Credential evaluations

Your Best Solution to the EB2 Education Puzzle

ccifree.com and submit the candidate’s educational documents and a current, accurate resume, along with the job and desired educational equivalency. We will get back to you within 24 hours with a pre-evaluation and full analysis, and consult with you on your options.Sheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723. ]]>

Job Description and the Degree Requirement: Is Your Candidate H-1B Qualified?

st. If the past several years are any indication of what is to come, you will only have a five-day window to get your client or employee’s petition in the H-1B lottery.Before you even get started, there are two very important questions about whether or not the job and the employee are H-1B qualified you and your client or employee should be asking:

  1. Is the job itself a specialty occupation?
  2. Is my employee or client educationally qualified for this specialty occupation?
To qualify for H-1B visa status, the job must require a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent or higher to show that the position requires the employee to possess specialized skills and knowledge to carry out successfully. Mid-sized companies in particular are asked to justify why someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher is required for the job, and you need to show this through evidence and documentation. For example, the ad for the job can be used as proof if it indicates that as a minimum qualification the employee must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. You can also show that similar jobs for similar companies also have these specialized requirements. However, if the job requires a generalized degree – even if it is a bachelor’s degree – you may run into problems because a generalized degree does not indicate that specialized knowledge and skills are required. This is where alternative forms of evidence, like expert opinion letters and examples of similar jobs for similar companies come in particular handy. It is on you to prove that you require a highly skilled employee with a specialized knowledge base to successfully carry out the duties of an H-1B job.Say you’ve established that your company absolutely needs an employee with a bachelor’s degree or higher and a specialized knowledge base and skill set to carry out the duties of this H-1B position. NOW you need to show that your H-1B candidate is that employee with the required education and specialized knowledge base and skill set. How do you do this? If your candidate has a bachelor’s degree or higher from a US college or university with a major that is an exact fit for their field of employ, it is straightforward. If your candidate has a degree from a different country or with a major in a different field – even if it’s in a related field – from their field of employ, you will need to take one more step to meet this H-1B requirement.CIS does not accept a three-year degree as the equivalent of a US four-year degree at face value. However, when evaluated for academic course content, an evaluation agency with the authority to convert classroom contact hours into college credit can use this technique to take a close look at your client or employee’s degree and bridge the missing year. An evaluator with the authority to convert years of work experience into college credit can follow the 3-1 rule and convert three years of progressive work experience in the field into one year of college credit. Both of these careful evaluation methods can also be utilized to show specialization in the candidate’s field of employ if they have worked in the field or taken enough classes throughout their college career in that field.Don’t wait until it’s too late to get started on your employee or client’s H-1B petition. This is US immigration, which means it’s a bundle of details and documentation that often takes time and energy to get in order. If your client or employee needs a credential evaluation to show that they meet CIS educational requirements, start looking for the right credential evaluation agency to meet your needs. The right agency should be able to right an evaluation as unique as your client’s education, and they should have a firm understanding of CIS trends and the different academic requirements for different visas.About the AuthorSheila DanzigSheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI, TheDegreePeople.com, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com or call 800.771.4723. ]]>

Employment from Abroad: Getting an H1-B Visa

USCIS website.In order to demonstrate that their foreign degrees or diplomas are equal to a U.S. degree, most workers are required to obtain an equivalency evaluation from a foreign credentials evaluation agency, such as Career Consulting International. This is particularly true for individuals from countries such as India, Pakistan, and some European Countries who hold 3-year degrees. These credential evaluations are also used for other purposes such as education and immigration, in the event that a person desires to apply for permanent resident status.Generally, people who hold H1-B visas are allowed to remain in this country for three years after obtaining the visa. These visas can be renewed one time, and allow a person to remain in the U.S. as a temporary worker for up to six years total. Individuals interested in staying longer or becoming permanent residents should consider applying for I-140 status instead.]]>

Professional Credential Evaluations: Why Does Your Employer Want a Degree Evaluation?

