How Going Back to the Basics Can Solve Your RFE Woes


At, we see a lot of seemingly complicated H1B RFEs this time of year. Clients come in with RFEs that can be virtually impossible to answer by their own instructions. This is a frustrating time of year, especially given that CIS approval trends change from year to year.

If you or your employee or client received an RFE on their H1B petition, read it over but don't get caught up in the wording. Instead, go back to the basics to find out what CIS is really asking for in requesting the evidence indicated.

The original H1B eligibility requirements are your key to successfully answering an RFE with as little stress as possible. Find out which requirements were lacking in evidence to prove that the candidate, the job, and the employer meet them.

H1B qualified candidates work specialty occupations, hold the necessarily US degree or foreign equivalent, and have an employer-employee relationship with an employer that is economically viable and paying them prevailing wages and benefits. Specialty occupation is defined as a job requiring such a high level of skill that the candidate must have a US bachelor's degree or higher or its foreign equivalent in the exact field of the job to have the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the duties of the job.

So read over the RFE and find out which of these requirements is in question. Is CIS cautious about the employer or the employee contract? Are the wage rates in question? Is CIS unclear whether the job is specialized to fit H1B guidelines? If these are where evidence was lacking in the initial petition, you can submit pay stubs, a copy of the employee contract and job description, and tax information about the employer. If the job is in question, send in the ad for the job that indicates the minimum qualifications. You may also need to provide evidence that similar jobs in the same industry in similar companies also require a minimum of a US bachelor's degree or higher to perform its duties. If this particular job requires a unique level of specialization, be sure to include an expert opinion letter and evidence to back it up as to why this is the case.

Oftentimes, CIS is cautious about a candidate because of the education. Candidates with degrees from outside of the United States, or degrees with majors that are not an exact fit for their H1B job, and candidates who have not completed college need to work harder to prove to CIS that their education is sufficiently specialized to meet H1B requirements. Each of these situations requires a credential evaluation tailored to the candidate's unique education and work experience, as well as their job, H1B educational requirements, and CIS approval trends.

At, we always keep one eye on the education and the other on CIS. If you have any questions, please call or email any time and we will respond promptly. Simply go to, or call 800-771- 4723.

About The Author

Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI,, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to or call 800.771.4723.

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