by Chris Musillo

All foreign-educated Physical Therapists must be issued a Healthcare Worker Certificate prior to receiving a temporary (e.g. H-1B or TN) or permanent visa, as per 8 CFR 212.15(c):. Two originations are permitted to issue these HWC’s. CGFNS issues the Visa Screen, which is also issued to qualified Registered Nurses, Occupational Therapists, and several other healthcare occupations. FCCPT issues the FCCPT Type I Certificate. The FCCPT Type I is only issued to Physical Therapists.

The HWC verifies that the foreign educated Physical Therapist has (i) qualifying education, training, licensing, and experience; (ii) passed a qualifying English fluency exam; and (iii) passed the actual licensing exam (NPTE exam).

The FCCPT recently published an update about their verification of Indian distance education. At issue is whether the educational experience is post-Secondary education and is not continuing education. Several criteria are now considered by FCCPT.

- Verification that the study center does not violate the jurisdiction territory as outlined by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- Evidence that the study center is not franchised. This means that it cannot be affiliated to more than one university.
- Verification that the University is in charge of admissions to the distance education program. Admissions cannot be done by study centers as per UGC regulation.
- That the program is authorized to be offered through distance education by the Distance Education Council (DEC). Even though the DEC has been disbanded by the UGC, the regulations stay in effect until the UGC publishes new standards.

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