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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28574
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I currently work medical center as a technician

Customer Question

Hello,
I currently work for NYU medical center as a technician in a neuroscience lab, holding a cap-exempt H1B since Sep,2010. I obtained a master degree in Biology from NYU,and got my current job right after my graduation.
Right now, I'm working to switch my career from biology research to finance, and I've been studying CFA and just took CFA level 2 exam. I'm aware that my field of study in graduate school is not related to the job positions I'm trying to get, and very likely, the companies I'm going to work for are subject to cap. I'm interested to know:1. What're my options if I want to work for a cap company though I hold a cap-exempt H1b. I'm aware that I need to apply for a cap H1B for the next year,but is there any other options I have?
2.If I need to obtain a cap H1B for the following, what's the best timeline I should follow in terms of when to find a company, when to file the application,etc. starting from now? I'm thinking to get a part-time internship first before I actually start job hunting. But I want to know the timeline I should follow for the next year's H1B application.
3. Because of my field of study is not finance, I face the possibility that my application will be rejected. Even though I intend to work for companies that focus on equity research in the biotechnology companies, I want to know the best strategy to have it approved. Could you advise in terms of what preparations I should take and what jobs I should look for?Also if I have a part-time internship in the finance, does it affect my current H1B?
4.The other additional question is how long it takes to get green card if got married to a citizen, and is it legal to stay in the US while waiting for the green card?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.
I need some clarification from you on what a CFA and CFA level 2 are.What are the educational requirements for these?You must have specialized knowledge in order to qualify for an H1b visa. The USCIS has defined specialized knowledge as a level of specialty which requires at least a bachelor degree.So if you are going to attempt to get an H1b visa as a "CFA" you need to have the equivalent of a bachelor degree in that area of specialized knowledge. Equivalency can be a combination of education and experience. every 3 years of experience counts as 1 year of education.Before you even begin to apply for positions you need to have a credential evaluation done of your CFA and CFA level 2 studies plus the review of your transcripts from your degree to see if any of the degree courses can be used towards a degree equivalency to qualify as a CFA for h1B purposes.Members of NACES are recognized by UsCIS to give equivalency reports which are accepted for H1b petitions.You can find a NACES member at www.naces.org.All your other questions are premature and not pertinent if you are not able to meet the degree equivalency even if you intend to use your "CFA" in a science related company. Different rules apply to H1b petitions and the relevance of our position in a science field will not over-ride the basic requirement of specialized knowledge at least at a bachelor level.My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.Judith
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
CFA stands for The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) credential( see here:http://www.cfainstitute.org/programs/cfaprogram/Pages/index.aspx). I'm not sure if by passing CFA level II is equivalent to a bachelor degree. Can you find out?The jobs I'm looking for is equity research for investment companies that focus on healthcare, more specifically pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies, and with my background in science(both B.S. and M.S. majored in Biology), I'm able to understand the recent trends in the industry better and apply my specialized knowledge of life sciences to understand companies better. If I argue from that perspective, how will the H1-B application work?Let's suppose the application will work, what's the timeline you suggest in terms of finding an internship and ultimately a company to sponsor me?The other possibility is to look for equity research job within NGO or government institutes which are not subject to the cap. In that case, how difficult it is to obtain a H1-B.Could you also answer the question 4 in my first email. I think that one is independent on my qualification for H1B.Thanks.
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.
My apologies that I was not clear.There are people who specialize in credential evaluations. No immigration lawyer can do a credential evaluation. we do not have the necessary skills for that.I understand you want to work in an industry that you have specialized knowledge in but that does not overcome the law which requires you have the equivalent of a bachelor degree or higher in the area in which you are going to work which is as a financial analyst. You have to have a degree equivalent to work as a financial analyst. Generally those are in business or at a MBA level.As far as an "internship" goes, you cannot do an internship as an H1B without a degree equivalent. So I am not clear on how you thing you can do an internship without a company sponsoring you as a H1B worker. The cap has nothing to do with meeting the specialized knowledge requirement of a bachelor degree in the area of specialty in the position. If the position is a financial analyst you need a degree or equivalent in that area. Cap or no cap the requirement is the same.Question 4 is a totally different issue completely unrelated to the issue of specialized knowledge and degree equivalency I am happy to answer it but you need to begin a new question thread for this totally unrelated issue. Those are the site rules, not my rules.Judith
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.
My apologies that I was not clear.There are people who specialize in credential evaluations. No immigration lawyer can do a credential evaluation. we do not have the necessary skills for that.I understand you want to work in an industry that you have specialized knowledge in but that does not overcome the law which requires you have the equivalent of a bachelor degree or higher in the area in which you are going to work which is as a financial analyst. You have to have a degree equivalent to work as a financial analyst. Generally those are in business or at a MBA level.As far as an "internship" goes, you cannot do an internship as an H1B without a degree equivalent. So I am not clear on how you thing you can do an internship without a company sponsoring you as a H1B worker. The cap has nothing to do with meeting the specialized knowledge requirement of a bachelor degree in the area of specialty in the position. If the position is a financial analyst you need a degree or equivalent in that area. Cap or no cap the requirement is the same.Question 4 is a totally different issue completely unrelated to the issue of specialized knowledge and degree equivalency I am happy to answer it but you need to begin a new question thread for this totally unrelated issue. Those are the site rules, not my rules.Judith
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For internship, I meant part-time, for example, work in the evening after my regular work to accumulate working experience. There're equity research associates for the financial companies that only have degrees in science, not with financial credentials. I guess my question is, even it's a fiance related job, but companies will hire people from scientific background without a B.S. in finance or MBA, so if my background fits their qualification, even without a degree in finance, will my H1B still be approved or it's just not possible?
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.
You still need an H1B visa to do that. You have to get a concurrent visa nd it has to be a cap visa.
Your plan is just not realistic.
It doesn't matter what the company will hire. It is the immigration laws that require you to have a finance specialized knowledge.
If you do a credential eval like I told you to do and it comes back as an equivalent of a bachelor degree in finance with your course work in undergrad and your CFA then you have a shot.
But you are not hearing me. I told you that is where you have to start.
Judith
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the internship will be unpaid and from what I saw online it is totally ok.

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