Readers of our WhatsApp group have asked us how to validate foreign degrees, qualifications or professional certificates in the United States. The answer is not simple, but we have listed the initial steps to start the process.
There is no single authority in the U.S. that oversees these types of evaluations, any recognition of foreign degrees and qualifications are done at a state level. This means that you will have to verify the steps and requirements needed with the corresponding states where you live in or wish to do practice.
There are three instances which require you to evaluate any foreign degrees and qualifications: to study, to work, or to practice a licensed profession.
Validating Credits for Studying
For studying in the U.S.: you will have to deal directly with the institution that you are planning to enroll in. Speaking with the admissions office ahead of time will be beneficial.
Example: If you are planning to have some credits evaluated to study at LaGuardia Community College, or another undergrad college, they will take a look at your credits and transfer, at most, 30 credits for your degree. The number and circumstance can vary per institution.
For Masters and other programs it is different, and more complex – to enroll in a MS at Baruch College’s Zickling School of Business, for example, there are certain countries that the institution will be able to evaluate the qualifications for. However, for other countries, they require you to have an international credential evaluation from a NACES-approved Agency.
Here are some places for evaluations of foreign education.
Please, also read the NY Foreign Educational Evaluation Guide
**Before registering for evaluations, we recommended reaching out to the office of admissions. They will guide you through the best options available.
Validating Foreign Degrees, Skills and Certifications for Work
Hiring U.S. entities will usually direct you to organizations that can and will evaluate your credentials. But in cases where no service is recommended, you can choose an evaluation service yourself. The International Affairs Office of the U.S. recommends using one of the following services:
- National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) is an association of 19 credential evaluation services with admission standards and an enforced code of good practice.
- Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE) is an association of 10 credential evaluation services with a board of advisors and an enforced code of ethics.
**Please note that all types of evaluations have fees. We recommend reaching out to the organizations for any questions you may have before starting the service.
Validating a Foreign License for Professional Practice
To validate a foreign professional licensure, you will need to meet the following requirements: education, written examination, and clinical examination. The validation process varies from state to state, and also by industry. It is recommended to find the states regulator of the industry you want to practice in. They will have specific protocols that will guide you on how you could validate your license to work in one of the states. Most of the time you will be required to do a residency for at least one year.
In New York, the agency regulating most of the industries is the Office of the Professions. Here, you will find a list of industries that will take you to their respective pages. **Because the requirements needed to validate a license are different per practice, we cannot list specific costs or standard steps.
As mentioned above, there is no one way to go about the process of evaluating the credentials. We highly recommend reaching out to the organizations mentioned above for specific steps and for the requirements needed.