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Global Talent Bridge Partner Blog

News on practice and policy affecting internationally trained immigrants and refugees

How can Pittsburgh do more for immigrant integration?

Wednesday October 25, 2017 | by Debra Means-West

In September the Change Agency, a Pittsburgh-based social enterprise, hosted an inaugural summit for its flagship project, All for All. Guided by Allegheny County’s Immigrant Community Blueprint, this full-day event brought together workforce development practitioners, adult educators, elected officials, and members of the business community to discuss how Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities can more fully integrate immigrants economically and socially.

To kick off the event, guest speakers discussed immigrant issues through the lenses of policy, research, and data. Rich Andre, Associate Director for State and Local Initiatives, New American Economy (NAE), shared local data compiled by NAE on the contributions and impacts of Pittsburgh’s immigrants. NAE’s data found that immigrants make up 3.4 percent of Pittsburgh’s metro population and 6.3 percent of the city’s professional, scientific, and technical services sector.

The summit’s breakout sessions covered a range of topics, including:

  • Addressing Brain Drain
  • Leveraging International Talent
  • Designing Immigrant-Inclusive Programming

In the session, “Hiring Immigrants: Why it Matters and What it Takes,” attendees heard directly from local and national experts Upwardly Global, Career Development Center, and Allegheny Health Network’s Center for Inclusion Health. Upwardly Global shared how it has successfully developed national level employer partnerships by engaging corporate employees as volunteers and mentors for its foreign-trained professional clients. The Career Development Center discussed its collaborative All for All Immigrant Workforce Program and its newly developed online pilot program, which seeks to provide an online training option for its immigrant clients to complement the more traditional “high touch” career counseling approach.

As Betty Cruz, director of Change Agency stated earlier this year, “It’s one thing to say we are welcoming, but it’s another thing to put action behind those words.” The summit made it clear: Pittsburgh is putting action behind its words.

To learn more about programs nationwide serving skilled immigrants, visit IMPRINT’s program map.

Click here for more from WES Global Talent Bridge.

Debra Means-West is Director of Network and Resource Development at WES Global Talent Bridge.

No, WES does not provide language translations. WES requires official word-for-word translations of documents in other languages, which WES evaluators verify in the course of credential evaluations.

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) takes about thirty-five (35) business days after we receive, review, and accept all  required documents and fees. A Document-by-Document or Course-by-Course Evaluation takes about seven (7) business days after we receive, review, and accept all your required documents and fees. NOTE: A credential evaluation may take longer if additional verification or information is required.

 

The CCCIE is comprised of 23 community colleges and other organizations that have joined forces to increase educational opportunities for immigrant students. Its member colleges have demonstrated a commitment to immigrant education through their innovative programs and services for immigrants.

IMPRINT is a coalition of organizations that are active in the emerging field of immigrant professional integration. WES and other IMPRINT members draw on specialized knowledge to guide work-authorized immigrants in applying their international post-secondary education and professional experience to careers in the United States.

Formerly known as Refugeeworks, Higher provides newcomer workforce solutions to corporations across the United States while supporting career entry and advancement for resettled refugees and other new Americans.

Upwardly Global prepares educated and skilled immigrants, refugees and asylees to overcome barriers to professional employment. It partners with employers to raise awareness of the skilled immigrant population and increase their capacity to integrate them into the mainstream workforce. Upwardly Global has offices in San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. See below for our state-level Upwardly Global partners.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation. See below for our state-level Welcome Back Initiative partners.

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees to thrive by helping them access housing, healthcare and other social services, as well as employment and educational opportunities.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

The Idaho Office for Refugees works to promote mutual understanding between refugees and the larger community by sharing information, encouraging social interaction and developing opportunities for refugees to participate in all aspects of community life.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

MIRA is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. It serves foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, and strategic communications.

Global Detroit is an effort to understand the role and impact foreign-born residents have on the region’s economy and to define strategies to enhance their role in revitalizing older neighborhoods and transitioning the region to a new economy.

