Occupational Therapists: The Process

Preliminary Stages

Step 1.

Send us your detailed CV/Resume indicating your particular area of interest within occupational therapy and your desired location in the U.S.

Step 2.

We perform an initial review of your case and screen you against two critical measures:

  • Experience as an Occupational Therapist – Preference is given to graduates of internationally respected institutions and candidates with significant work experience.
  • Fluency in English – Employment requirements necessitate that recruits speak fluent English. Ultimately, prospective recruits will need to successfully complete the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the TSE (Test of Spoken English), or the TOEFL iBT in order to demonstrate fluency in the English language.

Within a two week period, we will respond to your inquiry.

Step 3.

If you satisfy the above criteria, you will be interviewed by a staff Occupational Therapist and will be asked to send us additional materials that we may require. Upon our approval of your qualifications, you will be offered a written contract; the contract will explain the terms, services, and fees for the rest of the process.

Next Stage

The following steps will begin simultaneously and are interdependent:

NBCOT (Examination requirement)

  1. If educated abroad, apply for Occupational Therapist Eligibility Determination (OTED) to determine eligibility to take NBCOT exam.  Submit required English proficiency exam score, transcripts, course descriptions, license verification, and verification from Program Director.
  2. Passing NBCOT’s national certification examination (for the State of NY, the passing score is 450)
  3. Agreeing to adhere to the NBCOT “Candidate/ Certificant Code of Conduct”
  4. Maintaining professional development activities

*Upon initial NBCOT certification, a certificate is valid for a period of three (3) years.

Please visit www.nbcot.org for more information.

CGFNS-CVS-NY (Education requirement)

  1. Timing: about 1-2 months from filing Completion of an application form and sending the original form to CGFNS with full payment;
  2. Completion of the authorization for validation registration / license forms and sending them directly to CGFNS;
  3. Completion of the authorization for Academic Records (Transcripts) Forms and sending them directly to CGFNS.
  4. Report issued and sent directly to the New York State Education Department for their Separate Evaluation.

Timing: about 6 months from filing

CGFNS (Visa Screen immigration requirement)

  1. Under U.S. Immigration Law, internationally educated occupational therapists seeking temporary or permanent residence are required to first obtain a CGFNS/ICHPVisaScreen™ certificate as part of the visa process.
  2. The VisaScreen(TM) program is comprised of an educational analysis, licensure validation, and English language proficiency assessment.

Please also see www.cgfns.org for additional information.

Timing: about 6 months from filing


  1. NBCOT passing score
  2. Completion of OT application for registration and full payment;
  3. Approval of education based on CGFNS report.

Please also see www.nysed.gov for additional information.

Timing: about 2 months from receipt of CGFNS CVS-NY report.


NBCOT: The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. – credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession.

NYSED: New York State Education Department – official agency that determines eligibility for issuance of OT licenses.

CGFNS: Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School – accredited non-governmental agency authorized to verify foreign Occupational Therapist credentials and to issue visa screen certificate for immigration purposes.

CVS-NY: Credential Verification Service for the State of New York – special supplemental verification procedure required only in the State of New York for OT licensure.