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CASE: H-1B Visa Petition
PETITIONER:  Online Grocery Store in Washington, D.C.
BENEFICIARY: Singaporean Business Development Director

Our client is an online grocery business and is one of the first D.C-based businesses to present a selection of locally and seasonally sourced products on a user-friendly website, combining a simple ordering process with a highly professional, same-day delivery service. They contacted our office in late July of 2011 to seek legal assistance and we met them at our Washington DC satellite office prior to retention.

The beneficiary obtained his Bachelors degree in Economics in the United States and completed his Masters degree in Georgetown University. The proffered position for the Beneficiary was for a business development director which we argued qualified as a specialty occupation.  We proffered that the minimum requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics or its equivalent.

Once retained, our firm prepared and eventually filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on September 27, 2011 via premium processing service.  The USCIS Vermont Service Center then issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) on October 13, 2011.  The USCIS argued that the proffered position does not qualify as a “specialty occupation.” They claimed that the business was too small, with only 6 employees, and that a Bachelors degree was not required for this position for “grocery” businesses. In response to the RFE, our office asserted in an 8-page response brief with 23 exhibits that the nature of the specific duties are so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a Bachelors degree.  Moreover, we argued that the degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations. We explained that running an online grocery business is more complex than running a small convenience store or small grocery, especially since our client specialized in high-end products.

Our office filed the response to the USCIS Vermont Service Center on January 6, 2012.  Our client’s H-1B application was approved 11 days later on January 17, 2012.  Now the Beneficiary can work for the Petitioner on an H-1B status until September 30, 2014.

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