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H-1B Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter

*sometimes called an H-1B Expert Letter or a Specialty Occupation Letter

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What is an H-1B Expert Opinion Letter?

A Specialty Occupation Expert Opinion Letter for an H-1B is used to address USCIS specialty occupation requirements related to a position and/or a beneficiary's qualifications. ProfVal's experts have written letters on behalf of candidates now employed by Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms, small businesses, startups, and nonprofits.



In the second quarter of 2020, 35.8%

of H1-B petitions received an RFE.

Approximately 68.2% of petitions received 

an approval after an RFE. 

For comparison, 22.3% of petitions

in 2015 received an RFE.

USCIS, Form I-129 Quarterly reports (FY 2015-2020 Q2)


The reason for this increase is largely due to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking out a higher standard of proof for approving these petitions, as required by an April 2017 Presidential Executive Order (2) and subsequent USCIS memorandums (3). The rate of approvals and RFEs under the Biden Administration is not yet clear.

An H-1B Expert Opinion Letter from ProfVal can help USCIS agents ascertain: i) whether your position meets specialty occupation requirements (an H-1B is a specialty occupation visa) and ii) whether or how you or your candidate’s credentials meet the criteria for the position offered.  ProfVal’s expert opinion letters will include an in-depth expert analysis completed and signed by a distinguished expert within the candidate’s discipline, typically a professor affiliated with an accredited public or private nonprofit U.S. college or university.  


An H-1B expert opinion letter from ProfVal can thus help a USCIS agent understand your case and may reduce the probability of an Request for Information (RFE), rejection letter after an RFE, or other delays

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What type of H-1B Expert Opinion Letter do I need?

When requesting an RFE, the USCIS often requests evidence explaining either that the position is a specialty occupation or that both the position and candidate meet specialty occupation requirements. An H-1B EOL can address one or both of these concerns.

What must your letter address?

It needs to discuss the position only

It needs to discuss the position & academic credentials

In a standard H1B Expert Opinion Letter, an expert discusses the position based on speciality occupation criteria.

I need a Standard Specialty Occupation (H-1B) Evaluation.

This includes everything from a Standard Specialty (H-1B) evaluation along with a discussion of your academic credentials

I need a Specialty Occupation (H-1B) Evaluation that discusses my academic credentials

It needs to show the US equivalence of a foreign degree

You may need an academic transcript evaluation

A specialty occupation requires that a candidate hold the equivalent of a US degree

It needs to discuss how work experience is equal to a degree

You may need a work experience evaluation

Work experience can sometimes count for an academic degree 

Read more about the H-1B on our blog or on

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