by Chris Musillo

What is the new policy?

All applicants for the FCCPT Type I Certificate must now hold a diploma that says the word “Masters”. If you have a diploma that says “Bachelors” you will not be eligible for the Type I Certificate. Also, an applicant must have at least 202.1 credit hours.

When does the new policy go into effect?
It is effective immediately. If you have a pending Application before the FCCPT, they will be returning your Application and issuing you a refund.

I have heard that the standard may be again raise to a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. True?
Yes. It is expected that if you apply for the Type I after January 1, that you will need to have a DPT in order to qualify for the Type I.

But when I graduated from University, the American standard was a lesser degree. Am I “grandfathered in” under the old standard?
Unfortunately the USCIS is taking the position that the Application filing date is controlling, not the date of graduation.

I have a Type I that is expiring shortly. Should I be concerned?
No. Renewals do NOT examine education, only licensure verification and proof of English proficiency.

Why is the USCIS doing this?
The USCIS’ decision was predicated on a number of misunderstandings and inaccuracies. USCIS’ decision to terminate FCCPT accrediting these international programs is largely based on flawed assumptions around required coursework hours and degree titles.

Is anyone doing anything to try and change this new policy?
Yes. There is a concerted effort from stakeholders to educate the USCIS about the problems with its new interpretation and the massive impact on US patients and on internationally-trained Physical Therapists.

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