Credential Evaluation

Everything You Need to Know about H1B RFEs for 3-Year Degrees

One of the very most common H1B RFE triggers is a 3-year bachelor’s degree with no credential evaluation, or with the wrong kind of credential evaluation.Many H1B candidates come to the United States to work missing a fourth year of education. The Indian 3-year Bachelor’s degree is the most common 3-year degree to trigger an RFE because there are only twelve years of pre-college education rather than thirteen. Although 3-year degrees from India tend to have even more classroom contact hours than the US 4-year bachelor’s degree, CIS is hung up on that missing fourth year.If you or your employee or client has an Indian 3-year bachelor’s degree and you submitted the H1B petition without a credential evaluation, chances are you received an RFE regarding the candidate’s education. Even if you did submit a credential evaluation with the petition, you may have received an RFE anyway, and here’s why:Every visa has particular regulations surrounding what CIS will and will not accept for educational equivalencies. In addition, CIS approval trends change year to year. For example, in the past, we could write a classroom clock hours conversion breaking down the number of hours students spend in class for an Indian 3-year Bachelors degree. Then, we would use the Carnegie Unit conversion which converts fifteen hours of classroom contact hours into 1 hour of college credit. A US 4-year Bachelor’s degree contains a minimum of 120 credit hours. If the 3-year degree contained at least this many credit hours, the equivalency would work. This is not the case anymore.Now, the right credential evaluation for an H1B candidate’s 3-year degree uses a work experience conversion to account for the missing fourth year. CIS is VERY focused on that missing fourth year of education regardless of the intensity of education.Here’s how it works:Three years of progressive work experience in the field of your or your employee or client’s H1B job can be converted into one year of college credit. In this work experience, the candidate must have taken on more responsibility and tasks of greater specialization while at this job, proving that education occurred on the job. This conversion must be written by a professor authorized to grant college credit for work experience. At TheDegreePeople.com, we always have authorized professors on staff available to write these evaluations.If you or your employee or client received an RFE for a 3-year degree, don’t get too far on your response without a full analysis of your situation and all of your options moving forward. Let us review the case. Simply go to ccifree.com and submit all of the educational documents and a current, accurate resume and we will get back to you within 24 hours with your pre-evaluation, full analysis, and all of your options.About the AuthorSheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

RFE Alert: Did you submit the right evaluation for the wrong visa?

  • Did they ask about the candidate’s job?
  • Did they ask about the candidate’s visa?
  • Do they regularly work with RFE cases?
  • The right credential evaluation agency will ask the right questions, work regularly with RFE, and follow CIS approval trends.If the answer is no to any or all of these questions, it is likely that you had the right evaluation for the wrong visa. While the evaluation may be accurate, it still did not met CIS requirements for H1B eligibility.For an H1B visa, the candidate must hold the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the exact field of their H1B job. For three-year bachelor’s degrees or for degree that don’t exactly match the field of employ, you need a credential evaluation to fill in the eligibility gaps. CIS will not accept classroom clock hour conversions to hours of college credit. The fourth year must be accounted for with a progressive work experience conversion of three years of work experience to one year of college credit in the field.The right credential evaluation agency will keep one eye on the education and the other on CIS. That’s what we do at TheDegreePeople.com.If you or your employee or client received an RFE for an education situation, let us help you for free. Simply hit go to ccifree.com and submit the educational documents and a current, accurate resume. We will get back to you within 24 hours with a pre-evaluation, full analysis, and all of your options moving forward.About the Author Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

