It’s RFE season and we project frequency trends will not change. In the past few years, around one of every four H1B petitions selected in the lottery received an RFE.
When your RFE or your employee or client’s RFE arrives, sit down with your team and read it over and determined who dropped the ball. Finding out who is at fault for the RFE is not about placing or deflecting blame, but rather an investigative tool you can use to find out where you need to make changes and provide more evidence to get the RFE overturned.
Sometimes CIS is to blame for the RFE
As you well know, CIS is not perfect. The H1B petition could have been spotless and CIS will still issue an RFE. These RFEs are factually incorrect. They are frustrating, but they are easy because you already have all of the evidence, documentation, and analysis ready to file.
Sometimes it’s the attorney’s fault
While it is rare, an attorney will sometimes file a petition incorrectly. If this is the case, it’s typically not worth firing your attorney for this late in the process. Misfiling errors can be corrected.
Sometimes the RFE is the fault of the candidate
Sometimes H1B candidates will mistake the value of their degree. It’s not uncommon for a candidate to insist that a high school diploma is a college degree, or to provide mistranslated or poorly evaluated educational documents that trigger an RFE. Sometimes the degree isn’t from an accredited institution, and regardless of how good their education actually is, CIS will not accept a degree from an institution that is not accredited. If this is the case, it’s important to find out where the candidate’s mistake was made and provide accurate evidence in its place when answering the RFE.
Sometimes the evaluator – or the evaluation – caused the RFE
Credential evaluations for visa cases can get tricky in a hurry, and not every credential evaluator or agency is up for the job. International education is very specialized and nuanced, and each visa has different educational requirements, as well as requirements surrounding what constitutes an equivalency CIS will accept. On top of that, CIS approval trends regarding education change from year to year. For example, in the past, CIS would approve H1B petitions in which the candidate had a US bachelor’s degree or higher in a field related to their H1B job, whereas now they require an EXACT match. If your client has a three-year bachelor’s degree, CIS will no longer accept a classroom contact hour evaluation that breaks down the academic content by converting classroom contact hours into college credit hours. Now, a work experience conversion of three years of progressive work experience to one year of college credit in the field is required to account for the missing fourth year. The evaluator you need for the job follows CIS approval trends, understands the nuances of international education, and understands the difference between educational requirements for different visas. A perfectly good credential evaluator can write the wrong evaluation for your or your employee or client’s H1B case.
Here’s a hint: When choosing the right credential evaluator, do they ask about the visa and the job? If the answer is no, then look elsewhere. These factors are vital to the right evaluation for the case.
If you or your employee or client received an H1B RFE, let us provide a free pre-evaluation of the candidate’s education. Simply go to ccifree.com and submit educational documents, a current accurate resume, and indicate the job title and desired equivalency. We will get back to you within 24 hours with the pre-evaluation, a full analysis, and all of your options to successfully overturn your client’s RFE.
About the Author
Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director at TheDegreePeople.com, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.