The H1B visa remains one of the most popular types of non-immigrant visas to the United States. It is mainly used to welcome a broad variety of foreign professionals to work at the American companies across different industries. Each year, thousands upon thousands of people apply for the H1B visa to be able to work in the United States.
Education evaluation for the H1B visa often leaves the applicants with a variety of questions.
Let’s review the answers to the most pressing ones in this post.
What documents do I need for the H1B visa?
First of all, you would need to have a US employer who will incur the costs associated with applying for the H1B visa to the United States.
Second of all, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree (US) or other degree considered equivalent to it.
Lastly, if your occupation requires a professional license to be able to work in the field (for example, a doctor), you must provide this.
A lot of foreigners do not have the US bachelor’s degrees so they are allowed to use existing educational credentials from their home countries. More specifically, a bachelor’s degree from an approved university attesting four years of studies is deemed acceptable.
If you did not complete the studies but hold a few bachelor’s degrees, you can combine their duration and see if you’ve got four years which will suffice.
Additionally, an actual job experience is also taken into account and can be combined with the years of completed studies. That way applicants can still fulfill the requirements towards degree equivalency. For example, a three-year job experience in your profession will count as one year of studies in the US universities.
As you may have already understood, if you have a foreign diploma, it will have to be evaluated by the US officials and converted to the US educational scoring system. Remember that evaluation is not done for the purpose of equalizing your degree with its US counterpart but, rather, to compare where you stand in the US job market and education system.
So what is an education evaluation?
Education evaluation purports to establish the equivalent of your foreign degree to a US degree. Such evaluation is required by the USCIS for the H1B visa applications. On top of that, the USCIS requires the applicants to provide information on the educational establishments they have got their degrees from in order to better understand their backgrounds.
At its heart, education evaluation is just a brief overview of some of your personal information, the degrees you hold as well as your academic achievements, name of the university or college, field of study/specialty, the year the studies were completed and job experience (if any).
How to get an education evaluation for the H1B visa to the US?
Now that you know everything about education evaluation for the H1B visa, you must wonder how to actually get one. Here are the four options you need to be aware of:
● evaluation by USCIS. This organization can analyze and validate your educational achievements as well as job experience to determine their equivalent in the US educational system;
● evaluation by a professional association. If you have an experience working in your field, you can contact a professional association in the US directly and ask them to certify your education;
● evaluation by a credential evaluation service such as AERC (American Education Research Corporation);
● college evaluation such as the Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI) and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and an exam in your field to prove your qualifications.
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