When applying a work visa or Green Card through employment, applicants are often asked to provide evidence of their educational background, such as diplomas, certificates and transcripts. However, for those applicants with foreign educational backgrounds, the USCIS needs some evaluation reports to see how these foreign degrees compare to the U.S. standards. With the public charge rule going into effect in February 2020, USCIS now judges Green Card applications with extra scrutiny, including education level. For some of the visas, like H-1B or EB-2 or EB-3 visas, where it is required that the applicant holds an equivalent to at least a U.S. 4-year bachelor’s degree, a degree/credential evaluation report and a work experience evaluation is mandatory.
That’s why having your foreign degree and education documents evaluated for your visa or Green Card application package is critical and you could get it prepared in the earlier stage for your visa or Green Card application.
I have the verified copies of my foreign university diploma and transcripts in the application. Shouldn’t they be enough for my H-1B Application?
No. Different countries have different educational requirements for universities and master’s degrees. For example, in Australia, a bachelor’s degree program may vary from three to seven years of coursework. In India, most universities and colleges only require three years of coursework to graduate and receive a bachelor’s degree. However, for the H-1B visa which requires the applicant to hold an equivalent to at least 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree, a three-year foreign college degree is insufficient to show the applicant meets the requirement.
What is Degree or Credential Evaluation?
A degree evaluation is a report that compares your foreign education with the U.S. education benchmarks and standards.
There are two types of education evaluation packages usually provided by most credential evaluation services: a general document-by-document package and a course-by-course evaluation. For the immigration purpose, the USCIS usually only needs general document-by-document credential evaluation reports. Course-by-course evaluation is commonly used for U.S. university or graduate school applications, but not required for visa or green card applications with the USCIS.
If foreign work experience and skills need to be verified, some credential evaluation services also provide expert opinion or professional work experience evaluation. Professional work experience evaluation is often required when the U.S. job offer is not directly related to one’s degree education. This type of credential evaluation report evaluates both an individual’s professional work history and educational credentials to establish a Bachelor’s degree equivalency.
Where can I get a credential evaluation?
National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) provides a list of reputable service providers for credential evaluation: https://www.naces.org/members. Our clients have positive experiences working with World Education Services, International Education Evaluations, and Education Credential Evaluators.
What documents need to be evaluated?
The USCIS requires applicants to provide evidence, if available, of all degrees, certifications, or licenses received, including:
All these documents would need to be included in the evaluation report to prove the U.S. equivalency.
What is contained in the credential evaluation report?
A credential evaluation report usually contains at least the following information:
- Applicant’s name and date of birth
- A recommended U.S. Equivalency Summary
- The analysis or evaluation of degree in itself: including country, level of the degree, year, institution name, admission requirements, length of the program, and major or focused area of study.
How long does it take to acquire a credential evaluation report?
Most of the credential evaluation services need at least one to two weeks to process after you pay and send them all the documentation they need. We recommend our clients or anyone who is interested in acquiring a H-1B or Green Card to get your credential evaluation report as early as possible.
Disclaimer: This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Related Blog Posts: