The education equivalency must match the education requirements on the PERM.
The bachelor’s degree equivalency must be a single-source degree.
The first problem EB2 candidates run into regularly that triggers and education RFE is that their education does not match the education requirements on the PERM. The PERM requires your education, or your employee or client’s education to be an exact match for their job title. This leads right into the second problem.
CIS requires an EB2 candidate’s education to have a single-source bachelor’s degree. This means that you, your employee, or your client’s education sources, or education and work experience cannot be combined to write an equivalency.
The 2006 Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association concluded, “For employment-based immigration visa purposes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not equate a three-year diploma plus a post-baccalaureate diploma as being the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree for either EB2 classification.”
This means if you, your employee, or your client has a two or three-year degree, the credential evaluator you work with needs to be able to write an evaluation to show equivalence to a US four-year degree without combining work experience to fill in the missing fourth year. While this method of evaluation works for the H1B visa, it will not for EB2.
What is the solution? Find a credential evaluation agency that often works with difficult cases, RFEs, and Denials because they understand what triggers them, and they understand how to address them. A knowledgeable evaluator knows the concerns and questions CIS has underlying this kind of RFE and can answer them by citing CIS decisions, memos, precedents, and other evidence that show functional equivalence, and how international trade organizations view the equivalence of your client’s degree. At TheDegreePeople, we are able to write evaluations that get our clients’ three and two-year degrees accepted regularly, but it takes a VERY detailed evaluation in which we hold CIS’s hand, guiding them through the complex terrain of the equivalency.
One way credential evaluators address this kind of RFE is by utilizing the progressive work experience conversion formula of three years of work experience in the field to one year of college credit in that field to write a Master’s degree equivalence. A credential evaluator can cite federal case law and CIS precedent decisions to write an evaluation that converts five years of progressive work experience in the field to a US Master’s degree in that field to meet PERM education requirements.
We see difficult RFEs and Denials every day at TheDegreePeople. While there are never any guarantees with CIS, we follow their educational trends closely and know what tends to work and what does not. If you, your client, or your employ has received an RFE for an education situation, visit us online at cciFree.com. We will review your case at no cost and advise you on how to best proceed.
About the Author
Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of 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.