter or existing client letter has to be describe it more details as first client letter has less information.

  10. Tushar

    Hi All,

    I had filed for Premium Processing of 2 amendments, one for a previous project while another one for my current project.Yesterday I got an RFE for my current project and today the amendment (which was under RFE) for my previous project was approved by USCIS.

    When I discussed with my organization, they reverted back mentioning that RFE has been raised wherein it has been asked to provide the approval/confirmation for the first amendment.

    My query is :

    1.Can my organization respond to the RFE with the confirmation email they received from USCIS?

    2.After the approval details are furnished , is there any chance of USCIS raising another RFE?

    Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

    Regards,

  11. Sudheer

    Hi Saurabh ,

    I received RFE for my role of System admin . but the problem is that all my previous companies the designation is different although they have almost equal or same job responsibility . My present company calls it as Virtualization specialist and previous company role as technical lead and my first company as systems Engineer .

    2) Are there any best companies for getting evaluation of Education and work evaluation. ( just preferred or suggestions )

    RFE below –

    1. From all the listed companies on resume- need a letter on their letter head explaining the Job Duties and able to tell about your performance. As well 3 Payslips from all the companies, If any performance or salary appraisal letters.

    2. Education and work experience evaluation form any US based evaluation agency.

  12. H1b RFE

    Hi Saurabh,

    Can you please confirm , if it is mandatory to submit the “education evaluation doc ” prepared by some specific firm or simply submitting India educational docs suffice in H1b petition to get it approved.

    If yes, then can we assume that if only India educational docs are submitted then USCIS will issue RFE asking for “education evaluation doc” also.

    Regards,
    H1b RFE

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H1b RFE,

      Your attorney is in a better position to gauge this. Typically when one has done education from non-US colleges, attorneys get education evaluation done to show equivalency. USCIS doesn’t know each and every school outside US and these agencies sort of address that.

      If USCIS needs this in your case, they would issue the RFE.

      1. S

        Hi Saurabh,

        I 140 RFE Education credentials means for H1B? – What need to be done here. Is there any problem. I am BSC Computer Science and MCA. Now I have 13.5 years of exp.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          S,

          I-140 is for green card processing; while H-1B is a different visa program. Not sure if I understood your question correctly. How is one impacting the other?

      2. Priti

        Hi Saurab,
        I received RFE on 7th oct. My employer told we have 3 months of time to submit response for RFE . Now that two months have passed already they(consultancy) are saying they can not provide project related doc which was required to submit.Looks like our all efforts gone in vain.Is there anything i can do when we have left only 1 month to submit the required doc? I am hopeless though

  13. ACB

    Saurab, I received RFE yesterday. My employer told we have 3 months of time to submit response for RFE . If we submit response early then uscis takes action early OR they will wait 3 months and then starting working on my petition.

  14. IBMDreameR

    Hello Admin,

    Recently I have received RFE and below are the RFE details.

    1) Right to control manager’s letter
    2) Formal position description on letterhead
    3) Org. Chart details

    I have not provided client letter as it is an in-house project. And also we have provided control letter when we filed the petition.

    Please help me how to proceed and what are the chances for approval.

    Thanks,
    Sam

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      IBMDreameR,

      This RFE needs the information from employer. So they should provide the information and submit as the response. That’s the process.

      No one can tell you the chances of approval as it varies from case to case.

  15. padmasreenivas

    Hi

    VT/RP status is RFE. my employer asking to submit my all previous company experience letters with Job roles and responsibilities asap.

    They have not mentioned what is the procedure. I contacted my consultancey they said take letters from your previous employers. Who will provide this moment 10 yrs back letters.

    Please let me know if any one knows the procedure. The experince letters with Job Roles and responsibilities and which date the letter should be.

    And I am Commerce graduate now i am into SAP Consultant that is the reason they are asking how commerce graduate turn to IT.

    Please respond asap

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      padmasreenivas,

      Looks like they want to verify how you qualify for the offered position. So you need to submit detailed experience letters highlighting your skill sets, any trainings/certifications that you have taken etc. There is no set format.

      If you cannot get it from old employer, try to get it from ex-colleagues, preferably managers.

  16. H1B_Second_Timer

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have received below questions for RFE:

    I have filled as a Technical Specialist with extensive knowledge of web technologies namely java, extjs, jquery.

    1. The source of the instrumentalities and tools required to perform the speciality occupation
    2. How the speciality occupation work is part of your regular business
    3. Description of duties which are required to perform this job in USA

    #1 – does this related to tools used to achieve task and who will provide these tools etc…. I am really confused with this and my company visa team is not capable enough either. Please provide some insight

    In my opinion #2 would require explanation of my company’s work nature and how it goes inline with the task performed by me at client’s location. Please let me know if thats fine or is there is something else that should go.

    #3 would required detailed job description- Do we need to put same as that in LCA or can be different with more detail insight or should be LCA and addition of more.

    Please reply.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H1B_Second_Timer,

      An attorney would give a better response, but here is my opinion

      1. I think they are referring to the source of coding tools. So if you use Eclipse etc, you should mention that. If anything open source, you can mention it.

