In the last week or two there have been a rash of RFEs issued on PT H-1 cases. The USCIS has reached a determination that the US’ standard for entry into the PT occupation is a Masters degree. Their determination is based upon the Occupational Outlook Handbook’s most recent edition.

This is inconsistent with most state’s licensing board’s determinations. Most states will issue licenses to international PTs even if they only hold Bachelors degrees. Under the law the determining factor is with the licensing boards and not with the OOH.

The states outsource educational eligibility determinations to third-party educational evaluators who evaluate the education, usually on a case by case basis. The evaluations consider the entire educational curriculum of the candidate in order to determine whether or not the education is equal to a standard US education. Most states will issue licenses to internationally trained Bachelor degreed PTs, especially to those licensed prior to 2002. CGFNS, one of the educational evaluators used by the states uses this 2002 cut-off date. FCCPT uses a proprietary in-house tool to evaluate whether or not the education is equal to a US degree.

HLG is working with AILA to educate the USCIS on this issue. AILA today is presenting the issue to the California Service Center. We are optimistically hoping for a positive result in the near term.