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  • Article: What’s the Scariest H1-B RFE Out There? The Kitchen Sink! by Sheila Danzig

    What’s the Scariest H1-B RFE Out There? The Kitchen Sink!


    It’s been called impossible. It’s been called ridiculous. It’s been called the Nightmare, and it’s been called the Kitchen Sink…because absolutely everything is in it including the Kitchen Sink. It’s the scariest RFE out there and we’ve been seeing more and more of them every year.

    Just what exactly is the Kitchen Sink?

    Take a look for yourself:

    Evaluation of Training and/or Experience by a College Official: Submit an evaluation form from an official who has authority to grant college-level credit for training and/or experience in the specialty of a Graphic Designer. The evaluation must be from an accredited college or university that has a program for granting such credit in the field of study based on an individual's training and/or work experience. Note: College or university professors writing evaluations as consultants on behalf of private educational credentials evaluation firms with not satisfy this requirement as regulations limit the scope of their evaluation only to foreign education. The evaluation by an official, preferably the Registrar of a college or university must be on behalf (on the letterhead) of the college or university where they are employed and have authority to grant college credit for training and/or experience. A private educational credentials evaluation service may not evaluate an alien's work experience or training; because these regulations limit the scope of educational credential evaluators to evaluating only foreign education. Professors writing evaluations as consultants may, in the alternative, be considered as recognized authorities if they can clearly establish their qualifications as experts; provide specific instances where past opinions have been accepted as authoritative and by whom; clearly show how conclusions were reached; and show the basis for the conclusions with copies or citations of any research material used. This evaluation should describe the material evaluated and establish that the areas of experience are related to the specialty. Resumes or Curriculum Vitae alone are usually insufficient to satisfy this requirement. Also, provide a letter from the Registrar of the institution (on the institution's letterhead) to establish that the particular evaluating official is authorized to grant college-level credit on behalf of their institution, and that the evaluator holds a bachelor's degree in the field of study he or she is evaluating. Further, provide written verification or other documents or records to clearly substantiate that the evaluator is actually employed by the claimed college or university. Provide copies of pertinent pages from the college or university catalog to show that it has a program for granting college-level credit based on training and/or experience. Merely stating in a letter that the school has such a program is insufficient. The program must be clearly substantiated. Further, CLEP and PONSI equivalency exams or special credit programs do not satisfy this requirement because the regulation requires that the beneficiary produce the results of such exams or programs in order for them to qualify. Also, training or experience derived from internship programs may not satisfy this requirement unless you can establish that the experience or training claimed was gained through enrollment in the particular college or university's internship program. Moreover, provide evidence to show the total amount of college credit the Registrar or evaluator may grant for training or experience as part of the program. The evaluator may provide copies of the evaluation made by a school official, preferably the Registrar, which clearly shows how the alien met the college or university's program requirements and how much possible college credit the alien may be granted for his or her training and experience.

    Trembling yet?

    This RFE is virtually impossible. We’re not sure what triggers it, and we’re not sure that CIS even has the right to ask this of anyone. Even if it were possible to gather every last bit of evidence and documentation this RFE asks of candidates, with the number of agencies and individuals you would have to go through, there is literally no way this could be done in time to answer the RFE. Not to mention the cost would be enormous.

    At TheDegreePeople, we see a handful of these RFEs every year and we know of NO ONE who can actually meet all of the demands in this RFE. We DO, however, know how to respond to it.

    Instead of looking at this RFE in terms of the documentation it asks for, we look at what CIS is really trying to determine with the demands they make. We answer the underlying questions backed up with evidence and documentation. With a slightly different approach and a new credential evaluation, roughly 95% of all of the Kitchen Sinks that come across our desks are approved.

    It’s a seeing the forest through the trees approach – take a step back and look at the big picture. Since we work with difficult cases and RFEs on a regular basis, and follow CIS approval trends very closely, we know what the forest looks like.

    If you, or your client or employee receives the Kitchen Sink, take a deep breath and a big step back. Don’t get thrown off course by getting caught up in the wording. Keep in mind what needs to be done to meet the original H-1B requirements and make the changes to the case necessary to meet these requirements. The answer to this RFE is not in the Kitchen Sink. Consult with people who have encountered the Kitchen Sink before and know how to navigate it.

    Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI, TheDegreePeople.com, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a no-charge analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      I have had, and have answered successfully, far worse H-1B RFE's than this one. The RFE that Ms. Danzig calls "kitchen sink" only deals with the academic credentials evaluation, which is her field of expertise. Beyond that, it only deals with the admittedly complex requirements for evaluations done by college officials.

      This RFE does not say anything about evaluations doe by private evaluation services. As long as one uses as well-known and highly reputable private service, such as Ms. Danzig's, there is usually no problem in having a credential evaluation accepted by USCIS.

      I have rarely, if ever, run into any questions about having an academic equivalency evaluation by a reputable private evaluation service accepted.

      This is not to say that academic credentials are unimportant in H-1B cases. They are very important.

      But the toughest H-1B RFE's that I have had in my more than 25 years of doing H-1B's under the current system have been the ones in which the Service argues that the job description does not come up to H-1B level, or that, even if it does, the employer does not have sufficient business or resources to offer the beneficiary H-1B level employment. This has nothing to do with the sufficiency of academic evaluations.

      I will have more to say about this in my own ilw.com blogging comments.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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