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  • Article: H1B Alert: CIS is WRONG About Level 1 Wages RFE By Sheila Danzig

    H1B Alert: CIS is WRONG About Level 1 Wages RFE


    Employment issues are this year's justification for the slew of RFEs CIS issued targeting computer programmers applying for H1B visa status.

    The problem arises when employers mark the occupation as Level 1 Wage on the Labor Conditions Application (LCA) they must file. CIS released a memo in late March indicating that computer programmers at Level 1 Wages will not qualify because entry level computer programmers only need an Associate's degree while H1B status requires a US Bachelor's degree or higher or its foreign equivalent. They are using this justification to issue RFEs instead of approvals to these candidates.

    Here's the problem: Just because an employee is making Level 1 Wages doesn't mean it's an entry level job. That's not how wage levels work.

    The other problem is that CIS cites the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook where it states that some employers will hire entry level computer programmers at Level 1 Wages. This same section also states that usually an employer will require a Bachelor's degree. CIS only uses part of the whole statement to justify pidgeonholing an entire segment of the H1B candidacy.

    The March Memo signaled a complete change in the way CIS views and deals with Wage Level 1 computer programmers. CIS is wrong and it's up to all of us to stand up to them. Here's how: successfully answer the RFE!

    At TheDegreePeople.com, we have had 90% success in answering Employment Issue RFEs this year. We have experts on hand who can write detailed, well-documented opinion letters that show the job is specialized to H1B standards and that the wage level does not equate to the degree of specialization.

    If you or your employee or client received an employment issue RFE, we can help. Simply go to ccifree.com/?CodeLWA for a free consultation.

    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/?CodeLWA/ 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 began advising my own H-1B sponsor clients not to use Level 1 salaries around 2 or more years ago, when RFE's or denials for Level 1 wages started to appear in general, not just for jobs in the computer field.

      Ms. Danzig is absolutely correct in saying that the USCIS rationale for assuming that a Level 1 position ipso facto cannot be a specialty occupation is totally wrong; this conclusion is in direct conflict with the H-1B law and regulations themselves, which use the educational requirement for qualifying for entry level positions as the test for deciding whether a given job is a specialty occupation for H-1B purposes!

      However, an immigration lawyer's job is to get meritorious petitions approved, not to make doomed, or at least uphill, attempts to win academic arguments with USCIS.

      The way to get H-1B petitions approved is to heed the USCIS Handwriting on the Wall (the Biblical one, not Donald Trump's Mexican border wall). That handwriting is clear. To anyone who is thinking of filing a Level 1 salary LCA for any H-1B petition, my suggestion would be: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin (the words which appeared in the Handwriting on the Wall according to the Book of Daniel).

      What do these ancient, strange sounding words mean in the H-1B context? The answer is plain: If an H-1B employer wants to have the petition approved, Don't Use Level 1 Wages For Any Position.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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