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Recognition of Foreign Qualifications to Practice a Licensed Profession2023-03-01T10:57:33-05:00
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Recognition of Foreign Qualifications to Practice a Licensed Profession

Any individual interested in obtaining a work visa and moving to the United States to practice their licensed profession is probably wondering how to get their foreign qualifications and credentials recognized. After all, your foreign qualifications are essential to proving to license boards in the United States that you are qualified and capable of practicing when you move into the country.

Our article will answer your questions about the process of practicing your licensed profession in the United States if you received your degree in another country.

How to Practice a Licensed Profession if I Received My Degree in Another Country?

Practicing a licensed profession in the United States is something that many individuals wish to do, even if they have obtained their degree in another country. Many licensed professions in the United States do accept foreign degrees and credential holders into their professions, but there are a few steps that you must take first to get your qualifications recognized.

It’s important to note that you will need to be in contact with the licensing board of your specific profession in the state you wish to move to throughout this process for the most accurate advice and requirements.

In this guide, we will cover these questions:

How Do I Get My Foreign Qualifications Recognized in the United States?

In the United States, licensed professions are handled at the state level, and each state might have different requirements for you to complete before you are able to be licensed and legally practice in the state you wish to move to. For more detailed information on the requirements for your specific profession, state, and individual situation, you will need to reach out to the state licensing board directly either via their website or email to learn what needs to be done if you want to practice in the United States with foreign qualifications.

That being said, a vital part of practicing your licensed profession in the United States is ensuring your foreign qualifications, such as degrees, academic experience, and work experience, are all accurately recognized by licensing boards in the United States. This means that you will most likely need to submit a credential evaluation along with original copies (and certified translations) of any academic transcripts, diplomas, licenses, and certifications.

The state licensing board you are working with will give you more information on which specific documents might be needed and the type of credential evaluation you are required to submit (if you are required to submit one).

In general, the steps for practicing a licensed profession in the United States with foreign qualifications are:

  1. Reaching out to the licensing board for your profession in the state you wish to practice in and learning what is required of you.
  2. Obtaining certified translations and credential evaluations as requested.
  3. Submitting applicable documents, translations, and credential evaluations to the state licensing board for review.

You will also need to look into work visas in order to legally travel to the United States and practice your profession. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides more information on working in the United States.

Which Professions Require Foreign Qualifications to be Recognized?

Several different licensed professions will likely require a foreign credential evaluation and other information about your foreign education or licensure before you are eligible to legally practice in the United States. We list these professions below.

Keep in mind that because licensures are typically handled on a state-by-state basis in the United States, you will need to contact the state licensing board for your specific profession directly for all of the information and requirements needed for your U.S. licensure.

  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Athletic/Personal Training
  • Audiology
  • Aviation Occupations (including Pilot)
  • Barbering & Cosmetology
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Dentistry
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Dietetics & Nutrition
  • Engineering
  • Funerary Services
  • Architecture
  • Law
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medicine
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Opticians
  • Optometry
  • Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiology Technician
  • Social Work
  • Speech Pathology
  • Teaching
  • Veterinary Medicine

The U.S. Department of Education’s International Affairs Office gives further information and links to state licensing boards and relevant organizations for most of these professions.

This is not a completely comprehensive list of specific licensed professions. If you have questions about whether or not your licensed profession will allow foreign degree holders to practice in the United States, you will need to contact the applicable state licensing board for your profession directly.

How Do I Obtain a Credential Evaluation?

For those with foreign qualifications wishing to practice their licensed profession in the United States, a credential evaluation will most likely be required. State licensing boards vary in their requirements, but you can expect the state licensing board to either review your credentials themselves, refer you to a specific credential service that evaluates qualifications for those in your profession, or require you to obtain a credential evaluation via a general credential evaluation service. Make sure you understand which option is requested of you before committing to having your degrees or qualifications evaluated by a certain service.

If you need help selecting a credential evaluation service to use, you may want to consider one of the services in either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or the Association of International Credentials Evaluators. These organizations and the credential services that join them are committed to high standards and quality evaluations of foreign qualifications, accurately converting them to the United States equivalent.

You should also note that credential evaluations aren’t free, and you will need to pay between $100 and $300 on average to obtain this service. You may need to pay more depending on the credential evaluation service you use, if rush service is needed, and the documents you need to be evaluated.

Where Can I Get a Certified Translation?

Certified translations are an essential part of getting your foreign qualifications for a licensed profession recognized. Most state licensing boards will request your original academic documents and degrees along with a certified translation for review, and most credential evaluation services will also need a translation as they work on evaluating your qualifications for the U.S. equivalent.

Visit our online store for certified translations of important documents such as:

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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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FAQs

You can order most translations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our online store. For large projects (more than 20,000 words or 50 pages), please request a quote.

General Questions

Can you expedite my translation?2020-10-13T08:31:38-04:00

Yes, we apply a surcharge of 50% to expedited translations and it is a service we offer for most common language combinations.

