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Employment-Based Immigration

Nonimmigrant Work Visa Petitions

Product Line Manager/Market Research Analyst with a degree in Engineering H-1B Success Story

Nowadays, there is a myriad of different job titles but USCIS still recognizes only a limited number of occupational categories described in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (“OOH”) published by the Department of Labor. Many occupations thus fall under “Market Research Analyst” category of the OOH even though the jobs are not related to market research. USCIS highly scrutinizes this category and it is not easy to have the case approved, especially if the degree major is not common in the field.

Below is an example of one of our Market Research Analyst H-1B success cases. As is often with these types of cases, USCIS issued a request for additional evidence questioning whether the position qualifies as a “specialty occupation.” Normally, occupations under Market Research Analyst category are not viewed by USCIS as “specialty occupations,” and thus not appropriate for H-1B visa, thus creating an additional line of inquiry into the specific job that the petitioner has offered the H-1B beneficiary. In addition, USCIS questioned the degree relevance to the job, stating that a degree in Engineering is not common for the occupation.

After our response, the case was approved in one week! Here are some of the pointers from the RFE response:

  • USCIS wanted to see that the degree requirement for the position was common in the petitioner’s industry among similar companies. The petitioner had more than 200 employees and specialized in high tech manufacturing. Similar companies in the same industry agreed to provide their supporting letters to confirm that they too hire individuals for Product Line Manager position with at least a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a limited number of other academic fields.
  • A university professor also provided his Expert Opinion where he confirmed the degree requirement for the job.
  • In addition, many online job advertisements were provided posted by companies in the same industry recruiting for the same position with a bachelor’s in engineering or marketing as a prerequisite for the job. This showed that the degree was in fact common in the industry.
  • We also provided the petitioner’s past and present job postings for similar positions to show that the employer normally requires the specific degree for the position.
  • Lastly, we provided a detailed explanation of the position’s duties explaining why the complexities of this specific job required a Bachelor’s in Engineering as a prerequisite. Work product of the beneficiary while working for the petitioner under F-1 OPT was also produced to provide documentary examples of the complex and specialized projects handled on the job and justifying the need for the specific background in Engineering.
  • Newspapers articles about the company, reviews, and photographs of the facilities were also provided to show that the company is unique in its field.

If you have received a difficult Request for Evidence in your H-1B case, do not lose hope! You may still get an approval with a carefully prepared RFE response.

TN Success for the Technical Publications Writer

One Friday afternoon, a Canadian citizen contacted our office inquiring about TN visa for a Technical Publications Writer position after already having been denied the classification at the U.S./Canada Champlain port of entry. The CBP officer found that the client had no experience in technical publications writing and the denial decision was affirmed by a supervisor.

Our office has extensive experience in TN applications for various positions, including Technical Publications Writer. In order to qualify for TN visa for the position, the applicant must possess a Bachelor's degree or a postsecondary diploma plus three years of work experience. The degree and the work experience must relate to the job of Technical Publications Writer.

In order to help the client evaluate whether he could reapply for the visa, the case was assigned to our TN attorney at the office. Upon review of the previously submitted application, it became clear that the client does in fact qualify for the position based on experience and education but the Employer's support letter provided with the petition was poorly drafted without the help of an experienced attorney and did not clearly describe the client's credentials and professional background. The letter was only 1 page long and mainly focused on the petitioning company and not on the position itself or the applicant's background. In addition, insufficient supporting documents were presented.

Under the guidance of our attorney, the Employer's support letter was completely rewritten to describe in detail the duties of the proposed position, the client's qualifications and experience in technical writing. The new Employer's support letter was 5-page long and fully demonstrated how the client satisfied all the elements required for TN classification for the position of Technical Publications Writer. In addition, our office helped the client revise his resume to focus on his relevant work experience in technical writing. Combined with the missing supporting documentation and letters of experience prepared with the corresponding exhibit pages, we helped the client organize the package for reapplication for TN visa. The next day, the client came to our office with great news - TN visa was approved!

While TN visa may seem to be easier to prepare than other employment-related applications, it is important to do it right from the beginning to avoid any potential denials.

L-1 Visa Success - Overcoming an L-1B Request for Evidence

L-1 requests for evidence have significantly increased in the last few years as USCIS continues to scrutinize nonimmigrant work visa petitions.

The L-1B visa is used by companies transferring an employee to the US company to work in a position that requires specialized knowledge. The definition of "specialized knowledge" is not that clear however, which causes USCIS to question many petitions.

While it is clear to the employer that the employee has specialized knowledge and is indispensable in U.S. operations, it comes down to availability of supporting documentation.

Part of a successful petition for an L-1B visa is demonstrating that the company’s product, services, equipment, or interests require specialized knowledge, the employee has the requisite specialized knowledge and no one else in the US or foreign office has that knowledge or can easily attain that knowledge to carry out that role.

Our client came to us because the initial filing on their L-1B petition received a request for additional evidence (RFE) to establish how the beneficiary met the requirements of an employee with specialized knowledge. The RFE was lengthy since it questioned everything about the petition from the position’s requiring specialized knowledge to the company meeting the L-1B transfer requirements.

  • Qualifying relationship between the companies
    • The first point in the RFE was regarding the qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. office. The ownership structure of the company has changed recently but we were able to show the parent-subsidiary relationship through presentation of stock certificates, bank statements, wire transfers, stock ledgers, and capitalization chart evidencing the relationship.
  • Position requiring specialized knowledge
    • USCIS requested a more detailed account of the duties of the position. By itemizing the amount of time each duty would take, it was made clear how the role required the employee’s specialized knowledge. In addition to this, other documents included organization charts and employee task charts to demonstrate how the position was one that required specialized knowledge.
    • In addition, it was important to emphasize the impact of the beneficiary’s specialized knowledge on U.S. operations and how the worker could not be replaced by someone in the US. To that end, we acquired documents from key individuals who played critical roles in the US company and who could attest to the employee’s specialized knowledge of the company’s product and services to demonstrate how no one else could fulfill that role for the company.
    • Finally, in order to establish that the position requires specialized knowledge, documents of the proprietary technology were provided to USCIS.
    • In the end, the case was approved as it was then clear to USCIS why specialized knowledge was required by the U.S. company and that the beneficiary had the specialized knowledge necessary to carry out that role. Although it is a high standard to demonstrate that the person and the position qualify for specialized knowledge petition, it is possible to do so through precise documentation related to the position’s duties, the company’s products and services, the position’s placement in the organizational chart and the qualifications of the beneficiary.
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