The Bnai Zion Re-Training Program for Immigrants helps immigrant engineers and scientists maintain self-reliance and economic independence through productive employment.

BPL provides resources and programs for immigrants in the area and partners with Global Talent Bridge to present Pathways to Success seminars for immigrant professionals residing in Brooklyn.

BCNA helps refugees, immigrants, women and other New Yorkers achieve economic self-sufficiency and wealth creation.

CAMBA offers integrated services and programs to New Yorkers, its Immigrant Professional Training Program provides a free seven-week course and employment service for immigrant professional job-seekers.

Catholic Charities of New York helps immigrants and refugees reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics and prepare to pass citizenship exams.

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees to thrive by helping them access housing, healthcare and other social services, as well as employment and educational opportunities.

LaGuardia Community College’s Center for Immigrant Education and Training offers free contextualized ESL and job-training programs, along with career counseling and case-management services.

LAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the expansion of quality literacy services in New York.

Met Council’s Program for International Nurses enables registered nurses with foreign training and other healthcare professionals to improve their English. It also works to spread knowledge of topics critical to the role of registered nurse in the United States.

MOIA promotes the well-being of immigrant communities by recommending policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic and cultural life of the city.

The New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs addresses the needs, issues and challenges of immigrants by providing outreach to immigrant communities; reviewing the policies, procedures and laws that affect immigrants; and monitoring compliance with labor laws.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

The Queens Library provides resources and programs for immigrants in the community and partners with Global Talent Bridge to present Pathways to Success seminars for immigrant professionals residing in Queens.

Global Cleveland focuses on regional economic development through actively attracting newcomers, and welcoming and connecting them both economically and socially to the many opportunities throughout Greater Cleveland.

The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians is a centralized employment and referral center for the region’s growing immigrant community by promoting immigrant participation in the area’s political, social, and economic life.

Dorcas Place serves low-income Rhode Islanders the educational opportunities they need to realize their full potential and climb the ladder to success—through literacy, workplace training, college preparatory programs, and employment.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

The Welcome Back Initiative is a network of international assistance centers that serves as a resource center for individuals who have received their formal education and training in a health field abroad, and who are hoping to enter the healthcare sector in the United States. The Welcome Back Initiative has 10 centers across the nation.

NAII focuses on reducing skill under-utilization among immigrants and promoting integration of immigrant professionals in Massachusetts. It draws upon the expertise of the NAII advisory board and other experts in workforce development to arrive at strategies for building programs and promoting policies to ease immigrant professional integration.

The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together a bipartisan group of mayors from across the country and business leaders from all sectors of the economy and all 50 states to raise awareness of the economic benefits of immigration.

The WES iGPA Calculator converts grades from a non-US grading scale into US equivalents and calculates GPAs on a 4.0 grading scale.

Anyone considering the qualifications of internationally-educated candidates, including: Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions, Scholarship Committees, Financial Aid Offices, Athletic Departments, Study Abroad Offices, Transfer Credit Analysts, Human Resources Offices.

  1. Select the country of education from the drop-down menu. You may also enter the student/applicant’s name.
  2. Select a grading scale where applicable.
  3. Select whether the school year was divided into semesters or years from the next drop-down menu and enter the number of semesters/years you will be calculating. Hit the “Continue” button.
  4. A course worksheet opens up and after entering the courses, home credit and home grade client clicks a submit button and database instantly calculates the grades and GPA into U.S. equivalent.
  5. By tagging specific courses the GPA calculator will calculate a second GPA simultaneously (Major, last 2-years, etc).
  6. Click “Get GPA” button for instant results.

Yes. All completed GPA calculations are archived in the history tab for retrieval or further reference. The archived calculations are also printable.

The course worksheet will reopen by clicking on the edit button. This enables the user to make any necessary changes. Click the ‘Get GPA Button” to get the revised calculation. (Note: once a new calculation is started the previous record is archived and not editable.)

Yes. You can print a GPA at the time of completion as well as from the archives in the history tab. A print icon is visible for a quick print.

