foreign credentials evaluation

Employment from Abroad: Getting an H1-B Visa

USCIS website. In order to demonstrate that their foreign degrees or diplomas are equal to a U.S. degree, most workers are required to obtain an equivalency evaluation from a foreign credentials evaluation agency, such as Career Consulting International. This is particularly true for individuals from countries such as India, Pakistan, and some European Countries who hold 3-year degrees. These credential evaluations are also used for other purposes such as education and immigration, in the event that a person desires to apply for permanent resident status. Generally, people who hold H1-B visas are allowed to remain in this country for three years after obtaining the visa. These visas can be renewed one time, and allow a person to remain in the U.S. as a temporary worker for up to six years total. Individuals interested in staying longer or becoming permanent residents should consider applying for I-140 status instead.]]>

Business Visas: Legal Aliens Help Support the U.S. Economy

Most immigration reform addresses those in the US illegally. However, those who are hear legally often have a more difficult time obtaining permission to work than some illegal immigrants. (EMAILWIRE.COM, September 22, 2009 ) Orlando FL – Business Visas: Legal Aliens Help Support the U.S. Economy ©2009 Thomas W. Goldman, Esq., JD, LLM and Peter J. Loughlin, Esq. JD, LLM We often hear our immigration laws need reforming, but most of the attention is on reforming laws affecting immigrants who are in the United States illegally. We do, of course, realize that is perhaps not the politically correct way of saying it, but if we are going to solve our immigration problems, we have to face reality. Those individuals who are here legally also have immigration problems, and these are all too often ignored. While cries for legalization are even heard in street protests as well as in Congress, the fact is that it is easier for some illegal immigrants to obtain permission to work and to obtain a green card than it is for legal immigrants. How is this so? Well, let’s take a person who comes to the United States unlawfully and without inspection by boat to Miami or St. Thomas, and then files an application for political asylum. In 150 days, an employment authorization document can be issued permitting the individual to work in the United States, and, permanent residence can eventually be granted if the refugee is granted asylum. After five years they may file for and become a U.S. citizen. Contrast this scenario with a business investor from another country who wants to live and work in the United States, and is able to invest money in our economy and pay his or her own way while in this country. For example, some foreign nationals apply for an EB-5 visa by investing a minimum of $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more in a qualified business. Others, who own an ongoing business in their home country may invest money in establishing a viable branch office in the U.S. and obtain an L-1visa—also a potential track to obtaining lawful permanent residence status, that is, a green card. If the foreign national does not have sufficient funds to, in effect, buy a visa (and potentially a green card), or does not have an ongoing business in the home country, another very popular business investor visa is the E-2 visa. With this visa, they are able to purchase or start a new business in the United States and live and work here for an indefinite period of time. However, this type of visa will not allow the investor to ever apply for permanent residence. As wonderful as the business investor visas can be, they are not without problems. While at a restaurant recently, talking to the owner, he mentioned an unpleasant experience he had with the U.S. consular office in his home country of Germany. He and his wife were renewing their E-2 visa, which is required periodically in order assure that the business is still viable and, at least potentially helpful to the U.S. economy. To do so, he had to temporarily close the restaurant in order to return to his home country because the business requires his management and presence. He took his renewal application (four to five inches thick) to one of the examiners’ windows where he spoke with two US immigration officers to “resell” them on the continued viability of his business. This was not an easy process. The restaurant owner and his wife have been running this business in the U.S. for 10 years. They and their children have effectively made the U.S. their home. All of their money is tied up in the business. Yet, all could be lost in a matter of minutes in this interview. One officer listened while another reviewed the documentation. According to the owner, the attitude of the officers was somewhat confrontational with questions like, “How do you make so much money with so few employees.” The owners felt a sense of hostility and suspicion towards them although they have worked hard to establish and expand their business and have certainly contributed to the U.S. economy. What the restaurant owner may not have realized was that he was fortunate that the officers took the time to be prepared during the interview. We have, on occasion, had clients of Goldman & Loughlin go to the interview only to discover the officer had not taken the time to review the application and supporting documentation. While such incidents are admittedly rare, it should never happen to anyone—particularly hard working investors who have taken the time and effort to come to the U.S. lawfully and contribute to the community and economy of this nation. Getting back now to our point about the contrast between illegal and legal aliens. A process that allows refugees to come to America and receive permanent status, and potentially, US citizenship is just and noble. Many of these people are destitute, have no education and no ability to support themselves. Yet, through persistence and help from family, friends and the US government, a new life with all of the benefits of living in America can be started. The call is being made, however, to provide a path to permanent residence not only to refugees, but to anyone who has been able to make it across our borders and avoid detection. (The PC way of saying this is that there should be an undocumented workers program.) If Congress ever develops the political will to move ahead with immigration reform, attention must be paid to those who have come here legally as well as illegally. We, as a country, need to identify people who have the education and skills to help our economy grow and offer visas to encourage this class of foreign national to enter the U.S. as well. After all, due to the downturn in our economy, the ever-expanding opportunities for jobs in other countries such as India and China, over regulation of businesses and burdensome tax laws in the United States, educated and/or highly skilled engineers, mathematicians, scientists and health care professionals have a variety of other attractive options. Congress should continue to allow America to be a safe haven for refugees from around the world, and reform immigration laws in a realistic and humane way. However, it is imperative for our country to find solutions for immigrants who come here legally. We need to find ways to attract investors and other foreign nationals rather than discourage them from applying for visas. The good news is that our new-found friend and superb restaurateur was granted his visa and we will be able to continue to enjoy his great cuisine! About the Authors Attorneys, Thomas W. Goldman and Peter J. Loughlin are the founders and senior partners of Goldman & Loughlin, PLLC, a nationwide U.S. immigration law firm with offices in Orlando FL, Naples FL and Bradenton FL (www.USImmigrationTeam.com). They also host the popular blog and Internet radio talk show at: www.ImmigrationNewsRadio.com.]]>

Professional Credential Evaluations: Why Does Your Employer Want a Degree Evaluation?

