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The Bechtel International Center Building is closed on Fridays from June 14th to September 3rd. Staff continue to work remotely on Fridays.

Educational Credentials

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Applicants for employment visas must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or higher, as specified in your Workflow transaction) or the equivalent in a specialty occupation related to the intended employment.  Be sure your cover letter addresses the correspondence between the field of study and the work the beneficiary is intended to carry out.

USCIS needs to see a copy of the applicant's diploma for the degree claimed as a qualification for the position to be described in the H-1 petition, as well as transcripts of course work completed toward the degree. For doctoral programs, USCIS also likes to see the first several pages (including the abstract) of a doctoral dissertation. If there was little or no coursework associated with the degree (not unusual for some overseas doctoral programs), obtain the diploma/transcripts for the preceding degree that was used as a basis for admission to the doctoral program, as the case may be.

Please include a credential equivalency, prepared by an agency or firm specializing in this work, if the diploma is not from a university in the US. Citizenship and Immigration Services operates in the environment of the US educational system, and all non-US credentials must be accompanied by a professionally-prepared evaluation of the degree as equivalent to a degree granted by a US educational institution. The field of study must be stated as part of the evaluation. Be sure this field of study, as stated in the evaluation, is consistent with the intended area of employment.

An evaluation that states how a degree earned outside the US is equivalent to a US degree will look something like this.

Bechtel International Center cannot recommend an individual credential evaluation agency. The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) maintains a member list. It's critical that the evaluator be able to explain how they determined that the degree they are evaluating is equivalent to a US degree in the field. CIS no longer accepts conclusory statements of equivalency without an analysis of the findings, and they will send a Request for Evidence for unsupported evaluations.

Please include a translation of the diploma if the diploma is not in English. The applicant may provide the translation, and at the end of the translation, the applicant must state: "I am fluent in English and (X language) and competent to provide this translation," with signature and date.

If the degree was earned in the US, and regardless of whether the diploma specifies the field of study, provide complete transcripts. (If the degree is in Latin, the granting institution will usually have a translation available on its web site; this should be included as well.)

If you have questions about educational credentials, please send an email to