What Makes an H-1B Job a Specialty Occupation?


Over the past few years, H-1B cap-subject petitions have received record-breaking rates of RFEs for Specialty Occupation. Many of these RFEs struck occupations that had never been called into question before.

USCIS visa approval trends change every year, and often the RFEs issued are virtually unanswerable by their own guidelines. At TheDegreePeople.com we always advise our clients facing difficult RFEs to go back to the basics: what are the original H-1B requirements? Specifically for the Specialty Occupation RFE, the central question is what makes a job a Specialty Occupation? Answer this question and you’ve answered the issue.

USCIS determines that a job does meet specialty occupation requirements if it meets one of these four standards:

1. This position normally requires a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher to be hired.

2. This position in the specific industry or for this specific employer requires a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher because of the unique complexity of this position.

3. A bachelor’s degree or higher minimum requirement for this position is a standard hiring practice for this specific employer.

4. This specific position in question is uniquely specialized to the extent that only a candidate with a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher has the skills and knowledge necessary to performing the duties and responsibilities of the position.

The decision is based on the entry for the position in the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the opinions of experts, and on the details and documentation provided about the duties and responsibilities of the job, past hiring practices for the position, and industry standards when it comes to educational and experiential background for the position in question.

Read the Occupational Outlook Handbook for your H-1B position, or your employee or client’s H-1B position to understand which avenue is most appropriate to take for proving specialization. Then, it’s your job to find the right expert to lend their opinion in a letter to fortify your case. This expert works in the field of the specialty occupation, which means the expert cannot just be a professor who TEACHES the field but must have extensive field experience. Then you must provide the expert and USCIS a detailed job description that emphasizes theoretical and practical application of specialized skills and knowledge on the job. Provide proof of industry standard through showing USCIS ads for the same position for a different company in the industry, and provide documentation of past hiring practices.

At TheDegreePeople.com, we have experts in every specialization on hand to write the expert opinion letter you need, or your employee or client needs to get that H-1B visa approved. They all have extensive experience and prestige in their field. For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com/?CodeLWA/. 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 ccifree.com/?CodeLWA/ and we will get back to you in 48 hours or less.