kandidat naouk, which is generally the equivalent of a US doctorate cannot be TRANSLATED as a doctorate degree or a PhD. In the US, we know that a CPA is not a degree title. The title Certified Public Accountant is a professional title. The same is true for the CA (Chartered Accountants) in Canada. However, in India, the CA is actually equivalent to a degree in India, but this cannot be translated. It must be carefully evaluated based on academic content and legal precedents. Words must be translated, and credentials must be evaluated. These are two completely different processes and to combine them is both dangerous and misleading. The solution to this is for the translator to always translate the literal words without making an educational value assessment. Leave that to a credential evaluation agency. To get an accurate evaluation that will not mislead employers and not leave visa candidates out of luck when the USCIS questions the credibility of their credential evaluator, keep this a two-step process. You would never hire a credential evaluation agency to translate documents. Do not hire a translation agency to discern academic equivalencies. Bear in mind that not all credential evaluation agencies have evaluators qualified to assess equivalency with accuracy either. In fact, we are seeing more and more Requests For Evidence inquiring into the credibility of credential evaluation agencies. Not all credential evaluators have the expertise to write accurate evaluations, and not all agencies have the authority to make the necessary conversions to prove equivalence. When you and your client or employee are looking for the right agency to hire to write a credential evaluation, here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. When you talk with an agency, ask about the credentials, experience, and expertise of the person who will be writing the evaluation. If the agency will not discuss this with you, look elsewhere. A credential evaluator should at minimum hold a degree in higher education that includes significant study in international education systems, or have extensive experience working in university admissions. Working in admissions gives evaluators first hand knowledge and experience with how foreign degrees are valued in the eyes of the universities and graduate programs the evaluation will be written for.
  1. Higher cost does not directly translate into higher quality when it comes to credential evaluations. In fact, it’s the credible evaluation agencies that typically offer inexpensive services. If an agency requests a large payment up front before they are willing to discuss your case, look elsewhere. If they charge exorbitant prices, look elsewhere.
  1. Many evaluation agencies are members of professional bodies and trade associations. Evaluation agencies are not required to be members in organizations such as these, although many are. While membership may make an agency look more official and credible, do not base your decision on these associations. Membership does not make for a meaningful assessment of an agency’s product.
  1. Beware evaluation mills. Some evaluators will just rubber-stamp whatever equivalency is asked for. This is misleading for employers and will certainly land your client or employee an RFE come visa petition time. How can you avoid this? When you talk to a potential evaluation agency, ask about their evaluation policies. This will show you whether or not they are prepared to tailor their services to your client or employee’s individual situation.
Look for a credential evaluation agency that is forthcoming with the qualifications of their evaluators, and that will address your client or your employee’s unique situation. About the Author Sheila Danzig Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723. Mention that you saw this in the ILW article and get 72 hour rush service at no charge.  ]]>