You’ve earned a foreign degree at the Bachelor or graduate level, and want to apply for an immigration visa to the United States. To apply for an employment-based visa, you must prove that your education is the U.S. equivalency required for the labor certificate. How do you know if your degree will hold up to examination?
First, check the UNESCO database at http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabases/list.html . If your university is listed here, your degree will probably be recognized as accredited education by the U.S. Department of Education. This is the educational authority recognized as well by USCIS. Some universities, such as some accredited institutions within the United Kingdom, can be located at other websites as well.
Sometimes, a private educational institution or university operating within a particular country will be recognized as accredited education as well. These foreign academic credentials may be issued by a private university or by that country’s department or ministry of education. For example, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is an educational institution established by that country’s statutes and passing those examinations can yield the U.S. equivalency of a degree as well.
Determining whether some foreign diplomas, such as certain postgraduate diplomas offered in some countries, are accredited can be a difficult process. For this reason, many foreign academic credentials evaluation agencies, including Career Consulting International, offers pre-evaluation reports. These can be used to offer students an idea of whether their education can indeed be evaluated as the international equivalency of an accredited degree.
Not all diplomas do meet U.S. requirements for accredited education, and extenuating circumstances apply. For this reason, the USCIS generally requires persons who have obtained their degrees outside the U.S. to have an educational evaluation performed before an employment-based visa is issued. Do your homework, and get your degree evaluated so you will know whether your diploma will make the grade!
This article was written by Staff