If your employer has requested that you obtain a foreign credentials evaluations, ask for a summarization of his or her requirements. This will help you determine what type of evaluation to order so that you can show whether your foreign degree is the U.S(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 09, 2009 ) June 9, 2009 Sunrise, FLWere you surprised when you went to apply for a job and the organization to which you applied told you that you would need to have your academic credentials evaluated before you could be considered for hire?If you didn’t know that you needed a foreign credentials evaluation in order to apply for a job in the United States, you aren’t alone. While not all employers require foreign degree evaluations, many larger companies do, especially when the available position is one that requires a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Why? Because the wide variety of higher education programs offered in the United States and abroad make it difficult for most employers and universities to look at a degree and determine the U.S. equivalency of the education it represents.One problem that many companies have encountered in the past is unaccredited education. This may be because a college degree program is not recognized as accredited in the institution’s country. Occasionally, someone will attempt to pass a fake degree off as a real degree. For this reason, employers don’t want to take chances with their organization’s reputation.Another reason that your prospective employer may request an academic credentials evaluation is that your degree may be a different number of years or require a different number of credit hours than a U.S. degree. Most employers are aware that a difference exists between U.S. degrees and foreign degrees, and so prefer to have foreign credentials evaluated by experts skilled in the interpretation of these degrees.In certain situations, the organization may require educational qualifications in a certain specialty area or field of academic study. For example, a certain number of credits in accounting may be required to demonstrate that a person has sufficient education to meet the requirements of the job for which he or she is applying.Sometimes, an employer may request that you have your degree evaluated by a specific credential evaluation service. This may be an agency with whom the employer has worked in the past. Generally, however, any credential evaluation service whose evaluations are accepted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or for government employment, can offer an accurate evaluation of your educational credentials.This is because most credential evaluation services, such as Career Consulting International (CCI), have extensive expertise in the evaluation of foreign academic credentials. This expertise involves years of training, extensive research databases, and files of information about university degree programs and educational organizations worldwide. For more information about degree evaluations, or to determine the U.S. equivalency of your degree, visit www.thedegreepeople.com or call 1-800-771-4723. Don’t risk being employed in a job below your education credentials; make sure you get full credit for your hard-earned education today!]]>

H1b Cap Still Not Filled: Academic Credentials Evaluations for H1B Visa Transfers

While the H1b Cap is well behind last years pace. H1B visa new, renewal and transfer applications will still being accepted for Fiscal Year 2010. A good evaluation can help with even the most complex academic credential evaluations.(EMAILWIRE.COM, April 13, 2009 ) Academic Credentials Evaluations for H1B Visa TransfersThe most recent report issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicates that only 42,000 H1B Visa petitions have been received as of April 9, 2009. On that date, immigration authorities released statements that petitions would continue to be accepted until the cap of 65,000 petitions had been received by their office. Additionally, USCIS officials will continue to allow persons currently holding H1B visas to apply for renewals and transfers to other sponsoring companies during this time. Unlike citizens or permanent residents, workers who reside in the United States on H1B visas must apply for government approval of their request to transfer their work visa to another approved job position.Depending on the time frame and the job requirements, workers may have to have their educational credentials re-evaluated before the USCIS will consider the petition to transfer or renew their visa. Sometimes these credential evaluationsmay be very straightforward and easy to process. Others are very complex and require expert opinions or proof of work experience.If you currently hold an H1B visa and are planning to transfer jobs, consult an immigration attorney to determine whether your academic credentials need to be re-evaluated before you apply for the transfer. If you do require a credentials evaluation, the cost and complexity of the evaluation will depend on several factors.Are you applying for an identical position with another company? If your education is identical to the requirements listed on your H1B Visa, you will probably have little difficulty. For example, if your employer requires a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science, and you hold a four-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science, you will probably only need a short credentials evaluation called a document evaluation.If, however, you have a three-year degree, or if your degree certificate does not specify a major in computer science, you may have to show proof of work experience to equal the needed educational credentials. Credential evaluation services such as Career Consulting International (CCI), owned and managed by Executive Director Sheila Danzig, specialize in complex evaluations involving three-year degrees and work experience evaluations. If you need your academic credentials re-evaluated for visa application or transfer, visit CCI at www.thedegreepeople.com. Even if you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Denial from the USCIS, their team of experts and professional evaluators is willing to examine your documents without charge to see if they can help. For more information, call their toll-free assistance line at 1-800-771-4723 today.Choosing a good attorney and a reputable credential evaluation service may be the difference between acceptance and denial of your H1B visa application. Rely on experts you know you can trust. CCI’s credential evaluations have an approval rate of greater than 90 percent. Can you really afford not to choose them?]]>

THREE-YEAR DEGREES AND I-140 VISAS: AN IMPOSSIBLE COMBINATION?

