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  • Article: H1B: You Can Prevent RFEs by Getting Ready Early By Sheila Danzig

    H1B: You Can Prevent RFEs by Getting Ready Early

    by


    2017 is well underway and that means H1B filing season starts sooner than you think. H1B filing season will most certainly end soon as well. For the past few years, CIS has only accepted petitions for the required five business days before shutting its doors because an excess of petitions that far exceeds the annual cap flow in. Getting started early will help keep you out of trouble come filing time, and prevent RFEs.

    Make sure the petition is all ready to file on April 1st, 2017, and make sure everything is included and in order. The excess of petitions for the same annual visa cap – 65,000 cap-subject H1B visas for candidates who hold Bachelor’s degrees or higher, and an extra 20,000 for candidates who hold Master’s degrees or higher – means CIS is overworked, overwhelmed, and trying to weed petitions out. This has lead to an upsurge in the prevalence of RFEs. Education RFEs are particularly common as CIS approval trends regarding education have changed to be stricter, and this particular visa is very education-focused in terms of candidate eligibility.

    Early on in the preparation process, make sure to have a good foreign credential evaluation agency review your case, or your employee or client’s case, even if you’re the degree was earned in the United States. A credential evaluator with experience working with H1B cases and RFEs knows how to spot problems and gaps in your case, or your employee or client’s case, and discern how – if possible – to address them in the initial filing.

    At TheDegreePeople, we work with H1B cases and their subsequent RFEs all the time. Over the past few years, these are the main problems we have seen:

    1. Counterfeit documents. If you or your employee or client has counterfeit educational documents, an experienced credential evaluator can spot them before CIS does when you file.

    2. False translations. If the educational transcripts were originally in a language other an English and have been translated, you MUST have a credential evaluator review the translated documents before you file. This is because educational value does not directly translate with the words. The titles of some degrees do not have a direct English translation, some degrees are US Bachelor’s degree equivalencies but do not have the word “degree” in the title, and some degrees translate directly into the names of degrees in English that do not hold the same educational value. Some translation agencies have set up as a “one-stop-shop” for translation and evaluation. DO NOT WORK WITH THESE AGENCIES! Translation and evaluation are two completely different, highly specialized services and translation agencies attempting to evaluate international education have lead to an upsurge in falsely translated and evaluated documents that land H1B candidates with RFEs or worse. An experienced foreign credentials evaluation agency can spot false translations before you file.

    3. Candidate’s work and education do not match the job offer. CIS requires a candidate’s education to be an exact match for their job offer. That means a job in biology requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher in biology – not in physics, chemistry, or geology. A job in economics requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher in economics – not in business. In the past, CIS would approve candidates with degrees in related specializations, but over the past six or seven years this has not been the case. If you or your employee or client is in this situation, have a good credential evaluator with experience working with H1B cases and RFEs review the work experience and transcripts. With a detailed evaluation that takes a close look at the course content of the education in question and converts years of progressive work experience in the field into years of college credit in that major, you can fill in the educational gaps in your case, or your employee or client’s case. This is dependent entirely on whether or not you or your employee or client has the right kind of work experience in the right field, and enough of it, and whether or not you or your employee or client took enough classes in the field of employ during college.

    4. Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree without work experience. CIS will not approve candidates with three-year Bachelor’s degrees for H1B visas without accounting for the missing fourth year. The only way to do this that we’ve seen work every time is including a credential evaluation that converts three years of progressive work experience in the field of employ into one year of college credit in that major. CIS defines “progressive” work experience to mean that the candidate clearly mastered skills and knowledge specialized to the field through this work experience. This is evidenced by the candidate having taken on more responsibility and complexity in their work as time went on. If you or your employee or client has a three-year Bachelor’s degree, have a good credential evaluator with experience working with H1B cases, three-year degrees, and RFEs regarding three-year degrees review the education and work experience to see if the proper conversions can be made to fill in the educational gaps in your case.

    Reprinted with permission.


    About The Author

    Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI, TheDegreePeople.com, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a free 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.

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