At SGM Law Group, we see people from all kinds of situations and backgrounds come through our office doors. Thanks to our dedicated and skilled attorneys, most people walk out of those doors with smiles on their faces and visas in their hands. While we usually deal with employment-based visas, we also often have more complicated immigration situations come our way. For an architect who received an H3 visa RFE, this was one of those cases.
The H3 visa is an obscure visa, heavily shadowed by its cousin, the H-1B. However, it differs in that the H3 is designed for trainees to come to the U.S. to be trained in their field before beginning a career outside the U.S. In order to understand the difficulty that arose in this case, it is important to know some of the requirements that the USCIS lays out for H3 visa.
To qualify for this trainee visa, you must:
- Show that the training you will be undertaking is not available in your home country.
- Provide evidence that you will not be put in a position that is the usual place of operation of the business along with U.S. workers.
- Demonstrate that you will not be doing any actual work or “productive employment” unless the training requires it.
- Illustrate that the training will be useful in your career outside the U.S.
So with those basic requirements in mind, you will see how this particular client was bound to receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the start. It is important to note here that, if you receive an RFE, the best thing to do is to take it to an immigration attorney immediately. RFEs need to be addressed as soon as possible and it often takes an expert to properly respond to one.
Our client was an architecture and building company that was interested in sponsoring an architect from Italy for an H3 training visa to go through a program in the U.S. before working abroad. Usually, this would not have presented any difficulties. However, there were two main problems.
- Italy is well known for producing great architects
- The individual already had a degree in architecture
So, needless to say, it was not going to be easy convincing the USCIS that this individual needed any training in order to pursue a career in architecture and that training in the field of architecture is unavailable in Italy. In addition to this, the architecture company was too small to accommodate employees who were specialized trainers.
As we expected, the USCIS slammed us with a whopping 8-page RFE for the H3 visa explaining how they questioned every aspect of the individual’s qualifications as a trainee. As soon as the RFE arrived, our attorneys got to work.
Through extensive research and analysis of both the H3 visa and the individual’s training program, we were able to answer each issue addressed by the USCIS in the RFE. We did this by creating a robust strategy for proving that the individual needed to be trained in the U.S. Because the USCIS found issue with almost every aspect of the H3 visa requirements, the strategy had to be comprehensive and waterproof.
After working with the client and the individual closely and developing the strategy, we answered the RFE within the time frame and filed the response with premium processing.
Well, this wouldn’t be much of a success story if there wasn’t good news. Fortunately, the USCIS saw the reasoning in our explanation and approved the H3 visa for the individual. It just goes to show that the right strategy can turn a hefty RFE into an approval.
Another SGM Law Group Success Story
If you are in a difficult immigration situation and you don’t think you will qualify for an H3 or any other work visa, don’t lose hope! The lawyers here at SGM Law Group are highly experienced with unorthodox and difficult cases. So whether you’ve received an H3 visa RFE or are just starting on the immigration journey, we’re here for you.
To get in touch with one of our immigration attorneys to help you with your visa, feel free to fill out this contact form and schedule your consultation today.