I-140 Equivalency Ins & Outs

Lottery-picked employment-based visas go like hotcakes and professional people striving to come to America can easily be left out. But then there’s the Second Preference, albeit with some caveats.

Ever heard of the I-140 Educational and Work experience equivalency? Immigration is the only niche within the legal arena where quotas are still allowed. It is common knowledge that employment-based visas, such as the coveted H-1B, aren’t easily obtained by professionals wishing to immigrate to the United States from India and China. These are populous nations teeming with qualified professional people, and their national quotas get filled quickly resulting in lengthy wait times, especially for third preference visas. So it is only natural that everybody is striving for the Second Preference. Fine and dandy, but there are some caveats.
For instance, your experience must be post-degree and a pre-Petitioning Company. You say that you have experience in the same job at the petitioning company? This isn’t enough because if the employer is able to train the beneficiary, he’d prefer training an American – not you.

Oh, you have a Master’s Degree? If it’s not from the U.S., the problem of congruence can arise – as your Masters isn’t likely to match your Bachelors as a credential.

Did you know that evaluations are for advisory purposes only, and that the USCIS does not have to follow them? In the same vein, work experience can’t be substituted for years in a degree program – as the H-1B allows.

Recommendations by the Nebraska Service Center for Degree equivalency could also be pertinent.
If you do possess a U.S. master’s degree – if it’s in the field required, no additional documents would be required.

Your 4 year bachelor’s degree + 2 year master’s degree obtained in India with need to be “subbed” by degrees in the same or related fields to equal a U.S. master’s degree.

If you possess a 3 year bachelor’s degree + 1 year postgraduate diploma + 2 year master’s degree obtained in India, to become acceptable for educational preference you’ll require degrees in the same or similar field or a bachelor’s degree + one additional year of education, to measure up. If you have 5 years of progressive experience, this combination could be acceptable as a master’s degree equivalency.

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