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

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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 Author

Sheila Danzig

Sheila 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.

This article was written by Rebecca Little

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