Using Chartered Accountancy Certificate for EB2

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Evaluating education across educational system structures from one country to the next is complex enough when just dealing with degrees. Another layer of complexity is added when evaluating certifications across borders. Some certifications are actually the equivalence of a degree in that field in the United States while similar certifications from different countries are not.

One common occurrence in which this is the case is the Chartered Accountancy certification from India. With an evaluation and a detailed expert opinion letter, the Indian Chartered Accountancy Certificate can be shown equivalent to a US Bachelor’s degree. While this certification is evaluated to be the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree with a major in Accounting, the Chartered Accountancy certification from Canada is not. Similar certifications in different countries evaluate to different equivalencies in terms of the value of US education. How can this be?

The answer is not determined by which evaluator you go to, and will not change from one agency to the next. The equivalency answer is based on equivalencies in the home countries of the holders of these certificates. In India, the Chartered Accountancy certification is the result of post-secondary education and passing examinations that have prerequisites of post-secondary education. The Canadian Chartered Accountancy certification is a professional certification, but not post-secondary education. How does one discern the difference between what is post-secondary education and what is not? The way to evaluate these certifications – or, in the case of the Indian Chartered Accountancy certification, degrees that don’t call themselves degrees – is to look at the stages of education required to complete that certification, and the post-graduate education and professions that certification meets the prerequisite standards of.

It looks like this:

To hold an Indian Chartered Accountancy certification, a person must have completed a program of education that culminates in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (IACI) formal examination. To take this examination, a candidate must have passed the PE-II Intermediate examination and have 2.5 years of practical training. To take the PE-II, an Indian bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of the PE-I is necessary. Therefore, if a candidate holds an Indian Chartered Accountancy certification, the education required to get there is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.

In 2007, the AAO agreed in their decision that states, “Passage of the ICAI final examination and obtaining associate membership in the ICAI is the foreign equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree in Accounting.”

Even difficult degrees – and degrees that don’t call themselves degrees – can be understood when broken down into the steps and prerequisites necessary to obtain them.

About the Author

Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to or call 800.771.4723. Mention that you saw this in the ILW article and get 72 hour rush service at no charge.


This article was written by Rebecca Little