You are here:

Immigration Issues/OPT to advanced degree holder H1B transfer and


Hi Mr. Ashley,

I would highly appreciate your valuable opinion on my following case:

I am expecting to complete mt PhD degree from a reputed US University in December 2007. But I will not be having my official diploma until May 2008 (when the Univ holds the commencement), but, will be having a degree completion certificate from the University in Dec '07.
In this situation, I am expecting to start a job with a company with my OPT starting from mid-December '07/early January '08.
Now, in this context my questions are:
1. Will I be considered an advanced degree (master's or higher) from a U.S. institution of higher education on APRIL 1, 2008 with my status of having a provisional certificate from my US 'varsity (declaring that I have finished all the requirements and I will official graduate in MAY 2008 )
2. Is there a chance that USCIS may NOT consider me as an advanced degree holder on APRIL 1 (as I would not be able to provide my official PhD degree certificate/diploma) AND I DO NOT obtained my masters from US university (my masters is from India).
I would be grateful if you can furnish your valued opinion and suggestion in this matter.



In answer to your questions:  Since you have a master's degree from India and have successfully completed all of the requirements for the PH.D. you would have no problem being seen by the USCIS as an advanced degree professional.  I have handled many H1B for individuals in your situation or even in situations where they are waiting for their M.S. diploma and have not had any problems successfully getting my client's cases approved.
Good luck.
Mark Ashley

Immigration Issues

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Mark Ashley


Business Immigration. My practice focuses on representing researchers, scholars, and other advanced degree professionals with filing NIW, EB-1,O-1, H-1, L-1 petitions. I am a founding partner in the immigration law firm Ashley & Krishnan,


18 years as a practicing attorney.

Member of AILA

JD from St. Mary's University, Texas.

Awards and Honors
American Jurisprudence Award recipient

©2017 All rights reserved.