Acupuncturists Overcame H-1B “Professional Position” Petition Challenges
Applicant (U.S. employer): Acupuncture clinic
Beneficiary (foreign employee): Ms. Shen
Beneficiary’s education: Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
H-1B Position: Acupuncturist
03/29/2019 Complete H-1B petition preparation, filing
04/01/2019 Immigration Intake
05/21/2019 Received a replacement notice
08/12/2019 Submission of additional documents
08/26/2019 Successfully approved
– Acupuncture clinic with only seven employees, three of whom are acupuncturists; traditional style management with difficulties in communication and access to documentation.
– Ms. Shen’s salary is very low, barely at the entry level of Level I.
– The position of Acupuncturist is not an OOH listed position and is the “hardest hit” by H-1B filings.
– The USCIS has raised the standard of review for “specialty occupation” and requires a lot of documents to prove the professionalism and complexity of the position; the clinic had applied for H-1B for acupuncturist but did not expect it to be so strict now. The clinic had applied for H-1B for acupuncturist but did not expect that it would be so strict now.
After completing her undergraduate degree at a domestic medical school, Ms. Shen went to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and was lucky enough to find a local acupuncture clinic in the U.S. after graduation. After joining the company, Ms. Shen worked hard and diligently, and her boss appreciated her so much that he decided to apply for an H-1B work visa for her. The clinic had hired Tsang & Associates a few years ago to successfully petition for an H-1B for the employee, so the owner entrusted us again to handle Ms. Shen’s H-1B petition.
According to our experience, Acupuncturist is not on the OOH (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) job list, and the company can only give Ms. Shen Level I salary, the probability of immigration officer issuing RFE (request for evidence) to Ms. Shen’s H-1B is very high. Under the current policy, it is very difficult to prove either the “professional position” or the H-1B salary. As expected, we received Ms. Shen’s supplemental notice in late May. Tsang & Associates, PLC understands that every case is critical to our clients, and even though Ms. Shen’s case was very difficult, we were willing to do our best to help her case succeed and live up to our mandate.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Key point 1: In-depth research and sufficient material to prove the complexity of the position
Although the OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook) does not have the position of acupuncturist on it, which is detrimental to this case. However, the Tsang & Associates team focuses on case analysis and in-depth research. H-1B Supplemental Notices, because of the templates used by USCIS, each one looks similar, however, as the standard of USCIS review increases, it becomes critical to select useful, high quality materials.
– Professional articles: Ms. Shen’s supplemental notice required the submission of professional articles to prove that the entry-level acupuncturist position required a bachelor’s degree or higher, and that the daily work content had complexity. Tsang & Associates’ team specializes in research and compiled a number of professional and persuasive materials for Ms. Shen. Each document is from a reputable publisher and professional organization, and some are over 100 pages long, while the only paragraph that really needs to be presented to the USCIS may be on page 60. Even so, we are willing to take the time to carefully read and sift through the content of the article, extracting the best parts and presenting them to the immigration officer.
Attorney Tsang reminds: professional articles in recent H-1B supporting documents: the USCIS is likely to consider the sources of professional articles to be insufficiently authoritative, and the immigration officer specifically names some internet article sources thatFor example: U.S. News, Study. Com, CollegGrad.Com, TheBalanceCareers.com, etc. are not considered authoritative sources.What immigration officers want to see are scholarly articles published by serious publishers, well-known industry organizations, and other authoritative institutions as strong citation and references, and the content in ordinary websites is basically judged invalid.
– We submitted Ms. Shen’s California acupuncturist license as proof of her professional competence, and in addition to that, we also searched for further background on licensure in the addendum and submitted additional requirements from the California Board of Acupuncture for taking the licensure exam, which showed how long it takes to become a licensed acupuncturist The Board of Acupuncture’s requirements for taking the licensure exam show how much professional training and specific educational degrees are required to become a licensed acupuncturist. These express provisions demonstrate to the immigration officer the complexity of the acupuncturist position.
Key point 2: In-depth description and extensive argumentation to explain the work professionalism
The supporting documents and the arguments in the attorney’s letter complemented each other and were one of the keys to the final approval of the case. Because of the time invested in Ms. Shen’s position and company background, the professional team of Tsang & Associates was able to provide more reasonable and in-depth arguments to prove that Ms. Shen’s work was professional.
In the days before H-1Bs were heavily scrutinized, it was possible to use a uniform template, use a different person’s name, company name, position, and content without major changes, and the attorney’s letter could be a few pages long summarizing the client’s basic documents. However, nowadays, for H-1B petitions, the letter prepared by Tsang & Associates for the initial filing of the H-1B petition is about 10 pages long, and if there is a supplemental filing, the letter will be enhanced to about 20-30 pages. The number of pages does not determine everything, but we have done in-depth research and investigation based on the circumstances of each case, and after fully understanding the case, we are able to focus on the most favorable materials to further argue the case. We aim to show the immigration officer, no matter which page he or she looks at, that there are explanations and arguments, as well as the corresponding supporting materials, not just a pile of information. The H-1B supplemental responses submitted by Tsang & Associates often run to more than 300 pages, including the attorney’s letter and supporting materials.
Tsang & Associates sent Ms. Shen’s H-1B petition on August 8, 2019, and she received the approval notice within 15 days because she chose premium processing. Ms. Shen was overjoyed and thankful after receiving the good news! She said that since she only had one chance to get the lottery and knew that it was difficult to get the H-1B visa, she did not tell anyone because she felt that there was little hope after seeing the 10 pages of the premium processing notice. She did not share the good news with her friends until after she was approved. Ms. Shen thanked the Tsang & Associates team for their guidance and encouragement throughout the process, and for getting real-time responses to her questions even on weekends or at night. It was because of our methodical guidance to her and her employer in preparing all the documents from beginning to end, and our patience in answering all the questions, that she was able to persevere and finally get the approval of this difficult supplemental document and be able to stay and work in the United States.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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