First-time H-1B sponsors often have the same problem. They don’t know what constitutes a specialty occupation. And it’s understandable. USCIS hasn’t clearly defined the phrase. However, we do know the role must require the individual to hold a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent in a specific field of study that matches the profession.
But, this is where the requirements get complicated. Simply because your organization may require anyone with that role to hold a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) doesn’t satisfy the requirement. It must be a standard across organizations for the occupation to require a bachelor’s degree (or its foreign equivalent).
Failing to meet this requirement often comes to light when USCIS reviews the job description. An immigration officer reviews the duties of the position alongside the business nature of the organization. If the duties don’t align with a standardized assessment of the role, and it’s not deemed to be of specialty nature, the petition will result in a Request for Evidence — or worse, a complete denial.
Trust us, you don’t want to go through all the trouble of making it into the competitive H-1B cap and then have your petition rejected. Not only is your time wasted, but you’re out a valued employee as well.
What to do instead:
Consult a trusted immigration provider to write a clear and accurate job description for your open role. Here’s how our immigration experts define the term, specialty occupation:
“An occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology or the arts. It also requires the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”
Need help proving you meet the H-1B requirements? Contact us.
Interested in learning more? Download the complete Immigration Horror Stories series here.