Secured an H1-B: Degree Did Not Align with Typical Degrees

Secured an H1-B: Degree Did Not Align with Typical Degrees

Immigration Desk successfully secured an H1B visa for a candidate whose degree did not align with degrees typical of IT positions. We used our resources and a creative approach to persuade the USCIS.


The Challenge

There were three specific challenges for this H1B case. The USCIS sent a Request for Evidence (RFE) requesting very specific information to address each of these concerns.

  1. Academic studies challenge. H-1B visas are only issued to individuals in occupations with specialized knowledge. Specialized knowledge is typically obtained from relevant undergraduate studies in the specific field. The Beneficiary, even though well-established in the software industry, obtained a Master’s Degree in the United States in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor’s Degree in India in a pharmaceutical related field.
  2. Third-party placement challenge. When a Beneficiary is placed at one or more third-party worksites, a petitioner must show that the work is related to a specialty occupation that requires specific and non-speculative qualifying assignments. This requirement must be true for the entire time requested on the petition.
  3. Position challenge. The USCIS questioned whether the position required a bachelor’s degree to support the specialized knowledge required by the position. This showing is an H-1B requirement.


The Solution

Our approach to these challenges was simple: we would take on each separately and aggressively. We took the needed time to gather all the evidence and draft responses that were clear, concise, and fully supported with documentation and legal analysis.

With regard to the academic studies not in alignment with the IT position, we argued that the sum of the Beneficiary’s degrees, specific courses she took related to Management Information Systems, and her seven years of progressive professional experience in all aspects of software engineering, system analysis, etc. were equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems. To resolve the third-party placement issue, we cited relevant case law and regulations. As for the last challenge, we provided a clear link between the duties of the position and the specialized knowledge needed to successfully perform each job duty. In doing so, we also made it clear that this specialized knowledge could only be obtained through a bachelor’s degree or higher degree.

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