EB-3 Foreign Degree Accepted for Computer Engineer
As the EB-2/EB-3 employment-based immigrant waiting list moves forward, the number of employment-based immigrant applicants is increasing, including some applicants who completed their education outside of the United States. Since the EB-2/EB-3 categories require foreign workers to have a degree equivalent to a U.S. master’s degree or higher (EB-2 Advanced Degree) or a U.S. bachelor’s degree (EB-3 Professionals), if an applicant is going to use a degree from outside the U.S. to satisfy the application requirements, the eligibility of the degree issued outside the U.S. must be evaluated by an independent evaluator to The degree must be evaluated by an independent evaluator to determine if it is equivalent to a bachelor’s/master’s degree issued by a U.S. university.
But what happens if the assessed qualifications are still challenged by the immigration authorities? Tsang & Associates takes our readers through a case where
Company Industry: Home furnishing design and manufacturing
Expatriate Staff: Mr. Yap
Place of birth: Malaysia
Position: Computer Engineer
2018/06 Filing of PERM labor certification application
2018/08 PERM Labor Certification Application Approved
2019/02 Filing of I-140 petition (expedited)
2019/02 Received USCIS Retroactive Filing Notice (RFE) for I-140 degree
2019/05 Submission of additional documents
2019/05 Received I-140 Approval Notice
Mr. Yap was born in Malaysia and studied computer science at a Malaysian university. After graduation, he worked in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia, and later found this company in the United States to apply for an H-1B work visa for him, and later the company agreed to apply for an EB-3 career candidate immigrant for him. Since Mr. Yap obtained his education abroad, he completed an academic evaluation at the very beginning and was determined by the evaluation agency to be equivalent to having a U.S. bachelor’s degree. However, after the I-140 petition was filed, the USCIS did not accept the educational evaluation and concluded that Mr. Yap did not meet the basic educational requirements for EB-3 Professionals and requested additional evidence.
Mr. Yap is studying in a co-operative program between University A Malaysia and University B London. He completed his final year in London and his degree was issued by University B London with his final year transcripts.
The INS supplemental notice questioned the bachelor’s degree issued under this cooperative model and the fact that University A Malaysia was not considered to be part of an accredited and regular university. Therefore, the original academic assessment certificate was denied and proof of the applicant’s academic qualifications was required.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Under the current Trump’s New Deal, the immigration authorities are gradually increasing the RFE of foreign qualifications. Since the previous academic evaluation was based on the degree certificate issued at University B in London, without much explanation of the co-operative mode and University A in Malaysia, the focus of the supplemental document is to let the USCIS know that the degree certificates issued under the co-operative mode of these two schools also meet the requirements of “U.S. equivalent degree”, as well as to prove University A Malaysia’s credentials and accreditation.
After Tsang & Associates received the notification of the replacement, we immediately studied the replacement strategy, selected an assessment agency to conduct a new academic assessment in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Bureau, and found experts in the field to issue an Expert Opinion Letter to explain and prove the degree certificate under the cooperative mode of education between AB and the university. The applicant is also asked to contact the Malaysian education department to provide proof of the qualification of University A.
Finally, after submitting a new detailed academic assessment report, an expert opinion letter, and a certification of the qualification of University A in Malaysia, the immigration office approved the application in 15 days.
Tsang & Associates noted.
EB-2 Advanced Degree category: Generally, a person with a master’s or doctoral degree, or the equivalent of an advanced degree (bachelor’s degree + five years of work experience). An advanced degree is defined as having a U.S. master’s degree or higher or a foreign equivalent. A degree is not limited to a single degree conferred by a single educational institution, but can be interpreted as the same qualification for multiple courses taken at multiple institutions combined. In addition, USCIS requires a bachelor’s degree plus five years of professional work experience to be considered equivalent to a master’s degree. The so-called five years of work experience may be accumulated within or outside the United States. However, if it is so calculated, it must be work experience gained after the bachelor’s degree is earned. Also if the employer requires a master’s degree for the position, a bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience cannot be substituted.
EB-3 Professionals: The EB-3 Professionals category requires the foreign worker to have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent. Work experience cannot be used in lieu of a bachelor’s degree, for example, a college degree plus work experience can be converted to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Attorney Zang cautions that even if the evaluating agency issues an evaluation report based on education and work experience that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree, USCIS will usually not accept it.
In conclusion, there are many complicated issues involved in employment immigration. With the gradual increase in employment immigration applications, it is advisable for applicants with education to start the application process as soon as they find an employer, and for applicants born in mainland China to apply early and get in line early; applicants without scheduling problems to obtain a green card as soon as possible. If you have any questions in this regard, please feel free to contact us.
How to Understand EB-2/EB-3 Immigrant Respondents (I)
How to Understand EB-2/EB-3 Immigrant Respondents (II)
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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