Non-US Health Care Professionals
Before you can work in the US, you must contact the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS International) to complete a visa screening program which, in part, will determine if your education was equivalent to that from a US PA Program. If your education is equivalent, you are eligible for a certificate that you can submit with your visa application to the US State Department. The State Department’s approval of your occupational visa may help you enter the U.S. but you are still not eligible to work as a PA in the U.S.
To become a PA in the United States, individuals must also attend and graduate from an ARC-PA–accredited entry-level PA program and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certifying of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
For information on PA programs contact the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). Eligibility criteria for taking the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) are available on the NCCPA web site.
Additional information on practicing as a PA in the US can be found at the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA) web site.
To determine if an individual state allows non-US educated physicians to practice as PAs without additional education and national certification, you would have to contact the licensing bodies of the specific states.
U.S. immigration law requires that healthcare professionals other than physicians complete a screening program in order to qualify for certain occupational visas. VisaScreen enables healthcare professionals to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure that they meet the government’s minimum eligibility standards.
Information on obtaining student visas and studying in the United States can be found on the United States Visa website.