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Have You Started Thinking About Filing for an H Visa?

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With H-1B filing season upon us as of April 1, 2019, we take this opportunity to remind you that the H-1B cap is expected to be reached much faster this year. This, coupled with higher denial rates of applications and with a staggering RFE (Request for Evidence) rate, a clear, "culture of no" message from the USCIS is making it more difficult for skilled foreign nationals to work in the USA with increasing denial rates for both the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. It is undeniable that Tech Firms, Medical Institutions, and others rely heavily on these professional workers. It is still possible for these employers to secure H-1B visa approvals for their employees.
Employers report the time lost due to the increase in denials and Requests for Evidence is costing them millions of dollars in project delays and contract penalties while aiding competitors that operate exclusively outside the United States beyond the reach of USCIS adjudicators and U.S. consular officers.
Small to medium-size companies and IT consultants and staffing agencies often bear the burden of these overbearing RFE's. Working with smart immigration practitioners and preparing your case strategy in advance to address both your strengths and weaknesses, will pay off greatly. Here are some tips that we highly recommend be incorporated in your filings:
  • Incorporate a detailed brochure and description of the employer's products or services and why you require a professional with a bachelor's degree to perform the offered position. Include promotional materials, press releases or news articles to illustrate the nature of the business, new trends and growth factors
  • Consider including a copy of your corporate tax return or financial statements
  • Explain in detail why the position cannot be performed by an employee without a bachelor's degree; i.e. is it standard in your industry? Provide detail (such as examples of work to be done) concerning the complexity of the position
  • Explain that all workers in that position within your company hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher 
  • Provide a real, detailed job description with the percentage of time spent on the duties of the position. Further, explain any discretionary judgment that the employee will have in their job and other such areas of responsibility that are demanding or highly advanced
  • Provide evidence that you have a current and past practice of hiring bachelor's degree employees for the subject position
  • IT and staffing agencies must be prepared to evidence the "employer-employee relationship" in H-1B offsite placement work situations by clearly evidencing the employer's ability to "hire, pay, fire, supervise, or otherwise control the work of the employee. Include a copy of the end-client agreement showing the duration of the stay
Again, we emphasize that planning in advance for successful case approval is imperative. These are a few tips to help you start planning for H season. If you currently have employees working for you in OPT or STEM, now is the time to move them into H visa status. We hope that you will find this information helpful. If you'd like to set up a time to discuss your H-1B visa needs with our attorneys or to engage our services, please feel free to contact us. We recommend you do so now as it takes time to adequately prepare these applications. Let us put our team to work for you. Immigration—it’s what we do.
Filed under:H-1B Visa, Immigration Law