H-1B For A Fashion Designer At A Small Design Firm Approved

H-1B For A Fashion Designer Approved

Nationality: Eastern European
Applicant: Apparel design studio

Applying for: H-1B visa
Beneficiary: Allison*
Position: Fashion Designer

08/20/2020 Filed H-1B extension petition
08/27/2020 Immigration receipt
10/05/2020 Case successfully approved, no addendum



– The fashion industry has lower educational requirements for designer positions, with more emphasis on practical experience and creativity, and it is difficult to gather materials to prove that companies of the same type and size require a bachelor’s degree
USCIS generally considers the educational threshold for apparel designers to be low, so the standard of review for H-1Bs in this position is very stringent and the pass rate is extremely low
– Employees in the same position at the company do not have a bachelor’s degree
– The employer lacks a clear development plan for the position, and Allison’s job description is relatively trivial and not as clear in its professional breakdown as a larger company
– The employer is very small and is losing money due to the pandemic. It may lay off employees at any time; and surrender its offices, resulting in the return of notices sent to employers by the immigration authorities
– The H-1B wage rate is increasing every year, and the need to pay at the H-1B rate despite the pandemic poses a challenge to employers

Allison’s H-1B visa petition was filed in 2017 by Tsang & Associates on behalf of a Los Angeles-based apparel studio, which was granted a three-year extension after a lenient H-1B review standard and an RFE. The apparel studio approached Joseph Tsang, an attorney, about the company’s plight, but offered to try to help Allison with her extension.

Starting in 2018 USCIS increased the standards for H-1B petitions, meaning the petitioning practices and information requirements of 3 years ago no longer apply to extensions. Therefore, Tsang & Associates abandoned the regular model used in 2017 and customized this H-1B for a fashion designer according to the 2019 H-1B filing requirements and processing standards, deconstructing the apparel design position from a technical perspective.


USCIS has little knowledge of the fashion industry profession and believes that the barriers to entry are low and that designers rely more on experience than education. Therefore, we had to demonstrate that Allison’s position as a fashion designer required a high level of academic and professional skills and that the entry barrier to the studio was high. We therefore decided to analyze her work from a technical point of view, abandoning traditional statistics and highlighting the specificity of her position.

Key point 1: Point out the special nature of Allison’s fashion designer position, thus proving the technical difficulty

Allison’s studio was in a growth phase, and she joined the company to serve the needs of product expansion and rejuvenation, so her position was more technically demanding than other positions of the same type, and her work was relatively complex and heavy.

Using this as the main point, we dismantled her job description and submitted materials to support it. We analyzed Allison’s employer’s development plan and her work, exhaustively listing over 40 job titles and naming the software knowledge required to demonstrate that her position relies heavily on digital technology and computers, in addition to her design knowledge.

Key Point 2: Demonstrate that Allison’s professionalism qualifies her for her position

This item was difficult because USCIS knew very little about the fashion industry, so we had to provide a sufficient amount of evidence to support our argument. After many hours of research and discussion among several immigration attorneys, we decided to demystify the fashion industry by looking at the industry’s development. We submitted market reports and articles by fashion industry scholars to demonstrate that the fashion industry has been evolving and that the bar has been raised so that most of the young designers graduating in recent years are proficient in their undergraduate studies and have extensive digital skills.

Very fortunately, Allison had an outstanding resume to prove our point. She had excellent grades in school, was an honors graduate, and even though she had limited experience, her resume presented relatively well. Therefore, we went on to submit Allison’s complete transcripts and portfolio of work from her time as a student, clearly demonstrating that she had excellent design skills, was proficient in the software technology required to design, and could meet all the requirements of her position qualifying her for an H-1B as a fashion designer.

Key Point 3: Employer situation remediation

In response to the plight of the small company in 2020 due to the pandemic, we looked at their partners and the investment they were negotiating to bring in, proving that their plight was only temporary and that the studio could survive the difficult times it was experiencing because of its existing business partnerships and ability to attract capital. Allison’s background was a good fit for the company’s development needs, so it was necessary to extend her H-1B.


In the end this H-1B for a fashion designer was approved. After preparing a thousand-page H-1B petition for Allison, we sent the petition on August 20, 2020, USCIS received the petition on August 27, and Allison received the approval letter directly from USCIS on October 5, 2020, with no additional documents. Both the company owner and Allison were very excited to learn the good news and thanked us for all the efforts we put in for this visa extension over the past few months. Our professional service and experience, and our rigorous and thorough style of work, made the employer immediately express their willingness to continue to entrust Allison’s EB-2 case to Tsang & Associates to help the company retain good talent.


The H-1B lottery policy will change in 2021, with wage requirements becoming more stringent and therefore the petition status more unpredictable. Therefore, applicants need to understand the policy more thoroughly and provide sound documents to ensure that their H-1B applications are approved.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us. Whether you are applying for the first time, changing companies, or applying for an extension, we can provide you with professional advice and comprehensive H-1B visa service based on your situation.

*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.

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