progressive experience conversion

What USCIS Needs to Know about Your Client’s Indian Three-Year Degree

  • Candidates do not possess the core knowledge that comes from a US four-year degree.
  • The Indian three-year bachelor’s degree tends to have a more specialized curriculum while US four-year bachelor’s degree programs require general credits and classes from outside of a student’s major. However, this is changing in universities across India. Many institutions have changed to a choice-based credit system, which allows flexibility for students to take classes outside of their major. At the same time, the core education curriculum required for Indian students to earn a High School Diploma before they even enter college is extensive, rigorous, and well rounded. In most cases, Indian students are coming into college with the core knowledge US bachelor’s degree students must learn in college.
    1. The missing fourth year means a missing year of academic content.
    Debunking this myth is a matter of math. The US four-year bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours to graduate. One college credit hour is comprised of fifteen classroom contact hours, meaning fifteen hours spent directly in the classroom. This is 1800 classroom contact hours for a US four-year bachelor’s degree. According to Dr. R. Venkatachalam, former psychology professor at Bharathiar University in India (, a typical Indian three-year degree program has roughly 3,240 classroom contact hours. Now that you understand the value of your client’s three-year Indian bachelor’s degree, how can you express this to USCIS in a way that they will understand? Regardless of how many classroom contact hours your client’s degree consists of, CIS still requires a progressive work experience evaluation to account for the missing fourth year. This means your client must have three years of work experience in their field of employ that can be converted into one year of college credit in that field. Progressive work experience means your client took on more work and responsibility in this experience, indicating that specialized skills and knowledge were learned and mastered. A credential evaluation agency with the authority to convert progressive work experience into college credit can write the detailed credential evaluation your and your client need to meet H1-b visa requirements in accordance with CIS educational trends. Do not file your client’s H1-b petition without one such credential evaluation or the missing fourth year will come back to haunt you in the form of an RFE or Denial. About the Author Sheila Danzig Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFEs, Denials, or NOIDs, please go to or call 800.771.4723.]]>

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