(EMAILWIRE.COM, April 21, 2009 ) Fort Lauderdale, FL – You’ve gathered all your materials together – degree, mark sheets or transcripts, identification, and paid the fee for your foreign credential evaluation. When you receive it, you submit it to USCIS – and wait, hoping that you’ll get an approval notice in the mail soon. Instead, when you open the mail, you find a Request for Information (RFE). Or worse, still, you find yourself with a Denial in hand. What do you do next?
If you’ve gotten a denial or RFE, this may be a result of a problem with your sponsor’s paperwork or ability to pay your salary. In this case, an attorney may be able to help correct the paperwork or demonstrate the corporation’s ability to pay.
Alternatively, you may have received an RFE or denial because of your academic credentials evaluation. Possibly the USCIS wanted more evidence that your Bachelor Degree was equal to a U.S. Bachelor Degree, or they could not determine that the university you attended was accredited in your home country. In this case, you may need a more extensive foreign credentials evaluation, or an expert opinion letter to help get your case approved.
Career Consulting International (CCI), a credential evaluation service owned and operated by Sheila Danzig, has developed a special website, www.ccifree.com, for people with foreign degrees who have received an RFE or denial. While that was great info about our clients getting RFE’s / Denials, it is best not even to bring that up as it can be confusing.
The vast majority of the education RFE’s and Denials are for the I140 visa and the #1 reason for the denial is for combining education. Certain Employment based Visa’s like EB-2 do not allow for combining at all. EB-3 allows for it, but only if it is so stated on the labor certificate.
At www.ccifree.com, people who have received these notices from the USCIS can submit a brief form, including their academic credentials and their notice without charge. An expert evaluator will then examine the education credentials and the notice to determine what information USCIS might require to approve the case. A company representative will then contact the client and explain what assistance CCI can offer. In some cases there is nothing that can be done. In most cases it is an uphill battle because they have already received an RFE or Denial. “It is best when we do the evaluation in the first place,” said Danzig. “But we have good success even after a denial in many cases. We have one eye on the USCIS requirements and one eye on the education documents. We know when you can combine and when you can’t. We have extensive reference material for many of the unusual degrees such as the 3 year bachelor’s degree, Chartered Accountancy (CA), AIME, AIMETE, ICAI, ICWAI, and others. Because degrees from other countries can be very different from ours reference materials and original research are often needed to explain the equivalencies.”
In addition attorneys and employers who are not certain whether their clients have the necessary education credentials, or who would like advice about what kind of evaluation their clients may need are also encouraged to visitwww.ccifree.com. CCI offers free pre-evaluations to attorneys and employers assisting clients with first-time visa applications or with RFEs or denials.
Many people don’t hear about this service until it’s almost too late, so they submit their academic credentials with very tight deadlines. In this case, clients are encouraged to call after submitting the request, so that evaluators can be made aware that their deadline for answering the USCIS is very near. Otherwise, CCI’s goal is a 2 business day turnaround time for these pre-evaluations, though most are completed within 24 hours.
This article was written by Staff