Proving – H1B Specialty Occupation RFEs

One of the most common RFEs received each year is the Specialty Occupation RFE.  Last year was no different except for the monumental number of them dealing with wage level issues.  The most concerning pertained to Business analysts and computer systems analysts making level 1 wages.  This issue exists across the board and affects all fields of H1B employment.

For a job to quality for H1B status, there must be a minimum requirement of a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to gain employment.  CIS uses the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to determine if a job meets this requirement.  This handbook is used to determine the general industry requirements for the job in question at that wage level.

Below is a list of common problems that could result in a specialty occupation RFE being issued:

  1. Misleading Wage Level – Due to the many factors used to determine wage levels at times the job title and the wage level can seem out of balance.  For instance, last year saw a sharp increase in RFEs last season for analysts making level 1 wages.  Many jobs set at level 1 wages are not considered a true entry level position.
  2. Complex not Standard – Many times a job does not fit the mold and adhere to industry standards. Many jobs in today’s market have a unique complexity that can only be meet with an advanced degree.
  3. Underqualified Candidates – Even with an industry requirement of an advanced degree, some employers hire employees without the proper qualifications. In other words, due to extenuating circumstances, employees are hired who do not possess the required US Bachelor’s degree.

When a Specialty Occupation RFE is received, there are 3 steps to overturning the RFE or denial using a Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter.

  1. Investigate – Read the passage from the Occupational Outlook Handbook closely. Look for a discrepancy between the initial application concerning your client’s job and the issues listed in the RFE.
  2. Compile and Provide – Gather ads for the job and similar jobs with other comparable companies listing the degree requirements. Compile any evidence showing a requirement of an advanced degree.  Provide evidence of a history of this employer filling this position with employees holding this advanced degree as a minimum requirement.
  3. Reply – Answer the RFE with a well-written Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter.

Number 3 on the list is where Eagle Consulting LLC comes into the picture.  Our staff at Eagle Consulting LLC works diligently with Dr. Dawn Sullivan.  Dr. Sullivan possesses one of the highest rate of success in answering and reversing Specialty Occupation RFEs.

If you need a free review of your case, visit

2018-06-12T16:34:46+00:00 June 12th, 2018|

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