As I understand it, one of the requirements to be granted a H1B US working visa is that you possess a degree from a US college, or 12 years working experience in the relevant field.

I've also read a few sources stating that in lieu of a US degree, one could use 3 years working experience for each year missing of study (eg 3 years study plus 3 years experience).

I have a Diploma of Higher Education from a UK university (I completed 2 years of a three year Bachelors of Science degree), and I have 6 year's relevant working experience (at levels of increasing responsibility).

Does the combination of my 2 year's study and my 6 years working experience qualify me to be eligible for a H1B visa?

  • "a degree from a US college" — rather a degree that has been certified to be equivalent to a degree in US college.
    – vartec
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


Possibly. It seems you're referring to the following Federal Regulations in 8 CFR § 214.2(h)(4)(iii), in particular paragraph (h)(4)(iii)(D)(5), which describes one way to meet the requirements if you don't have a Bachelor's degree or higher:

A determination by the Service that the equivalent of the degree required by the specialty occupation has been acquired through a combination of education, specialized training, and/or work experience in areas related to the specialty and that the alien has achieved recognition of expertise in the specialty occupation as a result of such training and experience. For purposes of determining equivalency to a baccalaureate degree in the specialty, three years of specialized training and/or work experience must be demonstrated for each year of college-level training the alien lacks. [...]

So yes, you must demonstrate three years of work experience or specialized training for each year of your degree that you lack. However, that's not the only requirement; you have to demonstrate more than just the number of years.

You need to demonstrate that your experience meets certain requirements:

It must be clearly demonstrated that the alien's training and/or work experience included the theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge required by the specialty occupation; that the alien's experience was gained while working with peers, supervisors, or subordinates who have a degree or its equivalent in the specialty occupation;

And finally, you need to show documentation that demonstrates recognition of your expertise in your field:

and that the alien has recognition of expertise in the specialty evidenced by at least one type of documentation such as:

(i) Recognition of expertise in the specialty occupation by at least two recognized authorities in the same specialty occupation;

(ii) Membership in a recognized foreign or United States association or society in the specialty occupation;

(iii) Published material by or about the alien in professional publications, trade journals, books, or major newspapers;

(iv) Licensure or registration to practice the specialty occupation in a foreign country; or

(v) Achievements which a recognized authority has determined to be significant contributions to the field of the specialty occupation.


The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit & employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations to work in the U.S.forspecified periods of time. To qualify for an H-1B visa, the sponsoring employer and potential employee must meet specific requirements. The employer must comply with the H-1B process requirements, adhering to USCIS regulations and Department of Labor requirements associated with obtaining a Labor Condition Application (LCA). The U.S. employer must demonstrate that the employment is offered in a specialty occupation, either on a full or part time basis, located within the U.S. and that the prospective employee has met the required qualifications. - See more at: http://www.hooyou.com/h-1b/h1b_requirements.html#sthash.kUJoaRYR.dpuf

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