In an unprecedented development, USCIS is demanding that FCCPT only issue FCCPT Type I Certificates to graduates of university programs whose diploma titles read “Masters Degree,” and who have at least 202.1 credit hours. Any graduate of a program that is equivalent to a US Masters Degree will no longer be eligible to enter the US and practice Physcial Therapy. USCIS’ actions put US patients’ lives at risk, decimate an already dire Physcial Therapy shortage, and alienate fully qualified foreign-trained Physcial Therapists.
USCIS has issued a Notice of Intent to Deny the FCCPT’s ability to issue Type I Certificates. FCCPT is understandably ceding to the USCIS’ wishes in spite of USCIS outrageous action. The USCIS’ actions were done without the advice and consultation of interested stakeholders, such as FSBPT, APTA, CAPTE and the AAIHR. It is unclear if the USCIS has consulted with the US HHS, which it is required to do by statute.
The AAIHR has issued a press release on this matter, which sums up the issue:
“USCIS’ decision was predicated on a number of potential misunderstandings and inaccuracies. USCIS’ decision to terminate FCCPT accrediting these international programs is largely based on assumptions around required coursework hours and degree titles. However, the comparison of degree “titles” or credit hours is irrelevant. Titles and credit hours vary by institution."
MU Law is releasing an FAQ shortly.