Q: I have completed a MS in petroleum engineering and working under OPT in a laboratory. Can I apply as a chemist for H1B.
My work is related to oil and gas experiments in a laboratory. My master and bachelor degree is in petroleum engineering. But as I am working in a laboratory the work though related is not exactly that of a petroleum engineer. I tried to find occupations related to my work in the H1B list( Foreign labor certification data centre) and the closest that I could get is that of a chemist. Also the salary I am getting is less as compared to the prevailing wage as a petroleum engineer but better than that of a chemist. Can I apply as a chemist for the H1B. How can I make the H1B petition convincing regarding my role as a chemist.
Can you also suggest on the procedure to find my job in a particular occupation list according to Foreign labor certification data centre.
A: First you cannot self petition for the H1B. Your employer will need to file for you. A discussion will have to be had between your employer and your employer's immigration attorney to determine the appropriate job title under which your case needs to be filed. A review of Onet and the Occupational Outlook Handbook will have to be made to determine this appropriate occupational category. Job duties will be needed to determine this occupational category. A chemist may be the correct occupational category or may not be. It will depend on your duties. Some of the job duties of petroleum engineer may overlap with a chemist. In that circumstance you may not need to show anything more than your education and the project details as to what you will be working on with your employer. However, I have seen circumstances arise where an RFE is issued where the education and the proffered position do not necessarily look like a match and the officer reviewing the petition does not see how the education and proffered field are related. In these circumstances, an expert evaluation can be sought to show how your education fits the proffered position.
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