For those interested in obtaining an H-1B visa, or work visa for specialty occupations, as well as those who received a degree from a foreign university, validation of that degree is required. United States degree equivalency must be determined and can be obtained through several different paths. The validation method you choose depends on your available resources.
Equivalency Evaluation -- U.S. College
One of the steps you can take to validate your bachelor's degree from a foreign country is garnering an assessment from an accredited U.S. college or university. This step involves receiving an assessment from an officer with the power to grant university-level credit for experience and/or training your specialty field. This assessment from the officer must come from a recognized university or college that offers programs for granting the aforementioned credit based on your training and/or work experience.
Equivalency Evaluation -- Examination
Another possible method of garnering U.S. degree equivalency for your foreign bachelor's degree is through specialized examination. There are a number of recognized university-level equivalency examinations that can be taken. Two of those examinations are the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI). Results or credits earned from these programs can be used to validate a foreign bachelor's degree.
Equivalency Evaluation -- Credentials Assessment Service
A trustworthy credentials assessment service is a viable method for degree equivalency evaluation. A service that specializes in assessing foreign educational credentials, such as the American Education Research Corporation (AERC), provides thorough analysis and equivalency of foreign educational credentials to that of the United States educational system. The results from the assessment can be used to validate your degree at any workplace.
Equivalency Evaluation -- Certification from a Professional Association
A nationally accredited professional society or association for your particular specialty may be able to provide proof of certification or registration. That society or association must be well-known for granting registration or certification to people in the occupational specialty that have attained a high level of proficiency within it.
Equivalency Evaluation -- USCIS
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can evaluate your information on an individual basis. The USCIS can determine whether the degree required by the specialty occupation in which you desire to work is equivalent and has been acquired through a combination of work experience, focused training and education related to the specialty. In addition, the USCIS will also determine if you have achieved recognition of proficiency in the specialty occupation as a result of this training and experience.
Based in San Diego but originally from Washington, D.C., Alejandro Leopardi has been writing marketing, news, entertainment and literary criticism articles since 2003. His articles have appeared in “Target Magazine” and “The Current.” Leopardi holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies and a Master of Arts in English.