RFE H1B - What to Do with the Wrong Degree in the Right Job


One of the big changes H-1b petitioners have been facing in the past few years are tightened standards around educational qualifications. Five or six years ago, a degree in a related field would have been evidence enough to the USCIS that someone was qualified for their H-1b job, and therefore their H-1b visa. Now, an applicant’s degree must fit their exact field of employ.

A generalized degree without specialization is also insufficient for proving qualification. The USCIS states, “A generalized degree, absent specialized experience, is insufficient.”

The change is that where one used to be able to secure a visa with a generalized degree or a degree in a related field to their H-1b job, now the USCIS is requiring a very specific, specialized degree. At the same time, employers are not. For the most part, any job application requires a degree in the same field, or in a related field. That means you can land an H-1b job and still get denied your visa based on the same credentials that landed you the job in the first place.

Does that mean there’s no chance of getting a visa approved if your degree is in the wrong field? No. If you can clearly show that you have specialized training and experience in your field of employ, you can meet the USCIS educational standards needed to get your visa approved. Credential evaluations are very helpful in this. Evaluators will take a close look at the content of your education and write an evaluation highlighting the skills you learned through the actually classes and course content that pertain to your job.

Evaluators can also convert work experience into college credit to bridge any gaps between your degree and your field of employ. Three years of work experience is equal to one year of college credit, plus you can show you have specialized knowledge. A generalized degree or a degree in a related field alone is not enough to meet USCIS standards, but with a close evaluation of your skills and experience, you can clearly prove your capabilities and get your visa approved.

Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Sheila Danzig is the director of Career Consulting International at the www.TheDegreePeople.com, a foreign credential evaluation agency. They specialize in difficult cases and RFEs, Denials, NOIDs, 3 year degrees etc. and offer free review of all H1B, E2, I140 education at http://www.ccifree.com/?CodeILART/

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