Complete Guide to Foreign Credential Evaluation in the US


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Foreign credential evaluation is a crucial step for immigrants who want to succeed in the US. It provides a clear assessment of your qualifications, helps you stand out in the job market or academic admissions process, and can even have legal implications for certain applications. 

In the following sections of this blog post, we will dive deeper into the foreign credential evaluation process and provide tips for choosing a reputable evaluation agency.

What is Foreign Credential Evaluation?

When it comes to immigrating to the United States, one hurdle that many newcomers face is foreign credential evaluation. 

But what are credentials? Or should i say what exactly is foreign credential evaluation, and why is it necessary in the US? To answer these questions, let’s start by defining what foreign credential evaluation entails.

At its core, foreign credential evaluation is the process of assessing an individual’s academic or professional credentials earned outside of the United States to determine their equivalence to US degrees and qualifications. 

This process is typically carried out by private evaluation agencies that specialize in evaluating foreign credentials.

Why Is Foreign Credential Evaluation Necessary?

Well, there are a number of reasons. For one, US employers and educational institutions often require applicants to have their foreign credentials evaluated in order to determine whether they meet the qualifications for a particular job or academic program. 

Additionally, government agencies may require foreign credential evaluation as part of the immigration or naturalization process.

Credentials That May Need To Be Evaluated

The short answer is: it depends. The specific credentials that need to be evaluated can vary depending on a number of factors, including the applicant’s country of origin, the field in which they work or study, and the specific requirements of the employer or institution they are applying to. 

In general, though, some of the most common types of credentials evaluation that may need to be done include educational degrees and diplomas, professional certifications, and transcripts of academic coursework.

Types of Foreign Credentials Evaluations

Document-by-document evaluation, as the name suggests, involves an evaluation of individual documents that support a candidate’s educational credentials. 

These documents may include transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and other official documents. 

This type of evaluation is typically used to determine the equivalency of a foreign degree to a U.S. degree.

 It is important to note that document-by-document evaluations do not provide a detailed breakdown of a candidate’s coursework, and are therefore not suitable for certain purposes, such as applying for professional licensure.

Course-by-course evaluation, on the other hand, provides a detailed analysis of a candidate’s coursework, including a comparison of the content and credit hours of individual courses. 

This type of evaluation is typically used to determine whether a candidate’s foreign coursework is equivalent to the coursework required for a specific degree program in the U.S. 

Course-by-course evaluations are often required by universities and colleges as part of the admissions process. They may also be required by professional licensing boards.

Work experience evaluation is a different type of evaluation altogether. It involves an assessment of a candidate’s work experience to determine whether it meets the requirements for a specific occupation or professional license. 

Work experience evaluations typically involve a review of the candidate’s resume, job descriptions, and employer references. They may also involve an interview with the candidate to verify their work experience.

It is important to choose the right type of evaluation for your specific needs. If you are applying to a university, for example, you may need a course-by-course evaluation. If you are applying for professional licensure, you may need a work experience evaluation. 

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How to Choose a Professional Credential Services

  1. One of the most important factors to consider is the agency’s accreditation. There are several organizations that accredit foreign credential evaluation agencies, including the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) and the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE). 

These organizations ensure that evaluation agencies meet certain standards of quality and integrity, so it is important to choose an agency that is accredited by one of these organizations.

  1. Another factor to consider is the agency’s experience and expertise in evaluating credentials from your home country. 

Each country has its own unique educational system and credentials, so it is important to choose an agency that has experience and expertise in evaluating credentials from your home country. 

  1. In addition to accreditation and expertise, it is also important to consider the agency’s turnaround time and customer service. 

You want to choose an agency that can provide timely and accurate evaluations, and that is responsive to your questions and concerns. 

List Of Reputable Evaluation Agencies In The US

There are several to choose from. Some of the top agencies accredited by NACES include: 

These agencies have a long history of providing accurate and reliable credential evaluations for immigrants and other individuals.

The Foreign Credential Evaluation Process

First and foremost, it’s essential to choose a reputable foreign credential evaluation agency. There are many different agencies to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Once you have chosen an agency, the next step is to gather all of the necessary documentation for your evaluation. 

This may include transcripts, diplomas, and other relevant documents from your home country. It’s important to make sure that these documents are translated into English and certified by a reputable translator.

After you have gathered all of the necessary documentation, you will need to submit it to the evaluation agency. This can usually be done online, but some agencies may require paper copies to be sent by mail. 

It’s important to follow the agency’s instructions carefully to ensure that your evaluation is processed quickly and accurately.

Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive an evaluation report that outlines the US equivalent of your foreign credentials. 

This report can be used to apply for jobs, education programs, and other opportunities in the US.

Take the time to gather all of the necessary documentation well in advance of the evaluation process, and make sure that everything is translated and certified properly. 

Finally, be sure to follow the agency’s instructions carefully and stay in communication with them throughout the process.

What to Expect from the Evaluation Report

Typically the report will provide an overall assessment of the foreign credential, including its educational equivalency in the US and an analysis of the coursework completed.

The report may also include additional details such as the grading scale used in the country where the credential was earned, information on the institution where the credential was earned, and any relevant professional licenses or certifications that the individual holds.

In Summary

The evaluation report is a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s foreign credential that provides information about the educational equivalency, coursework, grading scale, and professional licenses or certifications. 

It is used by employers, schools, and government agencies to evaluate an individual’s qualifications and determine how their foreign credential compares to US educational standards. 

The report helps immigrants establish their educational credentials in the US and make informed decisions about various opportunities.


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