One of the most common EB2 education RFEs arrives when a candidate holds a degree that doesn’t call itself a degree. In fact Chartered Accountancy is the degree that receives the most RFEs for the EB2 classification. Time and again, EB2 candidates who have earned an Indian Chartered Accountancy certificate receive an RFE even though it is the functional equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree in accounting.
The EB2 visa requires a candidate to hold a US Master’s degree or its foreign equivalent or higher, OR a US bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent FOLLOWED BY at least five years of work experience in their current field of employ. The RFE in this case arises when a candidate has an Indian Chartered Accountancy certificate and submits the petition without an accompanying credential evaluation that clearly spells out the steps of education required to earn this degree, and backs this up with international commerce and education decisions.
The AAO states in their 2007 decision:
“Passage of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) final examination and obtaining an associate membership in the ICAI is the foreign equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree in Accounting.”
In order to be eligible to even take this examination, a candidate must first pass the PE-II Intermediate examination. The prerequisite to this examination is to have either completed an Indian bachelor’s degree or passed the PE-I. Therefore, by following the steps of education required to be eligible to take, and to pass the ICAI final examination and earn the Indian Chartered Accountancy certificate, the candidate must have completed the functional equivalent of an Indian bachelor’s degree, and THEN taken and passed the ICAI final examination.
Yours or your employee or client client’s credential evaluation must clearly show these steps of education.
Another reason this particular degree is so complicated is because both the Canadian Chartered Accountancy certification and the US CPA are NOT the functional equivalents of a US bachelor’s degree in accounting. The Indian Chartered Accountancy certification carries the same name, but very different in terms of academic content.
If you or your employee or client has an Indian Chartered Accountancy certificate, do NOT submit the EB2 petition without a credential evaluation clearly explaining and justifying this degree’s functional equivalency to a US bachelor’s degree in Accounting. If you or your employee or client received an RFE for his or her Indian Chartered Accountancy certificate, talk to a credential evaluation agency with experience working with EB2 RFEs and difficult degrees.
About the Author
Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director at TheDegreePeople.com, a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a free analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://ccifree.com/ or call 800.771.4723.