H-1B degree or experience

Old Jun 25th 2011, 3:47 pm
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Default H-1B degree or experience

Hi, please help!

I'm a UK citizen in the UK and I have been offered a job by a US employer.

I have no degree but have 14+ years’ work experience which I thought meant I could obtain a H-1B visa.

The immigration attorney has said that they cannot apply for the H-1B visa without a degree so they have said they need to document my work experience and submit it to be assessed for degree equivalency before they can apply for the H-1B visa. Is this correct? My understanding was that you could apply for a H-1B if you had a degree OR 12+ years’ experience…

Could some please clarify this for me?

Thanks for your replies.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by maaron View Post
Hi, please help!

I'm a UK citizen in the UK and I have been offered a job by a US employer.

I have no degree but have 14+ years’ work experience which I thought meant I could obtain a H-1B visa.

The immigration attorney has said that they cannot apply for the H-1B visa without a degree so they have said they need to document my work experience and submit it to be assessed for degree equivalency before they can apply for the H-1B visa. Is this correct? My understanding was that you could apply for a H-1B if you had a degree OR 12+ years’ experience…

Could some please clarify this for me?

Thanks for your replies.
Yes, they need to gather information and documentation of your work experience in lieu of the degree.

Rene
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Yes. You need your job history documented for 12 years. This will also need to be agreed and signed off by all the companies you have worked for for the past 12 years. This must show relevance to the role and good progression. This is then submitted to an independent reviewer. They assess your experience and will confirm that your experience is the equivalent of a masters degree, assuming it is of course.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by maaron View Post
Hi, please help!

I'm a UK citizen in the UK and I have been offered a job by a US employer.

I have no degree but have 14+ years’ work experience which I thought meant I could obtain a H-1B visa.

The immigration attorney has said that they cannot apply for the H-1B visa without a degree so they have said they need to document my work experience and submit it to be assessed for degree equivalency before they can apply for the H-1B visa. Is this correct? My understanding was that you could apply for a H-1B if you had a degree OR 12+ years’ experience…

Could some please clarify this for me?

Thanks for your replies.
You can apply for an H1-B even if you don't have a degree, but you must prove you have 12 or more relevant years experience in the same field. We had to do this for my husband as he doesn't have a degree either. Once you document from your employers that the job you have been doing for the last 14 years has been progressive and given you the appropriate experience, they send it to an independent body to assess and decide whether your experience is equivalent to a degree, 3 years of experience to 1 year of a degree, if I'm making any sense. Hope this helps.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

WOW - that was quick

Thanks for all the responses; I wasn't expecting anything in such a short amount of time...

OK so it seems that they are doing the correct thing then, that's good to know. It would be slightly worrying otherwise.

We should hopefully have the decision back early next week and subject to it confirming the experience is OK they should start on priority processing for the H-1B. Fingers crossed!

Also, will any of this work already done help at all when trying to obtain a green card once I arrive in the US? After reading up on the subject it appears that the process is just as lengthy as it would have been without the H-1B etc. I think the closest match visa would be an EB-3 which takes about 6 years...... I've not seen any way of speeding up this process with the equivalent of priority processing or anything.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Don't forget that all employers over the 12 years have to support the experience. They have to provide written support of the experience. This is not always easy or quick to get.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by maaron View Post
WOW - that was quick

Thanks for all the responses; I wasn't expecting anything in such a short amount of time...

OK so it seems that they are doing the correct thing then, that's good to know. It would be slightly worrying otherwise.

We should hopefully have the decision back early next week and subject to it confirming the experience is OK they should start on priority processing for the H-1B. Fingers crossed!

Also, will any of this work already done help at all when trying to obtain a green card once I arrive in the US? After reading up on the subject it appears that the process is just as lengthy as it would have been without the H-1B etc. I think the closest match visa would be an EB-3 which takes about 6 years...... I've not seen any way of speeding up this process with the equivalent of priority processing or anything.
You're employer will have to sponsor you for your GC - are they going to do this, is it written in to any contract?? It won't help unfortunately. There is no way to speed up the process and you're right, it is taking anything from 6 years and up at the moment, for a GC in EB-3 category. Make sure that you have something in writing from the employer regarding them making a GC application for you and make sure there's a time limit on it. And Ray is right, your employer/s have to support the experience you have gained over the 12 years. I hope all goes well for you, good luck.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by RayM View Post
Don't forget that all employers over the 12 years have to support the experience. They have to provide written support of the experience. This is not always easy or quick to get.
If the degree equivalence that the attorney has already submitted is approved can that also used for the GC process or do we need to start again from scratch?
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by maaron View Post
If the degree equivalence that the attorney has already submitted is approved can that also used for the GC process or do we need to start again from scratch?
It's the H1-B that will allow your employer to sponsor your GC so if I understand what you're asking, no, you won't have to go through that part again.
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Old Jun 26th 2011, 4:17 am
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by RayM View Post
Yes. You need your job history documented for 12 years. This will also need to be agreed and signed off by all the companies you have worked for for the past 12 years. This must show relevance to the role and good progression. This is then submitted to an independent reviewer. They assess your experience and will confirm that your experience is the equivalent of a masters degree, assuming it is of course.
Only need a Bachelors degree or 12 years of work experience. It is NOT mandatory to have a masters.

This is the 2nd thread I have had to correct you on this point Ray. With all due respect, unless you are 100% sure of your response, it is probably wise to put a disclaimer on your answers.
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Old Jun 26th 2011, 4:20 am
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by Brat1 View Post
It's the H1-B that will allow your employer to sponsor your GC so if I understand what you're asking, no, you won't have to go through that part again.
She's right, not needed for the GC application as you will already be employed. At this point, immigration is just concerned about the job your in, and what you're getting paid (et al.), not that you are qualified for the position.
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Old Jun 26th 2011, 5:23 am
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

[QUOTE=Michelmas;9457377]Only need a Bachelors degree or 12 years of work experience. It is NOT mandatory to have a masters.

Michelmas - Thanks for correcting that. I read my assessment which said the 12 years was the equivalent of a masters and assumed that was what was needed. Clearly that was a specific comment on my experience rather than what is required.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by RayM View Post
Don't forget that all employers over the 12 years have to support the experience. They have to provide written support of the experience. This is not always easy or quick to get.
Are you sure? I've never heard of this before.
And this was the route through which I came here.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Having done this, make sure it's continuos employment and supported in your documentation. They will pick up on this at your embassy interview.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: H-1B degree or experience

Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
Are you sure? I've never heard of this before.
And this was the route through which I came here.
That what I was told by our attorneys. 12 years of job history that had to be signed off by employers. I was also told that it needed to show good progression, it was written up in quite a lot of detail. Even then we got an RFE, although that was more about why I would be based at home and not one of our offices.
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