How to Prevent Wage Level and Specialty Occupation Issues this H1B Season


It’s a new year and that means now is the time to start organizing cap-subject H1B petitions for filing the first week of April.

The past two years saw a spike in RFE responses to H1B petitions, so much so that they have now become the norm. This year, a USCIS memorandum has changed petition filing – both for the better and for the worse.

First, the good news is that the initial filing is electronic and no paperwork must be submitted until the beneficiary is notified that they were selected in the lottery. The bad news is that adjudicators can now deny petitions without first issuing an RFE. That means if you, or if your employee or client is selected, you need to anticipate any issues that may arise in the petition before you file because this year there will be very few second chances.

Every year, we say it’s always easier to prevent an RFE than to answer one. This year, there is no choice. This comes hand in hand with the trend of tightening H1B approval trends we have seen over the past few years. CIS questioned whether occupations that historically have never run into trouble meet specialization requirements. H1B employees making level two and level one wages came under fire. We were able to successfully answer this double RFE with an expert opinion letter that clearly explained how the position in question met specialization requirements and all of the factors that went into setting the wage level for the position.

This year, you need to submit this letter right at the beginning along with documentation that clearly shows the position in question requires a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree to perform. This means showing past hiring practices, including the ad for the job alongside ads for the same position in similar companies in the industry, and a detailed breakdown of the specialized duties of the job.

You only need one letter to address both issues. At TheDegreePeople we have experts in every field on hand 24/7 to write the expert opinion letter you need, or your employee or client needs to prevent any specialty occupation or wage level issues their petition may encounter. For a free review of your case, visit We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.

About The Author

Sheila Danzig is an experienced foreign credential evaluator whose focus on dynamic response to USCIS trends has put her at the cutting edge of evaluation today. As Executive Director of Career Consulting International (CCI), Florida, since 2002, she has worked closely with immigration attorneys to assist with highly demanding credential-related matters, including Referrals for Evidence, Denials and Administrative Appeals Office proceedings. CCI has become known for its expert advocacy in many thousands of immigration cases, evolving new techniques and strategies to respond to the constantly-changing interpretations of USCIS and drawing on its own specialist research into international credentials and their equivalencies. Dr Danzig was educated at Hunter College, NY (BA), the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (MA) and the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica (EdD). At TheDegreePeople we have experts on hand to write opinion letters that cover both wage level and specialty occupation issues in the same document. We also have experienced credential evaluators at your service who work regularly with difficult RFEs and their solutions. Every year, it is essential to cover all your bases before you file. This year, it is critical. Let us review your case, or your employee or client’s case for free to make sure any potential approval issues are fully anticipated and addressed in the initial petition. Visit and we will get back to you in 48 hours or less.