PERM Requirements and the Indian Chartered Accountancy Certificate


When evaluating educational equivalencies between countries, certificates and licensures can be especially tricky. This is because in some countries certain certificates and licenses require post-secondary educational steps or their equivalents and other countries do not. Some professional licenses and certifications are called the same thing in two different countries, but the education it takes to earn them is entirely different. Some certificates and licenses are the equivalencies of degrees, but just don’t call themselves degrees. Other certificates and licenses with the same title aren’t degrees at all, nor do their countries of origin label them as such.

With all of these possibilities, it comes as no surprise that EB2 petitions with candidates with certifications like the Indian Chartered Accountancy are among the highest rates of RFE’s. While the Indian Chartered Accountancy can be evaluated to an equivalency of a US Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, the Canadian Chartered Accountancy cannot, nor can the US CPA. How does this work?

Writing an equivalency for the Indian Chartered Accountancy Certification to clearly show its US educational value requires an expert opinion letter and an evaluation that takes into account the function of this certification in India, as well as the educational steps required to earning this certification. The similar Canadian and US certifications do not require the equivalencies of post-secondary education that are the equivalencies of a US bachelor’s degree to complete these certifications. The steps required for an Indian Chartered Accountancy certification are. Confused yet? Here’s how it works:

The evaluation looks at what a candidate must do in order to hold an Indian Chartered Accountancy certification. If your client has this certificate, it means he or she has completed an educational program that culminated in a formal examination by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (IACI). In order to take this exam and be a Chartered Accountant in India, your client must have first passed the PE-II Intermediate exam, along with 2.5 years of practical training. In order to take the PE-II, your client needs an Indian bachelor’s degree or the PE-1 equivalent. Following the steps of education and education equivalencies necessary to take the IACI exam, a candidate is required to have the equivalent of an Indian bachelor’s degree.

This is only the first series of steps in the equivalency process when it comes to the Indian Chartered Accountancy certification. Now, it is only clear that in order to pass the IACI, your client must have the equivalent of an Indian Bachelor’s degree, plus at least 2.5 years of practical training. The second step is citing federal case law to fill in the remaining gaps.

A 2007 AAO decision states, “Passage of the ICAI examination and obtaining associate membership in the ICAI is the foreign equivalent to a US Bachelor’s degree in accounting.”

These two components must both be present in a detailed credential evaluation to clearly show that your client’s Indian Chartered Accountancy certification is the equivalency of a US Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. This is a difficult degree, but it DOES meet the PERM educational requirements. Your client requires a step-by-step, thorough analysis of his or her education, broken down into prerequisite education requirements and fortified with federal case law.

Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI,, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a no-charge analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to or call 800.771.4723.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.