Case Study How to Answer the Level 1 Wage RFE


The short answer: get help! This is the most difficult RFE we've seen in many years, and definitely the most widespread. The sheer volume of Level 1 Wage RFEs pouring in from CIS onto H1B candidates is insanity. It is more important than ever that we take a stand and answer these RFEs for the sake of the H1B program, US STEM industries, and to continue to attract bright students to the United States for college and grad school. We have our work cut out for us.

This RFE targets computer programmers, citing text from the Occupational Outlook Handbook which states sometimes employers will hire entry level programmers with only a US Associates degree. Candidates in this situation run into trouble because H1B educational requirements state the candidate must hold a US Bachelors degree or its equivalent or higher to qualify, and that for the H1B job to qualify as adequately specialized for this visa classification, it must have a minimum requirement of a US Bachelors degree or higher in that field.

There are two main problems with the reasoning for this RFE:

1. Wage levels don't work like that. Just because an employee is paid level 1 wage doesn't mean that it's an entry-level job. There are many factors involved.

2. Most employers require a US Bachelors degree minimum for entry level computer programmers. One of the main purposes of the H1B program is to attract bright students to the United States for college by creating the opportunity to stay in the country under H1B status having earned their US Bachelors degree. However, just because an employee has a degree doesn't mean they have work experience in the field. New hires with advanced degrees have the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the field, but lack the applied experience necessary to start working without a significant amount of supervision and guidance. These are the candidates working at Level 1 Wage that this RFE hits hardest.

Both of these points and more need to be articulated, backed up by documentation and evidence in expert opinion letters to overturn this RFE. At, we have experts on hand 24/7 ready to write the letter to answer your client's RFE. We have had a 90% success rate with these RFEs. It takes extensive experience working with H1B RFEs, vigilance of CIS approval trends, in-depth understanding of international education and H1B visa requirements, and some creativity.

For a no charge and no obligation review of your case, please send the following documents to


• Beneficiary's Resume and Educational Documents

• Employer Support Letter

• Detailed Job Description and Job Duties

• The RFE

We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full analysis of your case, or your employee or client's case, and, if we can help you, information on prices and how to order.

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.