H1B visa requirements state that an eligible beneficiary must have a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent, and the institution from which the degree was earned must be government accredited. The fact of the matter is, there are many non-government accredited programs around the world that provide students high quality education. There are also plenty of H1B candidates with no formal higher education who have the skill and knowledge necessary to excel at their specialty occupations. Can these candidates hope to get their H1B visas approved with absolutely no college credit?
The question isn’t can an H1B candidate be approved without any college credit, but rather how much progressive work experience is needed.
As an equivalency, CIS accepts three years of progressive work experience as the equivalent of one year of college credit. This equivalency must be written by a professor with the authority to grant college credit for work experience. Progressive work experience means the candidate took on more responsibility and complexity with time, indicating that the nature of the work experience was educational and increasingly specialized. This work experience must be in the candidate’s EXACT field of employ to meet CIS specialization requirements for H1B visa approval.
If you or your employee or client has no college credit or no degree from a government accredited institution, twelve years of progressive work experience in the field is needed to make this equivalency work.
Sometimes, candidates say that their high school diploma is a college degree. Other times, candidates hold credentials from programs that are not government accredited. If this is the case, you need to know about it before you file the H1B petition. Take your transcripts, or your employee or client’s transcripts to a credential evaluator who can identify what kind of educational background you or your employee or client has, and whether or not the institutions are accredited. Evaluators with experience working with H1B cases can also identify whether or not work experience is “progressive” and will count towards a college credit equivalency.
About the Author
Sheila 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.
This article was written by Rebecca Little