Your H1B Last Minute Filing Tips
We’re officially right next to the last minute. April 1st is around the corner and to make the H1B lottery, you need to make sure your petition is filed by April 1st if possible because in the past few years CIS has been flooded with petitions and closed its doors in five days.
Don’t let the time crunch cause you to file a disorganized or incomplete petition. There’s no point in making the FY2018 lottery if your petition, or your employee or client’s petition is just going to get an RFE or Denial. Here’s what you can do to make the most of the next few weeks:
1. Double-check all documents for consistency.
Make sure the dates, locations, and spellings are consistent on all documents included in your client’s petition. If there are errors or inconsistencies, CIS will be skeptical of the validity of the education and employment history, and H1B eligibility. Just a simple double-check will significantly reduce the likelihood of an RFE.
2. Make sure everything you need is included and in order.
The petition must CLEARLY SHOW that the job is a specialty occupation, and that the candidate has the proper education needed for their H1B job, and H1B visa status. That means the job must require a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent, and you or your employee or client must meet these education requirements. That means you need the ad or employee contract for the job showing the minimum education requirements, as well as documentation that similar jobs for the same industry also hold these specialized education requirements. If this job is uniquely specialized, include an expert opinion letter explaining why this is the case.
If you or your employee or client has a degree from outside of the United States, no degree, or a degree in a field that doesn’t EXACTLY match their job, you will need to include an evaluation of the candidate’s credentials and work experience. This evaluation must clearly show that you or your employee or client has the educational equivalence of the required degree. When you file, make sure all of this is in order and readable.
3. Let us review the candidate’s education and work experience to make sure they qualify. There is no charge.
Before you file, let us provide a pre-evaluation with all of your options to help prevent or overturn an educational RFE. Simply go to ccifree.com and send us the candidate’s full name and the title of the job, and attach copies of all of the education documents and a current, accurate resume. We will get back to you within 24 hours with a pre-evaluation and all of your options.
Taking this extra step before you file will save you a ton of grief in the long run. If the candidate’s education will not stand up to CIS requirements, you need to know NOW. We work regularly with H1B cases and H1B RFE cases. Let us review the candidate’s education and work experience to make sure you have everything you need included in the petition for CIS to approve it. Sometimes, you or your employee or client WILL need a credential evaluation to fill in the gaps of the education. Work experience conversions to college credit are common with this visa, particularly for candidates with three-year Indian bachelor’s degrees. At TheDegreePeople, we have found that those who file petitions WITH a credential evaluation have had far fewer RFEs for specialty occupation issues than those who filed without one.
There is no point in filing a petition CIS will not approve. Best-case scenario, you will have to deal with an RFE in the near future. No matter how crunched you are feeling for time, do NOT forgo this essential third tip. Fortunately, agencies that specialize in evaluations for visas understand the needs of their clients and anticipate your needs at the very last minute.
At TheDegreePeople, we offer 3-hour rush delivery service when needed. Before you file, let us provide a pre-evaluation with all of your options to help prevent or overturn an educational RFE.
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.