Opening your mail to find an H1B Transfer RFE can be quite an unsettling experience. It is often perceived as a negative response from USCIS, but it is merely an effort to gain more information about an applicant before a decision is made. If you’ve received an H1B Transfer RFE, it’s highly recommended that you take it seriously. This means you should do your best to complete it, and it should be reviewed by a licensed and qualified immigration attorney before it is submitted.
A Brief History of the H1B Transfer RFE
Before 2008, it wasn’t very often that the USCIS would request additional information for H1B Transfer applications. However, as of late, applying for the H1B Transfer has become a much more rigid process. In an H1B Transfer RFE, further information could be requested of the applicant, beneficiary, or even both. At this point, there is roughly a 30% chance that an applicant will receive an RFE document after applying for an H1B Transfer. What’s important is that you understand an RFE document is not a symbol of denial.
Typically, the USCIS will use the RFE document to obtain more information such as:
- Substantial evidence of position qualifications and education degrees
- Proof of work experience
- Proof from employer that clearly outlines the capability to compensate the employee
If the USCIS doesn’t know how to move forward with a case due to ambiguous information, you will generally:
- Conduct independent research of their own
- Request additional information from the applicant or the beneficiary
- Schedule meetings with either the applicant or beneficiary, or both
USCIS can issue multiple types of RFEs that are designed to obtain various information. They are used to:
Prove a relationship between the employer and employee. In some cases, it won’t be immediately plausible that a genuine relationship exists between an employer and employee. This might cause the USCIS to request additional information. For example, the USCIS might want to know whether or not the employer is keeping the worker employed full-time or withholding taxes. Applicants often use health insurance or 401k documents for this evidence. For more information on this topic, review our blog article, Understanding H1B Employer/Employee Relationships.
Evaluate an applicant’s degrees and education. This is especially true for degrees that weren’t obtained inside of the United States. For example, the degree or educational institution might be scrutinized in comparison to equivalent degrees/schools in the U.S.
Determine qualification for a “specialty occupation.” At this point, the only way to gain approval for an H1B visa is to demonstrate that you’re qualified for a specialty occupation. There are requirements in place that must be fulfilled to qualify. For example, the applicant typically must hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution. Because each case is different, it’s advised that you consult our firm for help with your H1B Transfer RFE.
Obtain financial information from relatively new companies. The USCIS will use this document to determine whether or not a new business is staying ahead of their financial dealings, whether or not they’re in good standing with the IRS, etc.
Five Tips for Completing Your H1B Transfer RFE
If you prepare your application and offer all of the correct documentation to the best of your ability, you likely won’t receive an H1B Transfer RFE at all. However, if you do happen to receive one, these five tips might help you complete it correctly the first time.
1. In the initial stages, strongly consider working with an immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and eliminate careless errors. Adding inapplicable information will only increase the odds of being sent an RFE document.
2. Completely read your H1B Transfer RFE, and ensure that you understand it. Skimming often leads to erroneous responses and miscommunication. In some cases, it can be hard for applicants to understand what’s being asked of them in an RFE.
3. React to the RFE notice within a reasonable amount of time. Note the deadline and try not to procrastinate or wait around to act just before it arrives.
4. Fully complete the RFE document. The USCIS typically does not allow multiple chances at completing RFE forms. You are sent one form, and if it isn’t completed correctly, you can expect to be denied.
5. Get right to the point when answering questions. The idea is to leave brief, concise answers. We can help you determine whether or not a piece of information is useful for your case.
Additional Information to Consider
We simply can’t stress how important it is to work with a legal professional when completing an RFE. Once you are denied, your options will have dramatically dwindled which is why encouraging proper initial filing is key. It’s also important to place the RFE above all relevant documentation when you submit your paperwork. Forgetting to do this can make it more difficult for the individual working on your case to speed things along. Remember, careless errors could potentially impact your case so, always double-check the address before submitting an RFE document.
H1B Transfer RFE Frequently Asked Questions
Properly managing a request for evidence (RFE) for an H1B visa transfer can be intimidating. Below is a list of answers for frequently asked questions (FAQs) that anyone dealing with a transfer RFE could benefit from:
How long does it usually take to receive a response to an H1B Transfer RFE from the USCIS?
Each case differs, so there generally is no precise answer for this. As a rule of thumb, you should allow response time to extend for 60 days. If you haven’t gotten a response within 60 days, it is recommended that you get in touch with the National Customer Service Center for further assistance. We can also help you stay up to date with your case.
What is the difference between RFE and NOID?
An RFE is a simple request for additional clarification, while a NOID is literally a “notice of intent to deny.” An RFE never necessarily indicates that a case has taken a negative turn.
When should I respond?
Look over all documentation included with the RFE. It should indicate the time frame in which you must respond. It can be anywhere from 1 month to just under 3 months. It really depends on the circumstances of the case in particular. It is always recommended that you respond prior to the deadline.
We Are Ready To Assist You!
If you or an employee need assistance interpreting and responding to an H1b visa transfer RFE – contact KPPB Law right away. Our immigration attorneys have successfully managed thousands of H1B visa cases and are capable of properly analyzing and responding to a request for evidence. We offer consultations by phone or at our offices so that you can understand your situation and what your options are moving forward. To discuss your case in detail or, to set up your consultation – call our firm or contact us online.