How to Avoid the RFE Explosion
In the past six or so years, we’ve seen an explosion in Requests for Evidence in response to H1B petitions. Just less than a decade ago only about 4% of all H1B petitions were met with RFE’s while today we’re seeing 25%. One of the main reasons this is happening is because the USCIS is getting flooded with more H1B petitions than they know what to do with every year. With the growing number of STEM industry jobs requiring highly skilled workers, US companies are hiring foreign workers and applying for as many H1B visas as they can. The rate of acceptance is low. Even companies like Microsoft will only be approved for around half of the petitions they submit.
Another reason for the increased number of RFE’s is because the USCIS and your boss have different standards by which to judge your qualifications. While most employers will hire workers with degrees in the fields related to their job, the USCIS won’t approve their visas. The USCIS has recently tightened its standards to only accept applicants whose degree matches their field of employ exactly. Because these standards are new and because they differ from your employer to the government, many of these petitions are now met with RFE’s or worse.
Don’t panic if this is the situation you’re in. You can fix this before it even becomes a problem. All you have to do is submit a credential evaluation along with your educational documents written by an evaluator with the authority to convert work experience into college credit hours. That way, your work experience in the field can be counted towards your degree specialized in the field of your job. Not all credential evaluation agencies have evaluators on hand with this authority, so be sure to check before ordering your evaluation.
Before the USCIS has to ask you about your education, spell it out clearly for them and avoid a pesky RFE.