    Overturn an H1B Nightmare RFE in Three Steps

  • Read it.
  • Sit down with your team and read through the entire RFE carefully. Look at the documentation and evidence that you are being asked to provide. Don’t panic, you won’t have to provide the virtually impossible amount of evidence in the virtually impossible amount of time the RFE states.
    1. Put it down and go back to the original H1B requirements.
    This RFE will not tell you how to answer it. The second step is to put the RFE down and return to the initial H1B requirements. In looking at the original H1B requirements in light of the evidence and documentation being requested, you can get a sense of what underlying questions CIS is really trying to answer in requesting the evidence indicated. Answer those underlying questions and you won’t need to jump through the impossible amount of hoops the Nightmare seems to require. Remember, the candidate’s job must be a specialty occupation requiring a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent to perform. The candidate must hold that degree in the exact field of employ or its foreign equivalent. Your client’s employer must be economically viable and pay the H1B worker the prevailing wages for that job for a company of that size in that geographical location. The candidate and the employer must also have an employer-employee relationship in which the employer can hire, fire, promote, pay, supervise, and otherwise control the candidate’s work. Find out which of these requirements were not clearly met, and provide the evidence to fill in the gaps left open in the initial petition.
    1. Go to CCIFREE.COM for a free consultation on how to best proceed.
    Visit us for a free consultation on your education situation, or the situation of your employee or client. Oftentimes, what was missing in the original petition was a credential evaluation – or the RIGHT credential evaluation. If you or your employee or client has a degree from outside of the United States, incomplete college, or a degree in a generalized field or field that does not exactly match the H1B job, a credential evaluation is needed so CIS can clearly see the value of the education. Oftentimes, a credential evaluation agency will write an accurate evaluation, but not take the nuances of the H1B visa into account. If you’re wondering why you, or your employee or client got an RFE even though you submitted a credential evaluation, this may be your situation. Did the agency ask about the job or visa? These are two essential components of writing the RIGHT credential evaluation for the H1B visa.Are you staring down a Nightmare RFE? We can help. Simply go to ccifree.com and submit the candidate’s educational documents and a current, accurate resume and we will get back to you within 24 hours with a full pre-evaluation and analysis, and all of your options moving forward.About the Author Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723. ]]>

    Five Tips to Successfully Answer Your H1B RFE

  • Find out who is at fault for the RFE.
  • This is not to cast blame, but rather to find out where evidence is lacking and who dropped the ball. Sometimes CIS is at fault. It’s no surprise that CIS makes mistakes. A candidate can file a spotless H1B petition on time, in order, and still receive an RFE. Sometimes the attorney will file the petition wrong. Sometimes the candidate is mistaken or misleading about the actual academic value of their education, sometimes the credential evaluator made a mistake, and sometimes the evaluator wrote an accurate evaluation without taking CIS approval trends and H1B requirements into consideration. Find out who is at fault, and from there discern what must be done to rectify the situation.
    1. Read the RFE, but don’t read into it TOO much.
    Sit down with your team, read the RFE, figure out what is being asked of you, and then put it down. Getting caught up in the wording of an RFE can distract you from what CIS is actually asking. Instead of focusing on the verbatim of the RFE, discern what they are trying to learn about the candidate based on the evidence they request. RFEs like the Nightmare RFE are virtually impossible to answer by following its own guidelines. The RFE will not tell you how to answer it. Look instead to tip number three.
    1. Go back to the initial H1B requirements.
    Instead of getting caught up in what the RFE is asking, go back to the original H1B requirements and find out what was lacking in the initial petition. CIS issues an RFE when they don’t feel they have enough information to make a decision of whether or not you or your employee or client meets visa requirements with the evidence and documentation originally given. H1B visas are for highly skilled foreign workers employed in specialty occupations that require a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent as a minimum requirement for the job. The job must meet this requirement, and the candidate must hold that degree or its foreign equivalent in the exact field of their H1B job. Furthermore, you must prove that the candidate and the employer have an employer-employee relationship, the employer is economically viable, and the candidate will be receiving the prevailing wages and benefits for that job in that geographical location for companies of that size. Find out which of these requirements is lacking in evidence and work with your team to fill in the evidentiary gaps left open in the initial petition.
    1. For candidates with foreign degrees, incomplete college or no college degrees, or degrees that do not exactly match the job need a credential evaluation.
    If you or your employee or client is in one of the above situations, you need to include a credential evaluation in your response to the RFE. CIS will not approve the visa unless there is a clear explanation of why the candidate meets the educational requirements. If you or your employee or client has a foreign visa, it needs to be evaluated for US academic value. For foreign bachelor’s degrees that take three years to complete instead of the US four, the candidate will need a work experience conversion that converts three years of progressive work experience in the field into college credit towards that specialization to account for the missing fourth year. If you or your employee or client has a degree in a field that doesn’t exactly match their job, they will need a work experience conversion as well, and a close examination of their course content to write an equivalency to the correct specialization.There are many other situations in which a credential evaluation is required. Don’t take chances, simply go to ccifree.com and attach your or your employee or client’s client’s educational documents, a current resume, and the job title or desired equivalency and we will get back to you within 24 hours with a free pre-evaluation and analysis with all of your options.
    1. If a credential evaluation is needed, make sure you work with an agency that understands H1B visas.
    A common education RFE occurs when a candidate submits the right credential evaluation for the wrong visa. Different visas have different requirements for what is acceptable for equivalencies and conversions. The evaluation agency you need understands the nuances of the H1B visa and also keeps an eye on CIS approval trends, which change.When you’re talking with a potential credential evaluation agency, keep this in mind: if they don’t ask about the visa or job, they don’t understand what they need to write an evaluation for the visa. Without this information, it is impossible.About the Author Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

