Degree Equivalency or False Translation? – Find Out Now!

Post 50 of 423

When a beneficiary files for EB2 status with credentials from outside of the United States – especially if the transcripts are in a language other than English – educational documentation can get tricky really fast.

That’s because it’s easy to accidentally insert academic value judgment on a credential when translating it into English.

Preparing educational documents in order to understand whether or not the beneficiary actually meets the educational requirements for the visa in question – or can meet them through including the right credential evaluation – is a two-step process. The first is translation, and the second is academic evaluation. You would never send documents to an evaluator for translation, and so you should never expect your translator to complete the evaluation. These are two very different and very specialized services, and expecting these steps to be a one-stop shop is a recipe for an RFE at best.

Beneficiary educational documents are especially vulnerable to false translations when the credential doesn’t have the word “degree” in the title, or a word that translates into it. For example, the Indian Chartered Accountancy credential is the academic equivalent of a US bachelors degree in accounting even though the word “degree” is not in the credential. However, the Canadian Chartered Accountancy and US CPA credentials do not meet equivalency requirements for a bachelors degree in accounting and don’t have the word “degree” in them either.

Some credentials simply don’t have a direct English translation. For example, “postgraduate” degree is often mistranslated into a masters degree even though they are not the academic equivalent. The Russian credential kandidat naouk is generally the academic equivalent of a US doctorate degree, but the words do not translate into this academic value by simply translating the language into English. Another very common translation that inserts a false academic value judgment is the translation of Baccalaureate into bachelors degree. These two credentials are NOT the same.

The best practice for avoiding problems stemming from false translation of academic documents is to first have the documents translated into English word for word without any academic value judgment. The second step is to take these translated documents to a credential evaluator to determine the US academic value. At TheDegreePeople, our evaluators know how to spot common translation errors, or when a credential without the word “degree” in it is actually a degree equivalency.

For a free review of your case, or your client or employees case, visit We will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a full pre-evaluation of your case, or your employee or client’s case, and our recommendations for how to best proceed.

This article was written by Rebecca Little