Recertification or re-credentialing will allow internationally trained refugee professionals to return to their career of interest upon resettling in the U.S. However, becoming recertified in a regulated occupation requires significant financial, emotional, and time commitment.
For refugee professionals, the recertification process will vary by state and occupation. Other than a few federally regulated industries (e.g. aviation) individual states have their own set of occupational licensing and regulation standards for most professions. Contact information for various professional licenses in individual states can be found at the Employment and Training Administration’s Licensed Occupations* web site at http://www.careerinfonet.org/licensedoccupations/lois_state.asp?by=oc...
In general, there are four aspects of recertification that should be considered in order for refugee professionals to become licensed in the U.S. as they are described below:
Questions & Answers
Q: How long will it take for me to become recertified in my field?
A: The length of time required to complete a recertification process varies by occupation, state, and/or the individual refugee professional.
Q: How much does it cost to recertify my credential?
A: The cost of recertification depends on the occupation, state requirements, individual refugee’s professional background, and the resources/support services available in the community. For example, a medical re-licensing could cost over $4,000, including exams, fees required by the state medical board, in addition to expenses incurred during residency and other additional fees specific to the individual’s needs.
Q: Taking things step by step is key to continuing my process to recertification, but how can I get assistance beginning my long-term career planning in order to know which steps to take?
A: To learn more about the licensing process for a specific occupation, please contact the appropriate state licensing board at the Licensed Occupations data base: www.acinet.org. Click on your state, then click on your occupation. The result will include contact information for the state licensing entity for the designated occupation.
Q: A number of job preparedness skills (e.g. resume, interview, computers, etc.) are noted as necessary in order to obtain a recertification. Where can I find help with these skills?
A: Contact your local refugee employment specialist or the One-Stop-Career Center for assistance with job preparedness. Locations of One-Stop-Career Centers can be found at www.servicelocator.org.
Q: How much does it typically cost for translation and evaluation services? How long does it take?
A: The cost of translation and evaluation services as well as the turn-around time depends on the service provider and the type of translation and evaluation. Also, be aware that the requesting agency may work with a specific service provider or require that the applicant use an agency with certain credentials or association membership. Before any translation or evaluation services are sought, the state agency requesting such information should be contacted for detailed guidance.
How can I find out more?
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Washington DC 20201
* The license agency listed in “Licensed Occupations” should be contacted for the most up-to-date requirements and to verify any information.