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  • Article: 3 Tips to Answering the Double Specialty Occupation and Wage Level H1B RFE By Sheila Danzig

    3 Tips to Answering the Double Specialty Occupation and Wage Level H1B RFE

    by


    When CIS finds one problem with an H1B petition, they tend to find more. RFEs regarding multiple issues are common, and one of the most frequent ones we've seen is the Specialty Occupation and Wage Level Double RFE.

    This RFE deals with two H1B eligibility requirements:

    1. The job in question must require a US bachelor's degree or higher or its equivalent to meet specialization requirements.

    2. The employer must pay the H1B employee the prevailing wage for that position, in that industry, in that geographical location for companies of that size.

    This double RFE occurs when CIS believes a wage level is set too low for the job in question. Then, it goes a step further, reasoning that if the wage level is set below the prevailing wage, the job must not actually be as specialized as it needs to be for visa approval.

    For example, computer programmers making level 1 wages ran into trouble last year because the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook states entry level computer programmers are sometimes hired with only a US associate's degree. They reasoned that because of this, the job computer programmer at level 1 wages did not meet the H1B specialization requirement of needing a US bachelor's degree or higher or its equivalent as a minimum for entry into the position. Either that, or the wage level is set too low.

    While this job in particular was the target of an unprecedented number of double RFEs last year, it wasn't the only position called into question using this justification. There are two problems with CIS' reasoning with this RFE.

    1. If most employers require a minimum of a US bachelor's degree or its equivalent for entry into the position, this ought to be seen as an industry standard even though some employers don't have this hiring practice.

    2. There are many factors that go into determining the wage level of a job. The fact that a job is set at level 1 wages doesn't mean it's necessarily an entry level position.

    How can you answer the Specialty Occupation and Wage Level Double RFE?

    1. Avoid it in the first place. If a job can be set at a higher wage level that better fits the position in the Occupational Outlook Handbook that meets H1B requirements, go with that. It's also a good idea to provide extra documentation explaining the duties of the job, the level of supervision and training required, and the factors that went into determining the wage level.

    2. Include an expert opinion letter in your RFE response. Your additional evidence needs to include an expert opinion letter that explains why the wage level and the job meet H1B requirements to strengthen your case, give it more legitimacy, and clearly explain to CIS what's really going on.

    3. Just ONE letter to cover both issues. You only need to order one expert opinion letter to answer this RFE, even though there are two issues. Just one letter can cover both topics, and should because these issues are inextricably linked in this RFE.

    At TheDegreePeople, we have experts on hand 24/7 with the highest rate of getting these RFEs overturned ready to write the letter you, or your employee or client needs to get that double RFE overturned. For a free review of your case and consultation, visit ccifree.com/?CodeLWA/ and we will get back to you in 48 hours or less.


    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.

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