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5 Important Questions That Will Help You Decide the Right Credentials Evaluating AgencyCareer Development Job Search November 23, 2015
There are plenty of good credential evaluation agencies that are NOT a good fit for writing an evaluation to fit the requirements for your Visa. How do you know if you’ve found the right credential evaluation agency? Here are five things to keep in mind:
- Are they easy to reach?
If a credential evaluation agency makes it hard for you to work with them, don’t work with them. An agency that is easy to work with is what you want. This means when you call, they answer. When you text or email, they respond. Your day-to-day interactions with the right credential evaluation agency should make you feel taken care of. This is a sign of impeccable customer service.
Being easy to reach also means that it is also easily accessible for their past clients. A good evaluation agency will give you easy access to references and recommendations. If an agency makes it hard for you to access their past customers for recommendations, it means they have something to hide. Look elsewhere. The credential evaluation agency you want is forthcoming.
- Did they answer ALL of your questions to your comfort and satisfaction?
Petitioning for a work Visa is a long, convoluted process. Even immigration attorneys can run into trouble when dealing with issues of international education. A good evaluation agency will answer all of the questions you, your employer, and your attorney have regarding foreign equivalencies and what you have to do to prove yours.
The right credential evaluation agency will guide you through the process of applying for your Visa or responding to your Denial of visa.
- Are they fairly priced?
Credential evaluation is NOT you-get-what-you-pay-for situation. In fact, if a credential evaluation agency feels like a bargain AND you feel comfortable talking to them, go for it. This is because an agency honestly dedicated to customer service and excellence is not going to waste your time OR your money.
A credential evaluation agency that does not charge extra fees is making it easy for you to work with them. They also understand the high cost of petitioning for a Visa and moving your entire life to a different country. On the other hand, there are times you need an expert opinion letter to get that approval. Don’t skimp there. Expert letters alone can go as high as $1200, but they do not need to be that high to get the job done.
If an agency charges you high prices and you stumble across hidden costs on down the line, look elsewhere. You should know exactly what the total fees are and what you will be getting before you order. They are trying to take your money, not provide you a service. The right credential evaluation agency will work hard for you without overcharging you.
- Do they have rush delivery options?
A credential evaluation agency that does not offer affordable rush delivery OPTIONS – this means more than one option – does not understand the process and timeframe of petitioning for your Visa or responding to your RFE or Denial.
Visa candidates are crunched for time and can experience hang-ups and setbacks in collecting the correct documents, interfacing with the government bureaucracies of both the US and their country of origin, as well as contacting and working with certification and licensing boards, and alma maters.
In fact, a good evaluation agency will offer rush options AND be able to work from emailed copies of your education documents to save you time and give you peace of mind.
Quality service does not need to be sacrificed for speed. A good evaluation agency should hold your hand and walk you through the evaluation with as much speed and efficiency as your situation requires.
- Do they ask about your job offer title or the education requirement on the PERM?
If a credential evaluation agency does not ask about your job, it means they don’t know how to write the evaluation you need to get your Visa approved. They may be able to write an accurate evaluation, but they will likely write the wrong one.
USCIS trends and requirements change and vary between Visas. For example, H1B Visa candidates can combine education sources to prove the equivalency of the degree they need to qualify for their Visa. This is not the case for EB2 Visa candidates.
The candidate’s degree specialization must also be an exact fit for his or her field of employ to meet USCIS requirements – this requirement being a recent change in the past six years. The correct evaluation can be written for both of these situations, but if the evaluation agency does not ask about your job they cannot know what they need to write.
An agency that asks about your job and your Visa, and looks at your education before asking you to pay a dime is the agency you want to write your evaluation.
Agencies that keep up-to-date with the trends and requirements and understand what needs to be shown and how to get your particular Visa approved will write detailed, well-researched evaluations to show the value of your education backed by federal case law, career and graduate program acceptance standards.
Writing a well-researched and detailed evaluation is necessary to clearly show the academic content as well as the stages of education that comprise any given degree because in matters of international education it is rarely obvious on face value.
Many evaluation agencies will write an evaluation based on the face value of the customer’s education. Customers don’t get an accurate evaluation of the true academic value of their education when it is simply written based on face value because educational systems vastly vary across borders and across cultures.
The right credentials evaluation agency should be easy to reach, easy to work with, affordable, responsive and fast without sacrificing customer service, and knowledgeable about international education.
The right agency has a deep understanding of the differences between Visas and the requirements that go with them. Ask yourself these five questions when selecting the right agency to write your evaluation and you will find one that works best for you.
Image credit: americanevaluationservices.com
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