In the US, when you apply an immigration visa, non-immigration visa, or a green card, USCIS mostly will require you to demonstrate your foreign educational background, such as diplomas, degrees, and transcripts.
In addition, USCIS may ask you to provide a USCIS Approved Education Credential Evaluation for immigration to showcase you have an equivalency of a US degree.
Why is it necessary?
Because every country has its own education system and sometimes it’s difficult for USCIS to understand what educational background you have.
Fortunately, USCIS offers a guideline for Education Credential Evaluation for Immigration.
However, you might still have a lot of questions, like what exactly is Credential Evaluation for Immigration? How to obtain one? How long does it take? Don’t worry, we are going to review 10 common questions & answers for you.
Also Read: Credentials Evaluation Service
What is USCIS Approved Education Evaluation?
Education Evaluation, aka Education Credential Evaluation or Foreign Credential Evaluation, is a service provided by professional evaluation agencies to evaluate educational backgrounds, test scores, professional experiences, etc. obtained outside the United States.
It mainly includes 2 types of evaluations:
- Foreign Degree Evaluation (Diploma Evaluation/Document by Document)
- Transcript Evaluation (Course by Course)
with the purpose of making your foreign degree equivalent to an US degree or educational equivalency evaluation for H1B and other immigration purposes.
Must Credential Evaluation be needed for immigration?
If you only have a foreign degree, then the answer is YES.
But don’t worry, your immigration lawyer can guide you on what is needed for your visa, green card or other immigration application.
A credential evaluation report is advisable whenever answering questions about your academic accomplishments.
What to do with a Credential Evaluation for Immigration?
Once you get the Credential Evaluation for Immigration in the preparation process for you immigration case to be reviewed by USCIS, simply include the report in the package that is going to be mailed out.
In fact, it is normally recommended to attach the foreign credential evaluation to your resume or CV, along with the original documents from your educational background
In various situations, sometimes a hardcopy is advised to be included, and other times only a PDF document is good enough, when for example, appearing at your immigration interview. In this case, you want to be very prepared to not to have any delays in the immigration process.
What documents do I need for an USCIS Approved Education Evaluation?
USCIS requires the evaluation to provide educational evidence, including diplomas, degrees, transcripts, or certifications. Therefore, you may need to submit the following for your foreign credential evaluation:
- Degree Certificate
- Translated degree certificate by a certified translator
- Translated transcripts by a certified translator (required if doing Transcript Evaluation)
What does a Credential Evaluation for Immigration include?
A typical Credential Evaluation for Immigration may include:
- An equivalent for each degree, diploma or transcript submitted for evaluation
- Dates of attendance and location of the institution
- Profile of the institution and programs (entrance criteria, status of the institution, typical and length of study)
- Recommends the U.S. equivalent of each level of study and credential earned
All these information would need to be included in the credential evaluation to prove the U.S. equivalency.
Where can I get Education Credential Evaluation for Immigration?
According to USCIS, “In cases involving foreign degrees, officers may favorably consider a credentials evaluation performed by an independent credentials evaluator who has provided a credible, logical, and well-documented case for such an equivalency determination that is based solely on the noncitizen’s foreign degree(s)”
With that said, a private agency that provides foreign credential evaluation services and degree evaluation services are accepted by USCIS. In most cases, you can easily pick a general credential evaluation from a trusted agency.
How do I select the right service?
In the list of 10 best foreign credential evaluation agencies, it reviewed and compared 10 trusted private credential evaluators. We suggest you to take a look and choose one that fits your best interest.
Do I have to mail the original documents?
Most credential evaluators do require you to mail the original documents to them, which can sometimes cause unwanted outcome: losing the documents.
To avoid that situation, some agencies now can accept digital copies: you can just take a picture or scan the documents and send them to the agencies vis E-mail, such as American Education and Translation Services.
How long does it take for an USCIS Approved Education Evaluation?
7 to 12 business days.
In general, most credential evaluation services take at least one to two weeks to process after you pay.
Even though they can provide rush services, we still recommend you to start everything as soon as possible to avoid any delays for your H1B or green card application.
How much is it for the service?
Typically, the price range for a degree evaluation is anywhere between $100 and $130.
For a transcript evaluation, it is from $160 to $200.
Depending on your budget and needs, contact the best fit for credential evaluation services.
In this article, we answered 10 common questions for your USCIS Approved Education Evaluation.
As an experienced credential evaluator and being founded by an immigrant, we understand your pain so we hope they can smooth your immigration application process with USCIS Approved Education Evaluation.
At American Education and Translation Services, we always aim to provide fast, cheap and affordable Foreign Credential Evaluation services for your immigration’s success.
With 15 years of experience, we have evaluated massive numbers of Foreign Credential Evaluations with 0 RFE or rejection from USCIS.
Besides that, to increase acceptance, we may include 2nd major or minors when your clients have cumulatively enough credits for a particular major to match your offered positions.
History of American Education and Translation Services
- Established in 2009.
- Has been a corporate member of the American Translators Association (ATA) since 2009.
- Selected as one of the most popular businesses on Yelp in 2016.
- Founder Mr. Jeremy Yan, a veteran certified translator / credential evaluator since 1997 in Miami.
- Founder Mr. Jeremy Yan, became an NAFSA member in 2023.
- AET has become an Approved Credential Evaluation Source by Illinois State Board of Education since 2023.