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Immigration Law

THE AAO ON H-1B VISA CREDENTIAL EVALUATIONS AND THE 'THREE-FOR-ONE" RULE

"As immigration practitioners, we file H-1B visa petitions all the time.  We know that in each petition, the employer must demonstrate that the position requires a professional in a specialty occupation and that the foreign national – the intended employee - has the required qualifications.  It’s become common knowledge that progressively responsible work experience may substitute for any deficiency in the foreign national’s education and everyone is pretty comfortable with the equivalency ratio of three years of work to one year of college training (the “three-for-one” rule).  Under this rule, a foreign national with twelve years of work experience could be deemed to possess the equivalent of a four-year US baccalaureate degree and therefore qualified to hold a specialty occupation.  Going forward on new H-1B petitions and especially as we gear up for the upcoming H-1B cap season, a recent non-precedent decision by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) discussing USCIS’ recognition of any years of college-credit for a foreign national’s training and/or work experience is worthy of some careful review as it provides detailed analyses that can help us ward off nasty Requests for Evidence (RFE) from the USCIS upon the filing of H-1B petitions." - Cora-Ann V. Pestaina, Feb. 24, 2015.