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H-1B RFEs are no fun, but receiving one is normal

Getting an RFE is normal, and the top 5 reasons that H-1B RFEs are issued are well-documented.  While getting an RFE is not what you hoped for, getting an RFE does not mean that your petition has been rejected. Rather, the USCIS has simply asked you for more evidence.

So if you received an RFE, take a deep breath and remember that most H-1B RFEs are ultimately accepted assuming that you follow the right steps.  

The first step is to speak with your attorney.  Subsequent steps may be to get the evidence requested, which may include responding to the RFE with an Expert Opinion Letter or Academic Equivalence Evaluation

What are the top 5 reasons for getting an RFE?

  1. Specialty Occupation Position: The H-1B is a work-based visa for specialty occupations, which are positions that require no less than a bachelor’s degree within a specific specialized field as a minimal qualification criteria

  2. Employer-Employee Relationship: If you or your employer did not demonstrate that your employer has the “right to control [your] work” or “the ability to hire, fire, or supervise” you (x), then the USCIS may question your employer-employee relationship.

  3. Availability of Work (Off-site): If you are planning to work for a client off-site, it can be helpful to include any contracts or statements of work that show that your role is a “specific and non-speculative” (xii)for the full duration of your time. If the USCIS questions whether you will be fully employed for the duration of your visa, they may issue a denial or RFE.

  4. Beneficiary Qualifications: Much as a position must require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum entry requirement, the beneficiary (i.e. you if you are the petitioner) must also show that your degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in the appropriate field.

  5. Maintenance of Status: “The petitioner did not establish that the beneficiary properly maintained their current status. This category is reflective of many different reasons that status may not have been maintained."

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