With the recent changes in the immigration policies by the new administration, obtaining an H-1B visa as an employer or a qualified foreign national worker can be very challenging and gargantuan. Utmost care and planning are required in choosing the right job title, job description, and appropriate documentation to ensure the success of your petition. In the previous year, USCIS has issued complex RFE’s and denials, especially on Specialty Occupation.
1. Make sure your occupation code (SOC) and the job title are the ones accepted by USCIS as a Specialty Occupation. USCIS has changed the policies in the past and has deemed certain titles as not a Specialty Occupation unless proven otherwise.
2. The earlier practice of mentioning job duties as a one-page description or as a dozen bullet points must be avoided. The job description should have a very detailed explanation that includes the nature of the project, the position summary, duties, and responsibilities, as well as the percentage of time spent on each job duty. The job offer and job description must both present evidence of why this position requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree.
3. The confirmation from the client and the layers (vendors) must clearly state the nature of control the employer has on the beneficiary, and who will supervise the beneficiary.
4. Your employment contract must show that your employer is in control of your pay, day-to-day management, providing your equipment or tools, and has direct review of the employee in your position.
5. If the beneficiary is placed at a third party location, include the itinerary with the petition which should include the dates of employment, contact information of the client and the vendors and the name and complete address of the work location.
6. Your employer should provide additional documentation of the need for a degreed professional for this position. Such evidence could include:
7. Make sure that the Client Contract and the Statement of Order are dated prior to the filing of the Petition. The Statement of Work or the Purchase Order should not have an end date prior to October 1. The client and the vendor letters should not mention an end date prior to October 1, even if specifically mentioned that the contract may be extended.
8. If your bachelor degree has not been found to meet U.S. standards, then you will need to have some work experience in that field. Specifically, you will need three years of work experience for every year that you are found deficient. Use the best evaluation agencies, though it might seem expensive.
9. Not all U.S Master’s degree qualifies for the H-1B Master’s Cap. Make sure the US Degree was from an accredited University. In the past, many universities lost accreditation, especially from ACICS. The U. S Master’s should be obtained from a Public or non-profit university/school.
10. Make sure the petition is filed with the right Service Center. With the recent changes, the Petition has to filed where the employer is located, which is different from the past where the Petition was filed based on the work location.
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