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New Utah State Law Opens Doors for Foreign Professionals to Practice

On May 3, 2023, Utah State Law SB35 took effect, giving foreign professionals who have earned a range of professional licenses outside of the United States the opportunity to be licensed and practice in the State.  This prevents internationally trained professionals from having to jump through regulatory hoops, repeat education and professional training, take redundant tests, and pay all associated fees and costs to practice.  For professions with license portability between states, this presents an opportunity even for those living outside of Utah.  In fact, applicants do not have to live in Utah to apply for licensure through this internationally-trained applicant legislation.

To qualify, applicants must demonstrate lawful presence in the United States, and carry a foreign license in one of the following eligible professions:

  • Accountancy
  • Acupuncture
  • Architect
  • Athlete Agent
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Audiology
  • Building Inspector
  • Burglar Alarm
  • Certified Dietician
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Chiropractic Physician
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Contracting
  • Controlled Substance
  • Controlled Substance Database
  • Controlled Substance Precursor
  • Cosmetology
  • Court Reporting
  • Deception Detection
  • Dentistry
  • Direct-Entry Midwife
  • Electrical
  • Elevator Mechanic
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Health Science
  • Factory Built Housing
  • Funeral Service
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Geology
  • Handyman
  • Health Facility Administrator
  • Hearing Instrument Specialist
  • Hunting Guide/Outfitter
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Land Surveying
  • Massage Therapy
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Medical Language Interpreter
  • Music Therapy
  • Naturopathy
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Online Prescribing
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician and Surgeon
  • Physician Assistant
  • Plumbing
  • Podiatry
  • Private Probation Provider
  • Psychology
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Residence Lien Recovery Fund
  • Respiratory Care
  • Securities Companies and Guards
  • Social Work
  • Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
  • Substance Use Disorder Counseling
  • Uniform Building Codes
  • Veterinary
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling

It is of note that a professional licenses is NOT a work permit.  While this legislation legally permits successful applications to practice in that profession, a work permit is also needed to work legally in the United States.  That means applicants still must obtain H-1B, Green Card, or other work permit status.

Over the next few years, we hope to see more states adopt similar legislation to address skilled worker shortages, strengthen professional industries, and remove redundancy barriers to work.

Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.

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