An H1B RFE (Request for Evidence) is what USCIS sends out when they need additional information for processing your RFE case. You may receive the RFE through the U.S. Postal Service or be notified through their online portal. Since USCIS must have proof of employment in the U.S., RFEs for H1B visa applications often stem from an unclear application or missing documentation.

If you're in the middle of submitting an H1B visa application, it is possible that you'll receive an H1B RFE in the mail from USCIS. This does not mean that your application is denied. It simply means that USCIS has determined that it needs more information to move your application forward. There is a 30 percent chance that your H1B visa application will result in an RFE.

Who Can Qualify for an H1B Visa?

There are special requirements to qualify for an H1B Work Visa, and most people will not qualify. Essentially, a foreign worker can qualify if he or she meets the specialty occupation requirements and is a non-immigrant. To qualify for the specialty occupation requirement, a worker must have completed a level of higher education and be the only person who can effectively do the job in question because of that higher education credential.

Judgments on approvals are overseen by an adjudicating officer, and those judgments are final. These judgments are based on a variety of factors concerning the applicant and the company, including the potential for earnings and the type of work that will be done. USCIS generally sends RFEs to find out if there are similar employees in the company and to obtain more information about the project. That way, USCIS can make a better judgment on whether the applicant would be a good fit for the H1B Work Visa program.

Is the Applicant Needed?

One of the key points of the application and RFE processes is to determine if the company has a need for the worker. If an alternative worker who is in the country is readily available, or if the foreign worker is not well suited to the job, then USCIS will probably deny the visa. This protects the applicant and the company. USCIS tries to prevent applicants from being brought into a company and given a different or lesser job than what was expected. USCIS will ask for proof that what the company wants the applicant to do matches job description.

Beneficiary Qualifications for H1B Petitioners

There are certain qualifications that USCIS looks for in H1B petitioners. These qualifications are used to ensure that applicants meet strict criteria, which include:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in a related field.
  • Work experience.
  • Professional status.

Employer Relationship Requirements

USCIS will ensure that an appropriate employer/employee relationship exists between you and your employer. If you work in a remote location, or if there's another question about your relationship with your employer, USCIS may request additional evidence that working for your employer meets certain criteria. This may include requesting an organizational chart, health insurance documentation, or proof of enrollment in a company-sponsored 401(k) plan.

How to Respond to an RFE

There is no need to rush when responding to an RFE. It is better to take the time you need to respond effectively than to risk creating a new problem. The most effective way to respond to an RFE is to do the following:

  • Gather the needed documents.
  • Prepare the documents for mailing, including verifying the mailing address.
  • Submit the documents before the deadline with enough time for the documents to reach USCIS.

When to Consult with an H1B Visa Lawyer

If you do not have an attorney, it would be wise to get one. An attorney can make this process much easier and raise your chances of successfully applying for an H1B visa. Consult with an immigration attorney to manage the application and response process and ensure that you are doing everything right. A good immigration attorney has the expertise in H1B RFEs to help you navigate the process successfully.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Decision?

How long the process takes depends on many variables. However, most decisions take place within three and twelve weeks. To expedite the process, make sure that you send the requested documentation as soon as possible.

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