It’s important to prove you meet US academic qualifications for your specialty occupation when applying for your H-1B visa. Educational systems across the world vary greatly in both academic content, contact hours, and the number of years it takes to complete a degree or licensing program. For this reason, the USCIS requires you to prove that your degree, license, or certification carries the same academic value as its US counterpart required for your job. To do this, you need to order a detailed evaluation of your foreign credentials from a qualified credential evaluation agency.
To prove equivalency, the credential evaluation agency must be able to convert classroom contact hours into US college credit hours to properly evaluate the academic content of your degree. This ensures that you get credit where credit is due. Even if you have a 3-year bachelor’s degree, you can prove it equivalent to the academic content of a 4-year bachelor’s degree by getting a detailed evaluation of the academic content which can only be done by a credential evaluation agency with the authority to convert contact hours into credit hours. Often, 3-year degrees are condensed 4-year degrees, where students simply take more classes in a shorter period of time. You need a detailed evaluation to prove this though.
In the past, H-1B applicants have been able to get their visas approved by having a degree in a field related to the field of their specialty occupation. However, since more and more people are applying for these visas, far exceeding the annual cap of 65,000, standards around this have tightened. Now, you need to show that your degree is in the exact field of your job. Even if your degree is only in a related field, you can bridge this gap with a detailed credential evaluation from a credential evaluation agency with the authority to convert work experience in the exact field into classroom hours.
For these reasons, you need to find a credential evaluation agency with the authority to convert both work experience and classroom contact hours into college credit hours to prove academic equivalency and to bridge the gaps that may exist between your degree and your field of employ.
When looking for the right credential evaluation agency, here are some things to remember:
1) Make sure they have the proper authority to convert work experience and classroom contact hours into US college credit hours. If they do not, find an agency that does.
2) Ask about their H-1B experience specifically and make sure they have plenty of knowledge about US visa standards and the application process.
3) Ask if they are willing to work off of copies of your original academic documents. At CCI, we will work off of copies to save you valuable time and so that you don’t have to risk the chance your original copies will get lost in international mail.
4) Call in and talk to them. If you don’t feel comfortable and cared for, look somewhere else.
At CCI, we have extensive experience working with H-1B visa applicants. We have the authority to convert work experience and classroom contact hours into college credit hours, and we will work from copies of your original academic documents.
Check out cciFree.com for a free consultation on your H-1B credential evaluation.
This article was written by Rebecca Little