H1B filing season is coming up fast. April 1st is right around the corner and you want to make sure you have the time you need to file a petition that’s going to be approved.
In the haste of preparation, it’s important to keep in mind that the rate of RFEs is high and climbing, and submitting a petition that doesn’t meet H1B requirements is a costly waste of time. Meeting H1B educational requirements clearly and initially is the key to visa approval. Successful H1B candidates must hold a US bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent in their field of employ. This sounds simple enough, but matters get tricky when a candidate holds a degree or vocational certificate from outside of the United States.
Many candidates are misinformed about their US educational equivalent. This leads to submitting petitions that are doomed to failure. For example, some candidates have earned diplomas and certificates that are not the equivalent of degrees in the United States. Sometimes, the value of the degree gets lost in translation into English. Some vocational certifications from other countries ARE the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree even though the US vocational certification is not. Foreign credential evaluation is a highly nuanced process that encompasses international education, college and graduate program admissions policies, international trade and commerce agreements, federal case law, and CIS precedent decisions. All of these factors come into play when discerning whether or not you education, or your employee or client’s education meets H1B requirements, and does so with respect to CIS approval trends.
Before you get too far on the H1B petition, take the candidate’s education and work experience to a credential evaluation agency. The right agency for you works regularly with H1B cases and their RFEs. When you call or email, they will respond promptly and ask about your or your employee or client’s job and visa. If the agency does not ask about the job and visa, look elsewhere.
Don’t file an H1B petition with the wrong education. If a candidate does not meet CIS educational requirements with their foreign degree, they may be able to meet equivalency requirements by including a work experience conversion with a detailed credential evaluation.
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