With expedited service we can reduce the delivery time by approximately 50%. If your document is only 1 page, we can often provide same day service.

How do you keep my information secure?2020-04-10T10:40:07-04:00

All your information is transmitted using SSL/TLS encryption.

We never receive, store or keep your credit card information. Your credit card information is processed externally by Stripe. The same company that manages payments for companies such as Uber, Lyft, Target, Blue Apron, SquareSpace, Slack and Spotify (to name a few).

U.S. Language Services has a strict confidentiality policy. We understand that in certain cases, given the sensitivity of the information to be translated, some clients require we sign a specific confidentiality agreement (NDA). We would be happy to sign your NDA.

Who will translate my document?2020-04-10T10:41:04-04:00

Our translators have years of experience in the translation industry and specialize in different areas of service. Many of them have graduate degrees and certificates in fields such as law and engineering.

How can I pay?2020-04-10T10:40:56-04:00

We accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal and Google Pay.

In what currency are your prices?2022-02-25T08:57:58-05:00

All prices — both in the online store and in quotes sent via email — are indicated in U.S. dollars (USD).

Is my payment safe?2020-04-10T10:40:47-04:00

Yes. We use Stripe and PayPal as payment platforms. We never receive, store or keep your credit card information.

Certified Translation

What is a certified translation?2020-04-10T10:52:38-04:00

A certified translation is a word-for-word translation required for official use by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), universities, colleges, state or federal institutions and courts.

All our certified translations are issued in accordance with the regulations established by the USCIS, the institution that most frequently requires this type of document. A certified translation includes a certificate issued on our corporate letterhead signed by the translator and a U.S. Language Services representative in PDF format.

How much does it cost?2021-04-13T11:31:37-04:00

The price for a certified translation is $29.00 per page. No hidden fees.
Each page may contain up to 250 words or fewer including numbers. Pages may be letter size (8.5″ x 11″), A4 or smaller and one sided.
For languages that use logograms, such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese, each character is considered a word.

How are the pages counted?2022-06-28T09:54:53-04:00

When you order a certified translation, the most significant variable is how the pages of the document are calculated. We take into consideration both the number of physical pages in your original document and the total word count.

Each page may contain up to 250 words. Pages may be letter size (8.5″ x 11″), A4 or smaller and one sided.

For example: A project with 2 physical pages that each contain 500 words (1,000 words total), is calculated as 4 pages (1,000 words ÷ 250 = 4 pages).

What happens if I don’t count the number of pages correctly?2020-04-10T10:48:37-04:00

Don’t worry. Our team reviews each order individually. If the number of pages is greater, we’ll contact you with instructions on how to proceed. If you ordered pages in excess, we’ll issue you a refund using the same payment method.

How long will it take to translate my document?2021-06-07T18:46:33-04:00

For most common languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese, you can expect to receive a 1-3 page translation in 1 business day. Larger projects (4 – 10 pages) can take up to 3 business days.

For orders in other language pairs, our team will review your documents and provide you with the delivery date once you place your order.

Note: Orders placed after 2 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) will be processed by our team on the following business day. Delivery dates exclude weekends & holidays. 

Do you offer notarized translations?2021-11-10T14:29:32-05:00

No, we do not offer notarized translation services.

Standard Translation

How much does it cost?2020-11-12T06:22:39-05:00

The price for a standard translation is $0.12 per word. No hidden fees.
For languages that use logograms, such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese, each character is considered a word.

Is there a minimun?2020-11-11T11:10:45-05:00

Yes. The minimum per project is $24 or 200 words.

What is a standard translation?2020-11-11T11:14:07-05:00

A standard translation is a high-quality, professional translation of documents or text-based files delivered in an editable Word file. If you require a different format (pages, rtf, txt) just let us know when placing your order using the comments field. This service is perfect for:

  • Press releases, employee manuals
  • Websites, blog posts, emails, text messages
  • Financial statements, legal contracts
  • Online stores, e-commerce, product descriptions, etc.
How do you ensure quality?2020-04-10T11:12:59-04:00

Our translators have years of experience in the translation industry and specialize in different areas of service. Many of them have graduate degrees and certificates in fields such as marketing, law and engineering. We’re very selective and accept less than 10% of the translators that apply.

A typical translator working for U.S. Language Services has over 5 years of experience and is fluent or bilingual in English and the source or target language.

What languages do you translate?2022-03-21T11:43:14-04:00

U.S. Language Services provides translation services in 35 languages. We translate both from English and into English:

  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • Farsi
  • French
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil & Portugal)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish (Spain and Latin America)
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese
How long will it take?2021-06-07T18:46:35-04:00

For most common languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish you can expect to receive:

  • A 500 word translation in 1 business day
  • A 1,000 word translation in 2 business days
  • A 2,000 word translation in 3 business days
  • A 5,000 word translation in 5 business days

For orders in other language pairs, our team will review your documents and provide you with the delivery date once you place your order.

Note: Orders placed after 2 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) will be processed by our team on the following business day. Delivery dates exclude weekends & holidays.

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