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Exam Candidates

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Non-U.S. Candidates

Find out what is required

If you were educated outside the United States (U.S.) and would like to work as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the U.S., you must possess the following:

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Why do you need permission and a license?

In order to protect the American public, the U.S. government enforces laws under which non-U.S. citizens can immigrate, live and work in the United States. This includes those individuals educated outside the U.S. who wish to work as physical therapists in the U.S.

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How to get permission to work in the U.S.

Go to www.uscis.gov. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the organization that grants non-U.S. citizens permission to work in the U.S.

Ask if you need a healthcare worker certification. To obtain a visa or permission from the USCIS, you may need a healthcare worker certification. Contact USCIS to find out. 

You may also refer to the list of organizations recognized by USCIS to issue healthcare worker certificates to learn how to proceed.

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How to get your physical therapy license

Contact the licensing authority where you plan to practice and ask about requirements:

  • Ask about specific requirements. You must obtain a physical therapy license from each jurisdiction where you plan to practice. Each jurisdiction has its own set of laws and rules for obtaining a license.
  • Ask about whether or not credentialing is required. You may be required to go through the credentialing process before you are issued a physical therapy license. Credentialing is a comparison of the foreign education curriculum to the current US standards, and when appropriate, to previous standards to match the year of graduation. Credentialing is also required in order to obtain a healthcare worker certification.

    If credentialing is required, contact a credentialing organization for instructions on how to proceed.

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Organizations recognized by USCIS to issue healthcare worker certificates:

Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT)
124 West Street South, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314, USA

Phone: (703) 684-8406*
Fax: (703) 684-8715
Website: www.fccpt.org

*View the FCCPT Call Center Hours.

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651, USA

Phone: (215) 349-8767*
Website: www.cgfns.org

*CGFNS call center hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00am to 12:00pm, U.S. Eastern Time.

Organizations licensed to use the FSBPT coursework tool (CWT):

Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT)
124 West Street South, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314, USA

Phone: (703) 684-8406*
Fax: (703) 684-8715
Website: www.fccpt.org

*View the FCCPT Call Center Hours.

International Consultants of Delaware, Inc. (ICD)
3600 Market Street, Suite 450
Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Phone: (215) 222-8454 Ext. 603*
Fax: (215) 349-0026
Website: www.icdeval.com

*ICD Customer Service phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, U.S. Eastern Time.

International Credentialing Associates, Inc. (ICA)
7245 Bryan Dairy Road
Largo, FL 33777, USA

Phone: (727) 549-8555
Fax: (727) 549-8554
Website: www.icaworld.com

International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (IERF)
PO Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3655, USA

Phone: (310) 258-9451
Fax: (310) 342-7086
Website: www.ierf.org

University of Texas at Austin (Credential reviews for Texas only)
ATTN: Robert Watkins
Graduate & Int’l Admissions Ctr
2608 Whitis Avenue, Austin, TX 78712, USA

Phone: (512) 475-7409
Fax: (512) 475-7395