degree and experience requirements
related degrees and experience sufficient for an H-1B?
an H-1B applicant who possesses a degree in the specific field that
she will be working in, demonstrating that the job is a specialty
occupation is less likely to be problematic. A job qualifies as a
specialty occupation if a baccalaureate degree is a normal minimum
requirement for entry into that position. Thus, a foreign national
possessing a bachelor’s degree in interior design should get an
H-1B approved for an interior designer position.
what if the applicant’s credentials are not quite on target? What
if his degree is in a different but related field? What if he has
significant experience, but doesn’t have the requisite degree?
What are the parameters that will determine whether an applicant who
is not a perfect fit will get an H-1B?
Given the rise in multidisciplinary jobs and the increase in
cross-trained employees, these issues are frequently touched upon as
multi-talented foreign nationals apply for H-1Bs.
In a case, Tapis
International, 4/24/00), the court held that a combination of
experience and education could be used to show that the H-1B
applicant has the “equivalent” to a baccalaureate degree. In
that case, the applicant possessed experience in the field of
interior design, but did not have a bachelor’s degree in the
field. Instead, he possessed an associate’s degree in interior
design and a master’s degree in business administration.
held that such a combination was close enough to be considered the
equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the specialized field.
this case, one can see that relevancy in experience and education
can make up for a lack of the requisite degree.
If the applicant’s experience is in the specific field that
he will work in, it’s more likely that the INS will value the
experience. If the applicant’s degree is closely related, (e.g.,
finance major applying for an accounting position), he has a better
chance of approval. On the other hand, simply having a bachelor’s
degree is not sufficient to obtain an H-1B if the degree is
completely unrelated to the area of work. And significant experience
in an unrelated field, is unlikely to be helpful.
summary, applicants should recognize that not having a degree in the
exact area of expertise is not necessarily a roadblock to an H-1B
approval. By examining the applicant’s studies and experience and
carefully bringing this out in the petition to show how it relates
to the H-1B position, an immigration attorney can increase the
chances of an H-1B approval.