Degree and Work Experience for I-140

Immigration is the only place in law where quotas are still permissible, and everybody knows that especially for India and China the quotas for employment based visas disappear very quickly. These are huge countries with many professional people and their quotas get used up resulting in lengthy wait times, especially for third preference visas. Therefore everyone wants to get into the Second Preference.

There are some caveats though:

1. The experience has to be AFTER you get the degree and BEFORE you join the Petitioning Company. The experience in the same job at the petitioning company does not work because the rationale is that if the employer can train the beneficiary, they can train an American graduate as well.

2. To get to the second preference with a Master’s Degree, if that degree is not from the US, there is always a problem.  If the underlying Bachelors Degree and Master’s Degree does not match, then it is not usually counted as a Bachelors Degree.

3. Evaluations are advisory only, and USCIS does not have to follow them. Similarly, work experience cannot be used to substitute years of Degree as you can in H-1B.

4. H-1B standard is much less stricter in terms of Degree equivalency than I-140.

Below are some recommendation by Nebraska Service Center for Degree equivalency:

1.    US master’s degree – as long as it is in the field required no additional documents would be required no additional documents would be required

2.    4 yr bachelor’s degree + 2 yr master’s degree (India) – with degrees in the same or related fields this will generally be considered the equivalent to a U.S. master’s degree with no additional documents required

3.    3 yr bachelor’s degree + 3 yr master’s degree (India) – with degrees in the same or related fields this will generally be equivalent to U.S. master’s degree with no additional documents required

4.    3 yr bachelor’s degree + 1 yr postgraduate diploma + 2 yr master’s degree (India) with degrees in the same or similar field this would generally be considered the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree plus one additional year of education so the beneficiary would also need to have 5 yrs progressive experience. If the postgraduate diploma is determined to be progressive postgraduate education that is a continuation of the 3 yr bachelor’s degree it is possible that this would be considered the equivalent to a Master’s degree and there would be no need to establish 5 yrs progressive experience.

5.    3 yr bachelor’s degree + 2 yr master’s degree (India) – generally this would be the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree + 1 year and would require 5 yrs progressive experience to qualify under the 2nd preference category.

6.    3 yr bachelor’s degree + 2 yr master’s degree (India) + 5 yrs progressive, post master’s degree experience – Generally the educational degrees would be determined to be the equivalent of a US. bachelor’s + 1 year and the beneficiary would meet the statutory requirement

7.    3 yr bachelor’s degree + 2 yr master’s degree + 1 yr postgraduate diploma (India) – generally this would be the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree + 1 year and would require 5 yrs progressive experience to qualify under the 2nd preference category. If the postgraduate education that is a continuation of the 3 yr bachelor’s degree  or the 2 yr master’s degree it is possible that this would be considered the equivalent to a US Master’s degree and there would be no need to establish 5 yrs progressive experience.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

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