What if I do not have a bachelor's degree, may I still apply for the H-1B visa?

Professionals without a bachelor’s degree may still be eligible for the H-1B classification in some instances. In general, the “specialty occupation” requirement may be met by showing that the applicant:

  • Has a full state licence to practice in the occupation, if licensure is required;
  • Has completed the degree required for the occupation or has experience in the specialty equivalent to such a degree and can demonstrate a recognition of his expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty.

A candidate who does not meet the degree requirement may use a combination of education, training and experience to meet the standard of the “specialty occupation” requirement for the H-1B visa. Such candidates should seek a professional evaluation of their credentials by a reliable credential evaluation service. Such candidates should assemble the following for submission to the USCIS to make the best case possible for approval:

  • Evaluation of all foreign education (including degrees, diplomas and transcripts);
  • Documentation and evaluation of all other course work and training programs (including in-house training, seminars by professional associations or at local schools);
  • Written evaluation from a recognized U.S. credential evaluation service or distinguished U.S. university professor of the candidate’s educational course work;
  • Documentation of membership in professional associations, any licenses, articles about the applicant in recognized professional journals, magazines or articles;
  • Evidence of membership in professional organizations that normally require bachelor’s degrees;
  • Documented evidence of professional work experience, including experience letters with detailed job descriptions for previous positions held. This should be accompanied by a written  expert evaluation of such professional experience. The USCIS would usually applies a formula which treats three years of experience as equivalent to one year of college education.

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