2017 EB2 Education Trends You Need to Know About


If your client is planning to file for EB2 visa status, make sure that the education meets requirements for this particular classification. EB2 visa processing time is very long, and filing a petition that is doomed is a waste of time, money, and peace of mind for everyone.

When looking at whether or not your client meets EB2 educational requirements, carefully read what CIS accepts as equivalencies. Different visas have different parameters around what education and experience combinations are permitted to meet visa requirements. This, alongside CIS approval trends, paves the way to an RFE or worse in a hurry if you rush forward unaware.

Your Client’s Degree must EXACTLY fit the job title on the PERM

One common mistake in EB2 filing occurs when a candidate’s education does not exactly match the job title on the PERM. In the past, CIS has allowed candidates with degrees in fields related to their job to have their visas approved, but educational standards have tightened. This means if your client has a degree in a field that doesn’t exactly fit their field of employ, you cannot simply file as is. EB2 occupations are highly specialized, and you need to clearly show CIS that your client has the precise skills and knowledge necessary to excel at their job. This means having education specialized to the profession. If this is your client’s situation, have a credential evaluator with experience working with EB2 petitions review your client’s education and work experience. With the proper conversions, documentation, and citations, you may be able to get the evaluation your client needs to account for the proper degree specialization.

The Bachelor’s Degree must be a SINGLE SOURCE

If your client’s bachelor’s or master’s degree is not an exact match for the job title on the PERM, or if your client has a three-year bachelor’s degree, or anything other than a straightforward US education that fits the field of employ, your client cannot file without a credential evaluation. The purpose of this is to explain that your client holds the educational value equivalency of the education required by CIS to meet EB2 eligibility requirements. However, this leads into another common problem EB2 candidates face: the bachelor’s degree must be a SINGLE SOURCE. Unlike other visas, you cannot combine your client’s work experience and college credit to make the bachelor’s degree or master’s degree equivalency in the correct specialization. However, CIS does accept a work experience conversion of ONLY years of work experience in the field into enough years of college credit to meet CIS requirements for bachelor’s degree equivalency. Talk to a credential evaluator with the authority to convert years of work experience into college credit to see if your client has the background necessary for this solution.

EB2 processing time is years shorter than the time it takes to process EB3 petitions. For this reason, candidates are tempted to try to meet EB2 requirements even if they do not. DO NOT BE TEMPTED BY THIS. It is a waste of time. However, if your client can meet EB2 requirements, definitely take advantage of this. Before you file, have a credential evaluator with extensive experience working with EB2 cases and EB2 RFEs review your client’s case and see if you can clearly meet the requirements for this visa. If your client’s education and work experiences fit, congratulations! Go for it.

Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of CCI, TheDegreePeople.com, a foreign credentials evaluation agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.

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