Before applying for a physiotherapist license, it is crucial to ensure you have all the necessary documents ready for the process. These documents typically include your BSc or MSC certificates in Physiotherapy, college transcripts, course completion certificates, and reference letters from faculty.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) is responsible for issuing licenses for physiotherapists. The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE®) is the exam taken by physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to obtain their licenses.
If you do not have a working or immigrant visa yet, you will need to go through a comprehensive review process, which includes credentialing and obtaining a healthcare worker visa or visa screen certificate. Two agencies that can issue the Health Care Worker Certificate (HCWC) are the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) and the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
For physical therapists, a master’s degree is now the minimum requirement. While an individual may have an entry-level BS, they will need an additional MS. The HCWC is primarily for immigration purposes and not used for licensure. The HCWC is valid for five years and can be renewed.
The fees for different processes are as follows:
- New York credentials verification: $515
- Visa screen application: $540 (includes visa screen certificate)
- CGFNS verification: $385 for credential evaluation services (Academic report application), Additional License: $75, Additional academic credential: $75
For applicants who studied outside the USA, applying in New York state is often easier. The Nysed licensure application requires a credential evaluation of your education documents, which can be done by agencies like GFNC and FCCPT. FCCPT is recommended as their report can be transferred to other states if you wish to move your license within the USA. The FCCPT credential verification process usually takes around 16 weeks to complete.
FSBPT has certain requirements for the NPTE, including a minimum TOEFL score of 80/120 with a speaking score of 26. Once all criteria are fulfilled, you will receive an authorization to test letter from FSBPT. You can then pay the test fees on the FSBPT website and book your exam dates at a Prometric center (USA, Canada). The passing score for the NPTE is usually above 600, and the exam consists of 250 questions, with each correct answer awarded 4 marks and no negative marking. Additionally, FSBPT keeps 50 questions for research and development purposes.
If you need more details about the documents required for the application process, please visit the website: https://www.fccpt.org/requirements/how-to-
All documents should be submitted to the following address:
Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy,
124 West Street South,
Please note that all documents submitted to FCCPT become their property and will not be returned to the applicant or their institutions.
Application Process for all applicants:
- FCCPT accepts Mastercard and Visa only. Please have your payment ready at the time of application. If a payment is not made at the time of application, you will have to restart the application.
- All applications are completed online. FCCPT no longer accepts paper applications.
- Once the application and online payment are submitted, you will be given a file number. Please record your file number, as it is required to access your file. Ensure you maintain accurate email and mailing addresses in your file at all times.
- Gather all the required documentation. FCCPT will not begin the review process until all the required documents have been received and verified.
- You may use your file number to log into “My Services” to determine what documents need to be requested and sent directly to FCCPT by the issuing institutions.
- FCCPT allows twelve (12) months from the time of application to receive all required documents for a selected service. If all documents are not received within twelve (12) months of the application date, FCCPT will close the service, and you must apply for Reactivation to resume the service.
The timeframes for various services are as follows:
- Comprehensive Credentials Review (Type 1 Review), Educational Credentials Review, and Physical Therapist Assistant Educational Equivalency Review (PTA-EER) – Approximately twelve (12) weeks.
- Re-activation – Approximately twelve (12) weeks.
- New York Credentials Verification – Approximately two (2) weeks.
- USCIS Status Letter: Status Letter – Approximately three (3) weeks. Certified Documents – Approximately three (3) weeks.
If you wish to withdraw your application, there is a process for that as well.
After applying to FCCPT, you will need to submit various forms and documents. These include forms to be submitted by you, forms to be submitted to your school and/or licensure/registration authority, and documents to be submitted directly to FCCPT by the school and licensure/regulatory authority. The specific forms and documents needed depend on the service and your circumstances.
FCCPT may request additional documentation from educational institutions and/or licensing authorities when necessary. Electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions can be sent to [email protected].
For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the FCCPT website and follow their guidelines carefully during the application process.