Understanding the H1-B program and RFEs

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2021 | Visas

The H1-B program is used for employers who want to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. When a person files an H1-B application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and it does not contain all of the information needed to make a decision, the USCIS may send the applicant a request for evidence, also known as an RFE.

The RFE will specify the type of evidence required and whether initial evidence or additional evidence is required. It may also include information about a proposed application denial and give the applicant an opportunity to respond. The RFE will state a date when the applicant must respond, but it will not be longer than 12 weeks.

Request for evidence examples

While the RFE will be specific to the individual’s circumstances, there are some common examples of when USCIS may send an RFE to an H1-B applicant.

If the applicant did not establish that the position qualifies as a specialty occupation, there is no evidence of a qualifying work assignment and/or that there is a valid employee-employer relationship, USCIS may send the applicant an RFE.

In addition, if the applicant does not meet the itinerary requirement, which states that the applicant must submit an itinerary of services that are going to be performed in more than one location that may also be a reason for the RFE.

USCIS may also issue an RFE if the applicant failed to pay all of the required H1-B filing fees.

It’s important that the RFE response is completed thoroughly and accurately. An experienced attorney can provide advice and guidance about next steps.