Administrative Appeals Office recently granted an H-1B nonimmigrant specialty occupation petition that had been initially denied by the Service Center director. The petitioner sought to employ the beneficiary as a metals buyer at an annual salary of $35,000 for a period of three years. The case was denied because the initial petition failed to demonstrate that "the duties of the position are of such complexity, uniqueness, or specialization as to require the attainment of a bachelor’s degree in a field of study." The appeal was finally approved with additional documentation provided by the employer from two university professors verifying that the position does indeed require bachelor’s degree-level educational training in metallurgical engineering.
With the tightening up of U.S. immigration policies and reduced quota on H-1B, it is common that USCIS challenges the H-1B application on the ground that the applied position does not require a college degree and as such is not a "specialty occupation". Although the criteria for a specialty occupation are explicit, the assessment of educational requirement for certain positions, sometimes, can be ambiguous. Our office recently had a similar case, in which the petitioner sought to employ the beneficiary as a contract administrator in an international-trading and wholesale company. Immigration challenged our petition stating that "no degree is needed to perform these duties according to industry standards". In response, we worked closely with our client and filed additional documents including certifying letters from similar companies, resumes of the petitioner’s employee previously hired for this position, and certainly the certifying letter from the petitioner evidencing that the position does require a college degree. The case was approved within days after the response was filed due to our strong argument and evidence.
Solid evidence and thorough preparation are keys to H-1B applications. Our office has a lot of experiences handling H-1B applications and we always pay great attention to details. You are welcome to contact us for a free consultation about your case.
Employers and companies with or without previous experience of sponsoring H-1B are especially welcome to contact us for any questions regarding this unique procedure of hiring foreign employees.