How to Obtain Recognition of Foreign Qualifications to Work in the U.S.
If you’ve decided that you want to come to the United States to work, there are several things that you need to complete as part of this process. In addition to obtaining work visas and potential employment, you will need to make sure that your foreign qualifications are recognized in the United States.
This is an important step to ensure you are qualified and eligible to work in the same field or profession you practice in your home country. Our article details why this recognition of qualifications is important and how to obtain it as you prepare to work in the United States.
- Why Do You Need Your Foreign Qualifications Recognized?
- Obtaining Recognition of Foreign Qualifications to Work in the U.S.
- Check With Your Prospective Employer
- Consult State Licensing Boards
- Obtain Credential Evaluations
- Obtain Certified Translations
Why Do You Need Your Foreign Qualifications Recognized?
When it comes to obtaining employment in the United States, any foreign qualifications, such as academic transcripts and professional licensure, must be evaluated and recognized for you to be eligible to work. It’s important to have your foreign qualifications properly evaluated and recognized, as these are what employers use to determine if you are a good fit for a position with their company or what licensing boards use to ensure you can practice legally in the United States. Without obtaining recognition of your foreign qualifications, you may be ineligible to obtain a United States work visa or employment in the United States.
Obtaining Recognition of Foreign Qualifications to Work in the U.S.
Reviewing the below steps helps you understand what it takes to obtain recognition of foreign qualifications to work in the United States. Make sure you keep in mind that recognition of foreign qualifications is generally done on a case-by-case basis and depends heavily on your unique situation, including factors like the state you are trying to work in, your education, your profession, and any credential evaluation you may be required to obtain.
Check With Your Prospective Employer
The first step in obtaining recognition for your foreign credentials is checking with your potential employer and seeing what is required. Generally, the human resources department of a company handles this and will speak with international applicants about what is required to submit along with an application to be eligible to work at the company. Most of the time, the documents required will be certified translations of academic transcripts, professional licensing information, documents detailing specific employment experience, and sometimes a credential evaluation.
The United States Network for Education Information (USNEI) gives more information on working in the United States and the steps required as part of this process. You can also review information about visas for employment on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Consult State Licensing Boards
In addition to reviewing information from potential employers, you will need to consult state licensing boards for the profession you intend to practice in the United States, if applicable. State licensing information is only required for those that intend to practice a professional licensed profession once they are in the United States; examples of these professions with licensing requirements include accounting, law, engineering, and nursing.
As you review information about obtaining professional licensure in the United States, make sure to also check with the state government websites of the state you intend to move to. Professional licensing is handled state by state, and there are no overarching federal requirements for this.
In order to have your foreign qualifications recognized, you will most likely need to submit certified translation of academic transcripts and other licensing information to the state licensing board for your profession. USNEI provides more information for professionals looking to work in the United States.
Occasionally, you may find that you are required to complete additional educational courses or on-the-job training to be completely eligible for work in the United States. This is dependent on your profession, the state licensing board, and the education credits you have already obtained.
Obtain Credential Evaluations
Obtaining a credential evaluation is the process of having foreign qualifications received from overseas academic institutions or technical schools evaluated to determine how they compare to similar programs in the United States. Potential employers or state licensing boards may require you to submit a credential evaluation along with certified translations of academic information from any institution you’ve attended.
If you are applying for a job with the United States government, review this information on how the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education might evaluate any foreign education or qualifications you have.
If an employer or other state licensing board asks you to obtain a credential evaluation, you can access a credential evaluation service via either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or the Association of International Credentials Evaluators. Both of these organizations are committed to upholding high standards and proper practices in regard to credential evaluation.
It’s important to note that credential evaluation services are not free, and you may need to pay a few hundred dollars for this service depending on the documents you need evaluated, the specific service you choose, and whether or not you need to pay expedited order fees.
Obtain Certified Translations
Certified translations of your important documents such as academic transcripts from foreign institutions are important to obtain because you will need these documents during every step of the process to work in the United States. Not only will potential employers ask you for these documents, but so will state licensing boards and most credential evaluation services.
Obtain a certified translation of your important documents that you can count on through our online store. Once you’ve got these documents secured, you can look into potential employers, credential evaluation, and United States work visas.
All our certified to English translations are accepted by the USCIS. Our translations follow the guidelines established by the USCIS and are also accepted by educational institutions.
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