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H1B 2021 RFE: F1 Maintenance of Status (STEM OPT), Approval Docs

Most of the users, who were lucky in this year’s H1B Registration Lottery  would have applied H1B Visa 2021 petition with USCIS. As per USCIS 2020 Report, there were about 35% of H1B petitions that ended up in Request for Evidence (RFE). One of our readers, who applied for H1B 2021 petition as Change of Status, received an RFE that is related to maintenance of status on F1 visa.  The user (anonymous) was kind enough to take time and share the samples of the same on how RFE was addressed and finally got approval. Thanks a lot to our reader for sharing all details, hope it will help others who may end up in similar situation.

Background of H1B 2021 Petition

  • MS in Computer Science from US schools.
  • Worked on OPT & STEM OPT.
  • STEM OPT expired in July 2020.
  • Currently working on STEM OPT in Cap Gap.
  • Applied for FY 2021 cap in H1B registration, got picked in first round lottery

H1B Petition Premium Processing, Maintenance of Status RFE

My petition was sent in April, however after waiting for 3 months we upgraded to premium in the first week of July. The RFE was issued the next day after USCIS received the premium request packet. However, we came to know that we got RFE after 15 days (status never changed to RFE sent, it was we received your case and sent you email notice). The H1B Case Status Online can be misleading, so always check with your employer or attorney.  The H1B RFE was related to F1 Visa maintenance of status as my H1B was filed as Change (COS).

Why I got H1B RFE – Possible Reasons ?

I worked for a total of 3 different employers (including the current one) after my Master’s graduation.  All the changes to employers were updated in SEVIS by DSO as I shared the same details.  I verified the changes in SEVP portal.  I believe, the RFE was issued because my latest I20 submitted with H1B petition had the parent company’s name, but my H1B was filed by subsidiary company. Although throughout I-983 STEM training plan, the company name was listed as Subsidiary/Parent ex. Google/Alphabet. Below is the RFE that I received.  

USCIS RFE Copy for Maintenance of Status

Below is the RFE Copy received from USCIS.

USCIS H1B RFE 2021 - Page 1
USCIS F1 Maintenance of Status RFE for H1B COS – Page 1
F1 OPT Maintenance of Status RFE for H1B - Page 2
USCIS F1 Maintenance of Status RFE for H1B COS – Page 2
F1 OPT Maintenance of Status RFE for H1B - Page 3
USCIS F1 Maintenance of Status RFE for H1B COS – Page 3

RFE Response for Maintenance of Status – F1 Cap Gap

My company submitted the RFE response within the time frame. Below are things that were submitted:

  • All Pay stubs and W2 tax forms after my graduation from all the employers
  • Experience letters from the previous employers
  • All the I-983 training plans

Below are the list of documents that I submitted related to current employer

  • Weekly task lists I did at my company
  • List of Jira tickets in CSV file ( Jira – internal development tracking system )
  • 7 weeks of Training plan designed by Manager
  • Bi-Weekly power point deck that I gave based on the training plan i983
  • Cover letter about the proof that I wasn’t working on the client site. I provided the address where I am currently working and the address was also the same as mentioned on the training plan, along with details how my degree is relevant to the job. Explained about all the subjects I did in masters and bachelors and how they were relevant
  • List of courses enrolled with Syllabus (relevant to above point on bi-weekly power point, training plan)
  • Snapshot of Git page of my profile showing contribution
  • A pull request(PR) on GitHub snapshot example how the process follows. So on training plan i983, it states that for the work I do would be reviewed by my manager and manager will review the code and request changes if needed or approve. So, for one of my ticket, I took a PR where my manager is asking me to do couple of changes and then after making changes he finally approves. So entire conversation on PR.

H1B Approval : We got H1B approval 8 calendar days after submitting RFE Response. Hope this experience helps others.


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  1. I have got a similar RFE and my employer has submitted the response . Did You File for premium processing to get RFE response in 8 days?


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