If your employer has requested that you obtain a foreign credentials evaluations, ask for a summarization of his or her requirements. This will help you determine what type of evaluation to order so that you can show whether your foreign degree is the U.S (EMAILWIRE.COM, June 09, 2009 ) June 9, 2009 Sunrise, FL Were you surprised when you went to apply for a job and the organization to which you applied told you that you would need to have your academic credentials evaluated before you could be considered for hire? If you didn’t know that you needed a foreign credentials evaluation in order to apply for a job in the United States, you aren’t alone. While not all employers require foreign degree evaluations, many larger companies do, especially when the available position is one that requires a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Why? Because the wide variety of higher education programs offered in the United States and abroad make it difficult for most employers and universities to look at a degree and determine the U.S. equivalency of the education it represents. One problem that many companies have encountered in the past is unaccredited education. This may be because a college degree program is not recognized as accredited in the institution’s country. Occasionally, someone will attempt to pass a fake degree off as a real degree. For this reason, employers don’t want to take chances with their organization’s reputation. Another reason that your prospective employer may request an academic credentials evaluation is that your degree may be a different number of years or require a different number of credit hours than a U.S. degree. Most employers are aware that a difference exists between U.S. degrees and foreign degrees, and so prefer to have foreign credentials evaluated by experts skilled in the interpretation of these degrees. In certain situations, the organization may require educational qualifications in a certain specialty area or field of academic study. For example, a certain number of credits in accounting may be required to demonstrate that a person has sufficient education to meet the requirements of the job for which he or she is applying. Sometimes, an employer may request that you have your degree evaluated by a specific credential evaluation service. This may be an agency with whom the employer has worked in the past. Generally, however, any credential evaluation service whose evaluations are accepted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or for government employment, can offer an accurate evaluation of your educational credentials. This is because most credential evaluation services, such as Career Consulting International (CCI), have extensive expertise in the evaluation of foreign academic credentials. This expertise involves years of training, extensive research databases, and files of information about university degree programs and educational organizations worldwide. For more information about degree evaluations, or to determine the U.S. equivalency of your degree, visit www.thedegreepeople.com or call 1-800-771-4723. Don’t risk being employed in a job below your education credentials; make sure you get full credit for your hard-earned education today!]]>

The Truth About the H1b Visa

There are many misconceptions about the H1b Visa. People tend to confuse these legitimate workers with the undocumented workers (often referred to as illegals). They are very different. (EMAILWIRE.COM, June 17, 2009 ) It is a requirement for the US Citizen and Immigration Service that every foreign national to obtain a visa to legally work in the US borders. The H1B Visa is the most sought after official visa by people from all over the world wishing to temporarily relocate to live and work in the US – both professionals and students. This visa usually has a 6-year validity period and allows people to be employed by different employers. This ‘dream come true visa’ as seen by many seeking after it, was introduced by the United States Government to help the International Students as well as International Professionals, from all niches in the globe, secure an opportunity to live and at the same time work within the US borders. The greatest advantage of bearing this visa is that it bears dual intent meaning that you can still have it, apply and wait for a Green Card for permanent residency. To secure this visa, you have to find a H1B Sponsorship Job. After evaluation of foreign educational credentials by a foreign credential evaluation firm such aswww.TheDegreePeople.com, your prospective employer files your H1B visa application with the Immigration Bureau. This means that individuals cannot apply for this visa, it remains at the discretion of the Sponsoring Company or Employer. In other words you must have a sponsor and only the sponsor applies. To qualify for this visa, you have to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree equivalency (from your country) or 12 years professional experience in your field. Another alternative is a hybrid of the two which entail a mix of higher education such as diploma equivalency mixing education and work experience. For example if you can combine two years of university level education with 6 years professional experience in the field to show an equivalency to a US bachelor’s degree. This can only be done by a credential evaluation agency with a professor with the proper credentials. Sheila Danzig, Executive Director of Career Consulting International a foreign credential evaluation agency stated, “It is very important to know that your education or education and work experience combination match the job offer. We often see people whose education does not match the job description and that simply won’t be approved by the Immigration Service.” The ‘specialty occupations’ that make people qualify for the visa include: Accounting, Advertising, Banking, Business, Computing, Engineering (all types), Finance, HealthCare/Medical, IT, Lawyers, Legal, Management and Hospitality, Marketing, Networking, PR, Recruiting, Teaching and Telecoms among others. Various reasons encourage Sponsoring companies or Employers to hire foreign national and seek H1B visas for them. These reasons include: • These workers help in boosting the US economy in diverse ways while bettering their future. • Help fill gaping holes in employment where there are shortages of highly skilled professionals in the field. Even now, during a recession, certain jobs need workers who of higher skill than are in our workforce. • They possess global competitive advantage by bringing cultural diversity into the workplaces. • They have strong work ethics as well as a great enthusiasm to work. For students who qualify for these visas, transcript evaluation has to be performed so as to ensure that they are qualified students seeking further education (Diplomas, Bachelors or Masters) as they seek a livelihood while working at the same time.]]>

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