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Case Study: Incomplete College RFE Overturned!

There are many educational pathways that lead to skill attainment.  Some of them are entirely academic. Some begin in college and then end in the workplace rather than with degree completion.  Some are entirely experiential.  However, USCIS needs to see the US academic equivalency to circuitous educational journeys.

Last year, an H-1B beneficiary came to us with an education RFE for incomplete college.  They had the skills and understanding required for their specialty occupation, as evidenced by past work experience in the field.  While working in the field of the H-1B job, they had been promoted twice, showing applicable development of skill and understanding through the course of employment.  However, USCIS requires an H-1B beneficiary to hold a US bachelor’s degree or higher in the exact field of the H-1B job.  While our client had three years of college in an accredited institution in the United States and three years of progressive work experience, not having a full degree led to approval issues.

Here’s how we successfully got the RFE overturned:

We wrote a credential evaluation that took our client’s entire situation into account: the H-1B job, the education, the work experience, and USCIS approval trends (which we always keep an eye on).  Leveraging the three years of college credit, highlighting course content directly applicable to the field of the H-1B job, and including a work experience conversion, we were able to show USCIS that our client had the equivalency of a bachelor’s degree in the field of the H-1B job in terms of US academic value.

The work experience conversion was the key component to visa approval.  At CCI we work with professors authorized to grant college credit for work experience.  USCIS accepts that three years of progressive experience in a field is the equivalent of one year of college credit in that major.  The professor authorized this work experience conversion, which was included in the credential evaluation, showing that the education which occurred on the job – as evidenced by promotions – served as the equivalent of the missing fourth year of college credit.

This conversion can also work for three-year bachelor’s degrees, which are notorious for causing education issues for H-1B beneficiaries. 

If you, or if your employee or client has incomplete college, missing college, or a three-year bachelor’s degree, we recommend including a credential evaluation with a work experience conversion.  We can help.

For a free review of your case visit  We will respond in four hours or less.

Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI  Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.

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