Credential Evaluation

What is Different about the FY2020 H-1B Lottery Beginning April 1st?

This year, there have been some changes made to the H-1B lottery process and to approval adjudication. 

As in years previous, 65,000 H-1B visas are available for beneficiaries with US Bachelor degrees or higher or their equivalent, and 20,000 H-1B visas are allotted for beneficiaries with advanced degrees of US Master degree or higher.  What is different about this year is that in previous years the 20,000 advanced degree visas are selected in the first lottery, and then the visas left over are thrown in with the second general lottery for the remaining 65,000 visas.  This year, the general lottery will happen first.  Then, the remaining petitions for beneficiaries with advanced degrees will enter into the lottery for the additional 20,000 visas.  This is good news for advanced degree holders.

The second difference is that this year USCIS adjudicators have the authority to deny H-1B visas outright without first issuing an RFE to give petitioners a chance to defend and strengthen their cases. 

It is estimated that there will be about 150,000 H-1B visa petitions submitted the first week of April for cap-subject H-1B visas for FY2020.  Last year, the approval rate for H-1B candidates selected in the lottery was 60%, a rate that has been declining since 2016.  Along with this, the approval rate for cases that received an RFE dropped from 83.2% in 2015 to just 62.3% in 2018 with a massive spike in the overall rate of RFE responses from USCIS.

At CCI, over 90% of our clients who came to us with H-1B RFEs succeeded in getting their RFEs overturned and their visas approved.  We work with difficult cases every year, and this year we urge you to anticipate any RFEs you, or your client or employee’s case is likely to run into BEFORE you file.  This means additional documentation, expert opinion letters from the RIGHT kind of expert, and credential evaluations must be submitted with the initial filing. 

For a free review of your case, visit  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.


Which is the ONLY Evaluation Agency in the PERM Book?

The PERM Book is out, created by 21 immigration law experts to guide those involved in PERM cases through the complex and nuanced process of visa approval today. This comprehensive book covers all steps in the PERM petition process, including unique and difficult cases, and how to appeal a Denial.  At CCI, we are proud to be the only credential evaluation agencies included in The PERM Book.  Over the years, we have worked closely with the country’s top immigration attorneys to find creative solutions to any situation that the PERM petition process throws at us.  We have developed successful strategies to prevent PERM issues that often result in Denials, and to successfully address these issues when they arrive post-filing. CCI TheDegreePeople is a member of the International Center for Academic Excellence, which is one of only three credential evaluation membership organizations with UNESCO approval.  We maintain an updated reference library to ensure that each credential evaluation is uniquely and thoroughly researched with regards to the job, the visa, the education, and current USCIS approval trends.  We maintain a network of experts internationally in every field of specialization for expert opinion letters, and we now assist legal professionals in obtaining and filing the appropriate documents needed for each education-based and employment focused visa cases. If you work with PERM cases, or are an employer sponsoring a PERM employee, or if you are a PERM beneficiary, we highly recommend this book as a resource for success.  To purchase a copy, visit For a free review of your case, visit  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.    ]]>

Case Study: EB-2 Education RFE – Overturned!

  • They must have been hired for a job that requires a US master’s degree or higher, or a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent FOLLOWED BY at least five years of progressive work experience in the field.
  • They must have the education required for the EB-2 qualified job or exceptional ability as clearly proven with a National Interest Waiver.
  • One of the most common RFEs EB-2 candidates run into is an education issue RFE.  Our client came to us with an Indian three-year bachelor’s degree, many years of progressive work experience, and an RFE.  He had the years of experience to more than cover the five years of progressive work experience following having earned the bachelor’s degree.  The issue arose because with EB-2 educational requirements the bachelor’s degree is required to be a SINGLE SOURCE and CIS does not accept that the Indian three-year degree is the equivalent of the US four-year bachelor’s degree regardless of the number of classroom contact hours.  CIS requires the missing fourth year to be accounted for. With other visas, like H-1B, our client could have included a work experience conversion that converts three years of progressive work experience in a given field of specialization into one year of college education towards that degree to account for the missing year.  This does not work for EB-2 because that would not meet the equivalency requirement of a single source bachelor’s degree. Our solution was to write a credential evaluation fortified by CIS approval precedents and federal case law that took twelve years of our client’s progressive work experience in the field and converted it into the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree in the field.  Then, the next five years of work experience were included to meet EB-2 educational standards requiring a single source US bachelor’s degree FOLLOWED BY five years of work experience in the field.  The RFE was overturned. If you or your employee or client is facing an education RFE for EB-2, let us help you.  Even the candidate doesn’t have the years to cover a complete work experience conversion, there are other ways to address the equivalency issue through detailed credential evaluations tailored to your or your employee or client’s unique situation, and through expert opinion letters and National Interest Waiver options.  Let us review your case for free.  Visit  We will respond in 48 hours or less.    ]]>

    Visa Adjudication Memorandum Support Part II: Expert Opinion Letters for I-140 Issues We Can Help You With

