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The most common type of RFEs for H-1B visas relate to specialty occupation requirements

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H-1B Specialty Occupation RFE

You may need a Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter

Specialty Occupation Request for Evidence

The most common type of Request for Evidence (RFE) that the USCIS issues is a specialty occupation RFE. In a specialty occupation RFE, the USCIS is questioning whether the position and/or beneficiary meets specialty occupation requirements, namely whether the position requires a bachelor's degree or above and whether the beneficiary has met this requirement.

If you received an RFE, take a big breath and relax!

Most H-1B RFEs convert to acceptances. And can help by providing you with the Expert Opinion Letter and / or academic transcript evaluation that you need.

Sometimes referred to as an H-1B Expert Opinion Letter, a Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter is used to provide supporting evidence that explains whether or why a position would require no less than a certain university degree, typically a bachelor's or master's degree. In some cases, an Expert Opinion Letter may also explain why a beneficiary's degree qualifies the beneficiary for the position.

For instance, imagine that Partha Echambadi has applied for a position as a "Web Developer" with "XYZ Tech Corp" and received a specialty occupation RFE questioning why the position requires a bachelor's degree and why his degree in MIS from Pace University qualifies him for the role. To respond to this RFE, Partha would work with a one of the 100+ esteemed discipline experts associated with ProfVal.  In this case, an expert opinion letter  from ProfVal written by an MIS or Computer Science Professor would respond to this RFE by writing a Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter:

  • Explaining why each major duty would require this degree or an equivalent one, assuming that it does

  • Since this position is consistent with the SOC code of ​15-1254.00, the expert would explain why this role is consistent with the requirement of a bachelor's degree. Note: 46% of web developer roles require this degree according to O*Net

  • Explaining why the degree from Pace University, a fully accredited U.S. university qualifies Mr. Echambadi for this position

This RFE would, in some cases, be slightly more complex if Mr. Echambadi had earned his degree in another country. If this had occurred, he would need an academic transcript evaluation to demonstrate whether his degree was equivalent to a U.S. degree in MIS.


If he did not have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree based on academic experience, he might need a Work Experience Expert Opinion Letter.  Let's assume that Partha had 6 years of progressive work experience in web development; based on the 3:1 rule (work experience to academic preparation), his work experience may be deemed as equivalent to 2 years of academic preparation within web development assuming that certain conditions are met.

Read more about specialty occupation requirements, including real examples of recent successes

Other pages you may find interesting

On H-1B​

External Websites

  • General requirements of H-1B

    • In-depth discussion of H-1B qualifications (

    • Visit the USCIS page regarding H-1B visa requirements (USCIS)

  • Read about specialty occupation requirements

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