Working in the United States generally requires one to have an educational background of the type and level appropriate for the employment one is seeking. In some fields, formal licensure is also required. The sections below provide information and resources that may be useful in the process of coming to the United States, seeking employment and obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications.
Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
When seeking employment in the United States, the competent authority for recognizing previous education and qualifications is the employer itself. In most instances, the employer will request that an applicant educated outside the United States obtain a credential evaluation to determine how his or her credentials compare with U.S. credentials. Such evaluations are carried out by private, non-governmental credential evaluation services for a fee. See the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications page for additional information.
Regulated professions in the United States are licensed at the state level, and most licensed professions require some formal postsecondary education or training as a prerequisite for entry. The competent authority for recognizing previous qualifications (including professional licenses from other countries) is the appropriate state or territorial licensing authority in the jurisdiction where one intends to work. See the Professional Licensure page for more information.
For individuals presently living outside the United States, the appropriate point of contact for visa-related information is the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate. See U.S. Embassy.gov for contact information and websites for all U.S. embassies and consulates. For comprehensive information about visas, see the U.S. Visas page of the U.S. Department of State website. Another useful online resource for those living outside or inside the United States is the Working in the U.S. website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).