The easiest way to address an education RFE is to avoid one in the first place. If you are, or if your employee or client is applying for H-1B visa status, here are three circumstances in which an credential evaluation is essential to preempt any education issues on the road to visa approval:
1. Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree
If the H-1B worker has a three-year bachelor’s degree a credential evaluation is needed to account for the missing fourth year. This is even the case if the three-year program had the same or greater classroom contact hours than a traditional US four-year program. A work experience conversion where three years of work experience in the field of the H-1B job is converted into one year of college credit in that degree specialization is needed to account for the missing fourth year. This conversion can be completed by a professor authorized to grant college credit for work experience.
2. Degree Earned Outside of the United States
An academic credential evaluation must be written to clearly show USCIS what this foreign degree means in terms of US educational standards. Sometimes the evaluation is straightforward. Sometimes, a work experience conversion, a close examination of course content, or citing precedent decisions and federal caselaw is needed.
3. Mismatched Degree Specialization
For over five years, USCIS has been issuing education RFEs if the degree specialization is not an exact match for the H-1B job, even if it is in a related field. This is a problem because employers will hire workers with degrees in related specializations, but then USCIS will not approve their visas. To address this issue, a detailed credential evaluation is needed to write the equivalent of the required degree in the exact specialization of the H-1B job. This requires a close look at course content, additional training and education in the field, and often a work experience conversion.
All of these situations require an academic credential evaluation written uniquely to address the beneficiary, the visa, the job, the education, and USCIS approval trends. Even if the H-1B beneficiary has no college, incomplete college, or a degree from an unaccredited institution, the right evaluation can show how their non-traditional pathway through education has qualified them for the H-1B job in terms of US academic standards.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com, all of our credential evaluations are written uniquely by expert evaluators. We work with professors who have the authority to make work experience conversions.
For a free review of your case visit www.ccifree.com. We will respond in 4 hours or less.
Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.