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Dinsmore | Immigration
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Equivalence To A U.S. University Or College Degree For H-1B Classification

Equivalence to completion of a U.S. Bachelor's (or higher) Degree is important for H-1B Visa classification. Bachelor's Degree equivalence means achievement of a level of knowledge, competence, and practice in a specialty occupation that has been determined to be equal to that of an individual who has a Bachelor's or higher Degree in the specialty, and must include one or more of the following:

  • An evaluation from an official who has authority to grant college-level credit for training and/or experience in the specialty at an accredited college or university which has a program for granting such credit based on an individual's training and/or work experience;
  • The results of recognized college-level equivalency examinations or special credit programs, such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI);
  • An evaluation of education by a reliable credentials evaluation service which specializes in evaluating foreign educational credentials;
  • Evidence of certification or registration from a nationally-recognized professional association or society for the specialty that is known to grant certification or registration to persons in the occupational specialty who have achieved a certain level of competence in the specialty; or
  • A determination by the Immigration Service that the equivalent of the degree required by the specialty occupation has been acquired through a combination of education, specialized training, and/or work experience in areas related to the specialty and that the foreign national has achieved recognition of expertise in the Specialty Occupation as a result of such training and experience. For purposes of determining equivalency to a Bachelor's Degree in the Specialty, three years of specialized training and/or work experience must be demonstrated for each year of college-level training the foreign national lacks.
It must be clearly demonstrated that:

  • The foreign national's training and/or work experience included theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge required by the specialty occupation; and
  • The foreign national's experience was gained while working with peers, supervisors, or subordinates who have a degree or its equivalent in the specialty occupation; and
  • The foreign national has recognition of expertise in the specialty evidenced by at least one type of documentation, such as:

    • Recognition of expertise in the specialty occupation by at least two recognized authorities in the same specialty occupation;
    • Membership in a recognized foreign or U.S. association or society in the specialty occupation.
    • Published material by or about the foreign national in professional publications, trade journals, books, or major newspapers;
    • Licensure or Registration to practice the Specialty Occupation in a foreign country; or
    • Achievements which a recognized authority has determined to be significant contributions to the field of the specialty occupation.

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