Obtaining an H1B Visa without a Degree

H-1B Visa Lawyer – Richards and Jurusik U.S. Immigration Law has experienced H-1B Visa Lawyers.  We successfully file H1B visa petitions for numerous types of employers and organizations. We understand the intricate and time-sensitive nature of H1B visa petitions and use our experience to obtain successful results for our clients. We handle initial H-1B Visa petitions, H-1B Visa extensions, H-1B Visa transfers and H4 dependent visa petitions. H-1B visas are available to foreign workers who come to the United States temporarily to perform services in a “specialty occupation.” We have over 20+ of experience with H1B visa petitions including obtaining H1B visas without a degree.

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H1B Visa “Specialty Occupation

One of the main requirements for an H1B visa is that the position offered in the United States be a, “specialty occupation.”  A specialty occupation has been defined as an  occupation that requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. This often means that the foreign worker has full state licensure to practice in the occupation, if such licensure is required to practice in the occupation, completion of the degree required for the position, or experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree and recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty. The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  1. Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position.
  2. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
  3. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
  4. The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

H1B Visa “Specialty Occupation” Job Offer

For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
  • Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

Obtaining an H1B Visa without a Degree

For purposes of determining equivalency to a Baccalaureate degree in the specialty, 3 years of specialized training and/or work experience must be demonstrated for each year of college-level training the alien lacks.  – 8 C.F.R. §214.2 (h)(4)(iii)(D)(5)

This is what is commonly referred to as the USCIS Three to (3) One (1) Rule. This allows for three (3) years of work experience to be counted as one (1) year of academic study in a related field. This is commonly used by those that do not have a 4 year degree. Some examples include:

  • A person with zero (0) education is able to meet the H1B degree requirement by showing at least 12 years of work experience.
  • A person with a 2 year diploma can meet the 4 year degree requirement by adding 6 years of related work experience.
  • A person with a 3 year degree can meet the 4 year degree requirement by adding 3 years of related work experience.

How to prove “Specialty Occupation” without a Degree

If you are trying to qualify for an H1B visa without a degree you will need proof of your qualifications. Typically this means proof of your qualifying experience. Keep in mind that a resume or CV is self servicing and not considered adequate proof of experience. This means that each year of qualifying experience must be supported by detailed experience letters from former/current employers. The letters must be from someone who can confirm the position held, time of employment, detailed duties, and other factors of employment. After compiling the necessary proof of education and experience you should then obtain an evaluation in support of your qualifications. This can be done through a properly performed evaluation from an evaluation company.

No Degree? Call an H1B Visa Lawyer

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