The H-1B classification is available for foreign nationals to work in the US in “specialty occupations” or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. A specialty occupation is one that needs a US Bachelor’s degree or equivalent as the entry level requirement. Thus, there are two standards to be met: (i) the job should require a bachelor’s degree, and, (ii) the alien should have that degree or the US or foreign equivalent of that degree.
US Bachelor’s degrees are usually granted after a total of 16 years of schooling, i.e., 12 years for high school and four years of college. This makes it mandatory that a qualifying foreign equivalent should also require a total of 16 years of schooling.
However, if the alien does not meet the equivalency with the sixteen year academic program alone, the following standard is used: Substitute three years of work experience for each year of missing college education. In other words, a high school diploma holder (i.e., one with a total of 12 year of schooling) will qualify if he/she has 12 years of experience in the field of occupation. Or, an associate degree holder (with 12 years of schooling for high school plus two years of college for the associate degree) will qualify with six years of relevant experience. Further, a three year degree holder will qualify with three years of relevant experience. There are a number of accredited evaluating agencies who are authorized to evaluate the alien’s credentials (both academic and experiential) and grant evaluation certifications.
Further, if the job requires a license, the alien should also possess that license. There is no foreign equivalency available for this license requirement.
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