    Managerial/Executive Capacity Letter If you, or your employee or client works as a manager, you will have to provide extra evidence to make sure the job meets certain criteria to work for the selected preference.  The key factor here is to show that the beneficiary MANAGES the daily functions of the business rather than simply PERFORMS them.  Making this distinction clear in a letter by an expert in the field is essential to making sure the beneficiary doesn’t run into trouble with this differentiation in the adjudication process. Extraordinary Ability Letter If you, or if your employee or client is filing Form I-140 under classification EB-1, you will need to include a letter from an expert in the beneficiary’s field who is not affiliated with the beneficiary themselves.  This letter needs to clearly show CIS that the beneficiary is internationally recognized for their significant contributions to the field of their occupation. National Interest Waiver This expert opinion letter is needed if your beneficiary is petitioning as key to the national interest.  What is in the “national interest” is not clearly spelled out and is highly subjective, and so an expert opinion letter is needed to prove to CIS that the beneficiary as an individual serves a key function for the national interest, not just that the occupation or field of employment sponsorship is in the national interest.  When CIS determines whether a beneficiary qualifies for a National Interest Waiver, they are looking for scope of benefit – meaning is the benefit of this person’s contribution effects the nation.  They also take into account whether a US citizen with the same qualifications would be able to accomplish what the beneficiary can.  Therefore, the expert opinion letter must address scope and uniqueness regarding your case, or your employee or client’s case. Specialty occupation, credential evaluation, and work experience evaluation issues also arise in I-140 cases.  These expert opinion letters must take the unique educational requirements of the visa into account because the sequence of education and work experience is nuanced, and any bachelor’s degrees or bachelor’s degree equivalency must be a single source.  This can be especially challenging if the degree was earned outside of the US, the degree major doesn’t match the field of employment, or years of college are missing. At TheDegreePeople, we will ALWAYS write you the evaluation or opinion letter you need with regards to your visa, or your employee or client’s visa, the particular occupation for the particular company, and with regards to CIS approval trends and process and policy changes. Whether you are working on an H1B or I-140 case, visit and let us review your case for free to identify any potential issues you may run into with adjudication.  We will get back to you in 48 hours with our full analysis and recommendations.  ]]>

    Does Your H-1B Petition Need a Credential Evaluation? Find Out Fast!

    nd, which is just under two weeks away. We predict that the cap will be met by Friday April 6th, so get those petitions ready to file! The last minute is NOT the time to cut corners. Even if you get your petition, or your employee or client’s petition in on time, it will not be approved if it is incorrect or incomplete. That means you need to have all of the documentation and evidence necessary to clearly show you meet, or your employee or client and the job meet H-1B eligibility requirements the first time. That way, if you make, or your client or employee makes the H-1B lottery, it will be easy for CIS to approve the petition. One of the biggest mistakes we see every year is that beneficiaries don’t include a credential evaluation in their petition when one is needed, or the credential evaluation will not serve the needs of the job or visa. To meet CIS educational requirements for the H-1B visa, the beneficiary must hold a US bachelors degree or higher, or its equivalent in the field of the H-1B job. In the past, related areas of study have been acceptable, but in the past several years, CIS has only approved beneficiaries with specialization in the exact field of the H-1B job. That means, to meet H-1B eligibility requirements, you, or your client or employee must have a US bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent in the exact field of the H-1B job. If you, or your client or employee doesn’t have the US degree in the exact field of the job, you will need to go a step farther to show you or your employee or client is qualified for the specialty occupation and for H-1B visa status. Do you, or does your client or employee need to include a credential evaluation to meet CIS educational requirements? If any of the following situations apply to your situation, or your client or employee’s situation, the answer is YES: • Degree is from outside of the United States, especially three-year bachelors degree. • Incomplete college degree or no college at all. • Degree with a major that is not an exact match for the H-1B job. • Degree is generalized with no specialization. • Degree does not have the word “degree” in the title, ex. Indian Chartered Accountancy. The next step is to order a credential evaluation that closes the gaps between the beneficiary’s education and H-1B educational requirements. The right evaluation takes into account the H-1B job and visa requirements. If an evaluator or agency doesn’t ask about the beneficiary’s job or visa, look elsewhere. For three-year degrees, CIS requires a work experience conversion that converts three years of progressive work experience into one year of college credit to account for the missing third year. Only a professor with the authority to grand work experience for college credit can do this. At TheDegreePeople, we have such professors on hand 24/7 to write the review you need. We offer affordable rush delivery options for evaluations needed all the way down to 12 hour rush delivery, by the clock. We have experts on hand 24/7 for free consultations on how to best ensure your petition, or your client or employee’s petition is seamless. Don’t file an incomplete or incorrect petition, simply visit for a no charge and no obligation review of your case, or your client or employee’s case.]]>

    H1B Alert: Don't Submit the Right Evaluation for the Wrong Visa

  • Did they ask about the visa?
  • Did they ask about the job?
  • Do they work with H1B cases and their RFEs on a regular basis?
  • The right evaluation agency for you case, or your client or employee’s case is the one that asks about the visa and the job, and works regularly with H1B cases and H1B RFE cases. At TheDegreePeople, we follow CIS approval trends, and work regularly with H1B cases and their RFEs. We know what triggers common RFEs, and we know how to prevent them. For a free review of your case, or your client or employee’s case, visit]]>

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