May 24

How Can I Get An H-1B Visa Without A Degree?

A common question is, “Do I need an education evaluation to qualify for an H-1B visa?”

H-1B visa occupations are professional-level jobs that require a U.S. bachelor’s degree, the equivalent or higher. Applicants with a foreign degree must prove it is equivalent to a specific U.S. degree by completing a Foreign Credential Evaluation, commonly called an H-1B education evaluation.

The Foreign Credential Evaluation contains the education credentials, field(s) of study, and the higher education institution description. The report includes the evaluator’s opinion on whether the foreign degree is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

H-1B Strategy: Analyzing Education Requirements

If the H1B visa applicant does not have a degree, they may utilize the 3-for-1 rule, which counts every three years of work experience as one year of academic study in a related field.

8 C.F.R. §214.2 (h)(4)(iii)(D)(5), the 3-for-1 rule, states: “For purposes of determining equivalency to a baccalaureate degree in the specialty, three years of specialized training and/or work experience must be demonstrated for each year of college-level training the alien lacks.”

Code of Federal Regulations

To prove work experience equivalency, the H-1B applicant must complete a Foreign Credential Evaluation from a specially qualified evaluator (typically a person associated with a college or university.) The evaluation will include the H-1B applicant’s job titles, industry, and duties of previous employment. Any higher education coursework that the applicant enrolled in is also part of the evaluation, including the school’s name and location, the classes, and the study duration.

The Credential Evaluation report must also include a degree equivalency statement consisting of the evaluator’s name, title and organization, the name of the evaluation agency and the applicant’s equivalent degree.

For example: 

Dr. Albert Einstein of Princeton University, on behalf of Relativity Evaluation Services, found Mr. Smith’s BS Degree in Horticulture from Oxford University in England to be equivalent to a four-year degree in Horticulture at an institution of Higher Education in the United States.


About the author: Jon Velie has practiced Immigration law since 1993. He is CEO of OnlineVisas

Jon is an Amazon number one best-selling author of H-1B Visa: Application & Approval, is regularly covered by major media and has won a number of international awards. Jon was also pivotal in the Cherokee Freedmen Supreme Court case.


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