Credential Evaluation for Professional Licensing
Most immigrants who have been educated in their home country to work in particular professions are eager put that education to use in a similar capacity in the U.S. If it is an occupation that is regulated in the US, and therefore requires a license to practice, obtaining a professional license based on foreign credentials can be an arduous, time-consuming and expensive process.
Licensing in a regulated profession is a difficult and complex process for almost everyone, but especially for immigrants.
- In the U.S., regulated professions are under state jurisdiction, and variations do exist when it comes to professional licensing requirements.
- Each licensing board, within each state or territory, establishes its own requirements with regard to credential evaluation, examinations, internships, work experience, English language tests, etc.
- Even when foreign degrees are deemed substantially equivalent to the U.S. degree required, foreign-educated candidates will often be required to complete additional training before they are eligible to take the required exams.
For immigrants who have been trained outside of the U.S., a credential evaluation is almost always required at some point in the licensing process. This compares an academic credential earned abroad to one issued in the U.S.
Many professional associations or licensing boards do their own credential evaluation. For this reason, it is extremely important to research the requirements of the relevant professional board in your state.
To see the approximate cost and how long it may take for your client to pursue re-licensing in their profession, visit the Supporting Skilled Immigrants Toolkit (Chapter 1). For more detailed information on licensing and alternatives to licensing, visit our Immigrants Resources/Licensing section.