    H1B RFE? 5 Questions to Find the Right Credential Evaluator

  • Are they affordable?
  • The right credential evaluation agency is inexpensive. This is not one of those situations where you get what you pay for. The agency that wants to work with you keeps their rates reasonable.
    1. Is it easy to work with them?
    You will know the answer to this in pretty short order. Do they answer or promptly return your calls, texts, or emails? Do they answer your questions to your satisfaction? Do they make you feel comfortable in your communication with them? Do they offer rush delivery options? Agencies that regularly work with visa cases and their RFEs understands the time crunch you are under and makes it easy for you to get what you need when you need it.
    1. Did they ask about the candidate’s job and visa?
    If the answer to either of these is no, look elsewhere. In order to write the right credential evaluation for your client’s case, the evaluator must know which visa they are working with, and what job the credential evaluation is for. Educational requirements vary from visa to visa, and what combinations of education and work experience CIS will accept as equivalencies vary as well. You don’t want to end up with the right evaluation for the wrong visa.
    1. Does the agency regularly work with RFEs, Denials and NOIDs?
    If an agency works regularly with these cases, they understand what causes RFEs for H1B visas, and how to properly address them.
    1. Do they offer a free review of the case before you order your evaluation?
    If an agency doesn’t review the case first, there’s no way they can know what the evaluation will entail. Never put down money without a consultation of all of your options. If an agency demands money up front before they will even look at the candidate’s documents, look elsewhere.If you, or your employee or client has an H1B RFE for an education situation, let us provide a pre-evaluation with all of your options free of charge. Simply go to ccifree.com and attach the educational documents, a current resume, and the H1B job title, and we will get back to you within 24 hours with your pre-evaluation, a full analysis, and all of your options to overturn the RFE.About the Author Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

    H1B RFE? Whose fault was it?

    Sometimes CIS is to blame for the RFEAs you well know, CIS is not perfect. The H1B petition could have been spotless and CIS will still issue an RFE. These RFEs are factually incorrect. They are frustrating, but they are easy because you already have all of the evidence, documentation, and analysis ready to file.Sometimes it’s the attorney’s faultWhile it is rare, an attorney will sometimes file a petition incorrectly. If this is the case, it’s typically not worth firing your attorney for this late in the process. Misfiling errors can be corrected.Sometimes the RFE is the fault of the candidateSometimes H1B candidates will mistake the value of their degree. It’s not uncommon for a candidate to insist that a high school diploma is a college degree, or to provide mistranslated or poorly evaluated educational documents that trigger an RFE. Sometimes the degree isn’t from an accredited institution, and regardless of how good their education actually is, CIS will not accept a degree from an institution that is not accredited. If this is the case, it’s important to find out where the candidate’s mistake was made and provide accurate evidence in its place when answering the RFE.Sometimes the evaluator – or the evaluation – caused the RFECredential evaluations for visa cases can get tricky in a hurry, and not every credential evaluator or agency is up for the job. International education is very specialized and nuanced, and each visa has different educational requirements, as well as requirements surrounding what constitutes an equivalency CIS will accept. On top of that, CIS approval trends regarding education change from year to year. For example, in the past, CIS would approve H1B petitions in which the candidate had a US bachelor’s degree or higher in a field related to their H1B job, whereas now they require an EXACT match. If your client has a three-year bachelor’s degree, CIS will no longer accept a classroom contact hour evaluation that breaks down the academic content by converting classroom contact hours into college credit hours. Now, a work experience conversion of three years of progressive work experience to one year of college credit in the field is required to account for the missing fourth year. The evaluator you need for the job follows CIS approval trends, understands the nuances of international education, and understands the difference between educational requirements for different visas. A perfectly good credential evaluator can write the wrong evaluation for your or your employee or client’s H1B case.Here’s a hint: When choosing the right credential evaluator, do they ask about the visa and the job? If the answer is no, then look elsewhere. These factors are vital to the right evaluation for the case.If you or your employee or client received an H1B RFE, let us provide a free pre-evaluation of the candidate’s education. Simply go to ccifree.com and submit educational documents, a current accurate resume, and indicate the job title and desired equivalency. We will get back to you within 24 hours with the pre-evaluation, a full analysis, and all of your options to successfully overturn your client’s RFE.About the AuthorSheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director at TheDegreePeople.com, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

    H1B RFE Season 2017 is Here! Are You Ready?

    ccifree.com and submit the educational documents and a current accurate resume along with the candidate’s job title or desired equivalence. We will get back to you within 24 hours with the pre-evaluation, a full analysis, and all of your options.About the Author Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director at TheDegreePeople.com, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.]]>

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