H1B RFE (Request for Evidence) can be really frustrating. In this article let us find out the reasons for H1B RFE and how fix the issues. Before we discuss the RFE, let us understand a bit about the USA H1B visa.
The H1B Visa
This is one of the most sought after visa to the US currently where the applicant can work in the country on a temporary basis. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa for employing temporary workers trained in a specialty occupation.
People who are highly skilled and have thorough knowledge in their area of specialization are usually granted this visa.
The visa can be beneficial to the non-immigrants working in the different industrial sectors like medicine, accounting, research, law, engineering, architecture, and journalism.
The sponsorship for this visa needs to be made by a company that is legal with which the applicant has been working.
The employer needs to offer a position to the employee in the US and submit the application with the US immigration department. Once the visa is approved the applicant gets a work permit to work for that company in the US.
H1B Visa – Criteria For Eligibility
- Practical and theoretical knowledge required for a specialty occupation is required
- A master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree or something equivalent
Reasons For USCIS Issuing H1B RFE
There are times when the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) do not approve an application due to lack of necessary documents and supporting evidence. When the case is such, the USCIS send out a Request for Evidence (RFE) to the applicant.
The applicant is required to submit additional proof that is valid so that the authorities can arrive at a decision regarding the visa. The number of RFE’s sent out by the immigration authorities are going high every year.
In case the documents that are submitted fails to satisfy the USCIS authorities your H1B Visa is more than likely to get rejected.
Getting an H1B RFE doesn’t mean that your visa has been rejected and there is no need for panic. Request for Evidence is usually issued in cases where:
- The submitted documents for evidence raises several questions that need to be answered before establishing the applicant is eligible.
- The documents are insufficient to approve the visa
- The visa cannot be approved as the documents points towards the applicant’s ineligibility.
When the applicant receives an RFE they need to submit the additional documents required to satisfy the missing pieces of information. The case officer can decide on the eligibility of the visa applicant based on that.
Below listed are the most common reason when an applicant receives H1B RFE:
Lack Of Sufficient Proof Of Qualification
Only the people who qualify for specialty occupation is granted the H1B Visa. To get the visa the minimum qualification required is a Bachelor’s degree in the area of specialization or a degree equivalent to that.
When the criteria for specialty occupation are not met the USCIS would issue an RFE. In such a situation the applicant would have to submit additional documents which include the details of the job description, past work experiences, and achievements in their specific area of specialization.
Discrepancy In The Details Of The Employer
To gather the information of the employers who have petitioned for an H1B Visa the USCIS uses a tool. The tool is called Validation Instruments for Business Enterprises (VIBE). The discrepancies in the employer information are revealed using this tool.
The details could be regarding financial statements, salary reports or tax ID numbers. The USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE) in such a situation to clarify the discrepancies in the employer information.
Healthy Relationship Between The Employer And Employee
To get the visa there should be a healthy relationship between the employer and the employee. The employer should have proper control in the work of the applicant including the right to appoint the employee, supervise the work and to dismiss the employee when the situation demands it.
An RFE is issued when the employer has failed to submit all the proof required to establish this relationship or in the case when the employee is expected to work offsite most of the time. The petitioner has to submit proof showing that the particular occupation requires off-site performance.
The Speciality Occupation Of The Employer’s Business Does Not Match With The Applicants Qualifying Degree
The qualifying degree of the applicant and that of the employer’s area of business should be the same. Only then can the employer submit a petition seeking an H1B Visa for his employee.
This means in a situation where a construction company is seeking to appoint an accountant could cause the USCIS to issue an RFE to prove how the employee’s specialty occupation would benefit the employers’ company.
Requirement Of Special Skills And Talent
To get an H1B Visa for an employee the employer is required to submit sufficient proof that the specialized skills and talents are required for that particular job.
They also need to be specific about the qualifying details that the employee has and the period of time for which their service is required for the company. When the employer fails to submit the sufficient documents proving the employee’s eligibility the USCIS could issue an RFE.
Proof Of Qualification
The employee requires at least the minimum qualification prescribed for the specialty occupation for which he/she seeks an H1B Visa. An RFE could be issued in case the petitioner has failed to submit all the documents required to prove the visa applicants qualification.
Change Or Extension Of Status
If the H1B Visa holder requires a change of status or an extension of the current status she/he needs to submit all the documents proving that they have honored their current work status. Including the statements of pay is also essential to get a visa extension.
AC21 And H1B Visa Limit
An RFE could be issued in a situation when the visa holder has reached the six-year limit of the visa. It could also be issued if the visa applicant fails to submit all the supporting documents proving that he/she is eligible for an extension of the H1B visa or for the benefits of AC21.
Labor Condition Application
A certified LCA or Labour Condition Application that corresponds to the terms and conditions in the H1B Visa petition and the position offered in the company has to be submitted along with the petition.
Fee For Visa Application
The petitioner needs to submit the necessary details proving that the required amount of fee for filing the H1B Visa has been paid.
Itinerary For The Work Period
According to the new requirements the petitioner has to submit the employee’s itinerary for the particular period of employment. This should include the details like the dates and places where the employee’s services would be required and what kind of services the employees would be performing.
The USCIS issuing an RFE is quite common these days. So, there is no reason to panic. You need to calmly go through the details of the notice issued by the adjudicating officer to understand in detail all the documents and evidence that are required to be submitted.
Make sure you’ve answered all the questions completely and that you have all the documents requested by your case officer before you send it through. You wouldn’t have to worry about your getting an H1B Visa if you have submitted all the necessary documents that prove your eligibility.
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