all 3-year degrees have a high risk of being denied. The MATTER OF SHAH  is now being used to question degrees worldwide, rather than primarily for degrees from Indian universities. These degrees are, in fact, being denied much more frequently, and evaluators have been warned that, in all probability, this trend will only continue.What can we do to help students with 3-year degrees resolve this dilemma?1. Recently, Ron Wada advised: “This is one situation where the service centers’ case by case policy can work in your favor, because that cuts both ways. They still leave the door open to say, “If you can show us that your three year degree is equivalent to a US 4 year bachelor degree then we will approve your case. But the burden of proof is on you. Alright, so one can visualize that it is possible to do this … ”  Furthermore, concerning the evaluation process itself, Wada stated, “I would like to say one thing here, for the future, the way I see the future of credential evaluations, we have to get smarter. We cannot assume that what we’ve used in the past, the cookie cutter, on the cheap, credential evaluation is going to fly. If you have a case that solidly meets the requirements you don’t even need a credential evaluation and it is not useful in that situation. When you need it is when you’ve got facts that aren’t clearly approvable and you need a credential evaluation to back that up. You are going to need a credential evaluation that does something for you, that gives analysis, that provides back up documentation. It cannot be the simple evaluation you’re used to getting.”At both the 2006 and 2007 AILA conferences with USCIS, this issue was discussed.USCIS offered this response to a question that arose during the April 19, 2006 AILA liaison’s visit with I-140 product line manager supervisors:“We are aware that some countries (i.e., many European countries) have educational systems that have the equivalent of 13 years education prior to university, and that education plus a three-year university degree is the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in the U.S. However, many other countries’ educational systems have only 12 years of education prior to university, and then only three years of university coursework. With respect to such degree, we need evidence that the beneficiary has the equivalent of the required degree…A simple credential evaluation stating that the degree is equivalent may not be sufficient. It should be supported by a detailed explanation of how that conclusion was made and the transcripts of the beneficiary’s schooling to support the explanation and to document where the evaluator found the coursework equating a four-year degree.”Furthermore, during this session, the USCIS admitted that a Bachelor Degree awarded to a student who graduates from a 12+3 educational system, such as the one found in India, may be considered to be the U.S. equivalency of a four-year bachelor degree if the recipient can document that the coursework involved is equivalent to that found in a four-year degree program. We offer, in this expert opinion, a detailed explanation that utilizes comprehensive evidence concluding that, based on a comparison of coursework, the Indian 3-year degree is the US equivalency of a 4-year bachelor degree program.Again, as stated in the April 2007 NSC Liaison Spring Meeting:“2. We understand that NSC reviews a beneficiary’s educational qualifications on a case by case basis, and considers credential evaluations to be purely advisory in nature. The “case by case” policy makes it difficult for petitioners to understand what documentation is needed to support their case. One member reports receiving multiple RFEs requesting documentation of the “length and complexity” of the academic program; but this type of request in an RFE still does not provide the guidance needed to prepare a response. For the situations listed in Question 1 where documentation beyond the official academic record is needed to establish either bachelor’s degree or master’s degree equivalency, it would be helpful if NSC could provide some basic guidance concerning the minimum content of the supplementary documentation that would be needed to establish foreign degree equivalency with U.S. degrees. For example, for EB2 cases involving beneficiaries with an Indian 3 year bachelor’s degree followed by a 2 year master’s degree, we understand that NSC has approved I-140s where the petitioner has submitted either:

  1. Examples of comparable U.S. master’s degree programs requiring only one year to complete (indicating that a total of 5 years of undergraduate and graduate level education is sufficient); or
  2. Credential evaluations that provide a detailed comparison of credit hours completed by the beneficiary for the 3 year bachelor’s degree program with credit hours required by comparable U.S. bachelor’s programs.
Please confirm whether either or both of these types of documentation can establish equivalency in situations where NSC requires supplementary evidence of degree equivalency.Answer: In most situations, either of these instances would allow USCIS to determine in facor of educational equivalency. The petition filed must include adequate documentation to establish that the beneficiary is indeed meets the qualification requirements specified in the labor certification. If the requirement of a master’s degree is specified, the petitioner must be able to offer enough documentary evidence that the beneficiary’s education is the functional equivalent of a US master’s degree in the required field.CCI will review all RFEs and Denials that are based on foreign education credential evaluations wtihout charge. We do this in order to assist clients, as well as their attorneys and employers. Call Toll-Free: 1.800.771.4723 for details.Sheila Danzig is the executive director of Career Consulting International, a foreign credential evaluation agency that specializes in USCIS education-related RFE’s and Denials. Ms. Danzig is the co-author of an article that offers an in-depth examination of Indian 3-year degrees.]]>

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