For certain temporary work statuses, such as H-1B and O-1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires employers to demonstrate that an employee's foreign degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree. The most common way to demonstrate this equivalency is to provide an education credential evaluation report.
DIS requires a credential evaluation report for doctoral degrees earned abroad to process a
new Full-Time- Equivalent (FTE) request. USCIS may delay processing or even deny a petition that does not include a credential evaluation report that meets the criteria below. USCIS does not recognize an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate as an official credential evaluation.
The NIH Human Resources (HR) department also requires a copy of the credential evaluation from new FTE employees with credentials earned abroad, per
HR evaluation requirements. Physicians with an ECFMG certificate should contact NIH HR to confirm their evaluation requirements.
The credential evaluation report should be completed by a service provider that specializes in evaluating foreign educational credentials. The report should:
- Address the employee's educational achievements as to equivalent education in the United States,
including the field of study
- Consider formal post-secondary education only and not training or experience
- Provide a detailed description of the material evaluated rather than conclusions
- Provide a brief description of the qualifications and experience of the evaluator
- Include all the documentation provided by the beneficiary for the evaluation
- Cite any reference material used by the evaluator
The National Association for Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) provides a list of recommended services at http://www.naces.org. Prospective employees must pay for the credential evaluation report. Costs will vary by service provider. English translations of any non-English documents will likely be required. Credential evaluation reports can take weeks or even months to obtain.
DIS only requires a copy of the credential evaluation for case processing. USCIS may request the original version during petition adjudication.