      2. Yes, that’s correct understanding

      3. It should be same as LCA

  17. Anu

    I have received RFE to provide US work Location details with Client letter. But I had filed H1 for lets say Location A, and my Client is ready for Location B.
    If I provide a new Work Location address during RFE , will they consider it ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anu,

      This would be tough. You will have to file new LCA which is not advised when the petition is pending. What is your attorney suggesting?

      1. Ravi

        @Saurabh: Same thing happened with me, Initially I came to Location 1 and then I got job in Location 2 for which my company already filled in the LCA and then what i did was changed job in Location 2 itself

        But now in Location 2 my new company has received an RFE and am not sure what could be the cause of it.

  18. Sanjay

    I cleared the 2016 lottery and after that applied for PP. Now received the RFE. My employer yet to disclose the reason for that. Whether the further process will be done in premium or it will be normal??

  19. Priyanka

    I work in a one person company who is filing the first H1B for the company. I received a specialty occupation RFE and my boss is not willing to provide the degrees of the previous american employees. Please help. If I do not provide the degrees, will my RFE response be complete?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Priyanka,

      Ask the employer/attorney how they plan to reply to RFE if not through submitting others’ resume. You mentioned that it is a one person company; so it is a valid scenario that no degrees exist for other employees. Maybe they can submit similar job openings from other reputed companies and show that they also require at least 4 years Bachelors degree.

  20. abdul

    H1b filed under cap exemption and received receipt on Mar29. may i know how many days will take to complete the process.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      abdul,

      Cap-exempt petition is taking several months. You can check the processing time on USCIS site for your service center for form I-129.

  21. Rajesh

    Hi.. My company has filed H1B CAP and I cleared the lottery in May 2015
    I have sent my RFE response on 23rd Oct 2015 for the H1B CAP.
    I’m still awaiting for the response from the US Embassy for the interview call.

    Its been more than 3 months. Is this delay is common?
    Should I wait for more time or pls guide me how do I proceed further?

  22. Rupali

    Hi,
    I need an urgent views on my problem regarding fresh h1b rfe. I got an rfe in regular processing in june 2015. It was replied in august 2015. But due to visa extension my husband filed his extension and not mine h4 extension so that my h1b status do not get affected by h4 extension. Now the problem is I want to file premium processing of my case because my h4 is getting over in oct 2015 and my h1b is still in rfe.. I have heard that upgrading rfe in PP will create issues?? Is it really so??? I do not get any logical explaination for this…. Can any body help me here and guide me whether i shud upgrade to PP or not…any serious suggestions will be very helpful…TIA RUPALI

  23. Ganesh

    Hi,

    I have completed my bachelor’s degree from distance learning Sikkim Manipal university (SMU) india. Currently my case status is RFE. I don’t know the exact reason for RFE. Is SMU degree is valid for H1-B?
    kindly reply me…
    Ganesh

  24. VK

    I got the RFE in the month of Sept 1st week 2014, i am still waiting the worst part is my employer is not ready to share the receipt number, anyone in the same boat……….!

    1. No

      Sounds fishy. I hope you did not pay anything. Taking money, not applying, then saying RFE without any receipt is their total benefit and your total loss.

  25. Arghya saha

    (1) USCIS is requesting evidence to prove that the offered position qualifies as a specialty occupation. ***CRITICAL***.

    Please describe ALL of the Associate’s job duties for Web Developer position in detail, with specific attention to the percentage of time spent performing each duty.
    Provide a complete list of various software tools, languages and technologies used to perform the job duties.
    Provide a detailed description of the Company project, and explain what the associate’s role within the project will be.

    I am from TCS.Is this common RFE?
    How are the chances to get it approved?

    1. Gupta

      Mr.___________, primary duties include but not limited to the following:
      • Designed and managed build and release methodologies using TFS for .net applications
      • Involved in the complete Software Development Life Cycle including Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing validation and Maintenance.
      • Responsible for development & documentation like writing UAT document.
      • Modeled the detailed design of the system using UML and MS Visio, Use Case Diagrams, Class
      • Diagrams, Sequence Diagrams, Activity Diagrams and State Chart Diagrams.
      • Developed application using ASP.NET, Kendo UI and Telerik controls
      • Validation is done using JavaScript, jQuery.
      • Developed data access layer using LINQ.
      • Used entity framework 5.
      • Used User Controls in Views and extended Telerik MVC grid to provide custom sorting, filtering and custom paging.
      • Involved in implementing the logic using C# and oops concept.
      • Involved in implementing the printing logic using kendo.
      • Design and development of a highly scalable, flexible and re-useable service layer for a variety of services by using Web Services. Extensively used CSS in designing the web pages for the application.
      • Developed Database Stored Procedures, User defined functions and Triggers using T-SQL.
      • Developed import package to import data from Excel, CSV files into SQL Server using SSIS.
      • Used build master to deploy project into multiple environments like testing, integration and production

    1. H1b applicant

      Hi,
      My petition was approved yesterday.
      RFE date: June 12th
      RFE response date: August 28 th
      Approval date: September 11 th.

      Good luck to everybody who are still waiting.

          1. SRR

            Did u get guys any updates?

            My case was in ‘RFE response received’ from Aug 5th 2015. Still no updates 😔

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