The WES iGPA Calculator allows you to quickly convert grades from education systems in over 135 countries. The scales available in the tool represent the most commonly used for each available country. If you have a credential with a different grading scale and need assistance, please contact us.

Very secure. The WES iGPA is on a secure server using VeriSign 128 bit encryption security features. Users with login and password have access to only the files they work on. Only an administrator on the account can view all files.

Since the WES iGPA Calculator works via the internet (and not by downloaded software) there should be no instability to your computer. Most issues can be resolved by refreshing your browser. If you have any technical questions, please contact us.

Colleges and universities will be billed an annual subscription fee based on the number of users licenses.

  • 2 User Account for $595
  • 3 User Account for $895
  • 5 User Account for $1295
  • 8 User Account for $1995
  • Unlimited User Account for $4995

To be eligible for the WES Gateway Program, you must be:

  • Currently living in Canada
  • Referred by a WES partner organization. (You can find the partner closest to you here.)
  • Educated in at least one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Türkiye, Ukraine, or Venezuela
  • Unable to get your academic documents from your institution, and have proof of your academic attainment, such as an academic transcript, degree certificate or professional licence.

WES corroborates these claims using the best information and resources available. If only a partial transcript is available, WES may be able to reconstruct the degree profile and courses likely taken to achieve that credential.

If you have your academic documents in a sealed envelope, you are not eligible for the WES Gateway Program. You can apply through the standard process. Learn about the standard process.

Note regarding education obtained in Ukraine: Please visit the Important WES Notices page for updates on our evaluation policy.

Note regarding education obtained in Afghanistan: WES evaluates education from 31 universities if it was completed before August 15, 2021. Study completed between 1996 and 2001 cannot be evaluated at this time.

A report issued through the WES Gateway Program validates and assesses the education of individuals who cannot get verifiable academic documentation. The documents used for this evaluation come from the applicant and are not authenticated as in a standard WES evaluation.

Because academic institutions and licensing bodies value authenticated documents, we recommend you attempt to obtain your official documents for a standard WES evaluation before applying through the WES Gateway Program.

There are two types of credential evaluation reports through the WES Gateway Program:

  • A Document-by-Document report costs CAN $219.22 (all taxes and shipping included). This report provides the Canadian equivalency of your credential.
  • A Course-by-Course report costs CAN $326.57 (all taxes and shipping included). This report provides the Canadian equivalency of your credential, lists courses and grades, and includes your Canadian GPA.

This fee includes:

  • A credential evaluation report (printed + electronic copy) for yourself
  • Storage for copies of the documents for future use (ICAP)
  • One copy to go to any institution that may need your report, such as a college or university, licensure or certification body, employer, etc.

For applicants that demonstrate a financial need, the partner organizations may be able to access funds to cover the cost of the evaluation. Eligibility criteria for financial aid differ from organization to organization.

Once your report is complete, standard fees apply for additional copies, delivery, and upgrades. To order upgrades, Contact Us and select WES Gateway Program as the Question Category.

The WES Gateway Program will initially focus on Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Türkiye, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Our research team will continue to review all factors and, whenever possible, expand the country list. A public announcement will be made if countries are added to the list.

Depending on your goals in Canada, you may be able to use another credential evaluation service provider to help you meet admission or licensing requirements.  Additionally, you may also try our free degree equivalency tool when pursuing employment pathways or upgrading your education through bridge training programs.

If you cannot find an organization in your region, please contact us (select “WES Gateway Program” as the question category).

For WES to process your WES Gateway Program application, you must have originals or copies of at least one of the following documents issued by an institution:

  • Diploma / Degree Certificate
  • Transcript / Mark Sheet / Statement of Marks
  • Professional Licence / Certificate
  • Other officially issued documents (such as letter of appointment, membership in recognized professional association or certification body, student ID card, etc.)

Documents that are not in English or French must be translated.

Your WES credential evaluation highlights your academic achievements and serves as proof of your qualifications. Your credential evaluation report may help you meet the requirements for:

  • University admissions
  • College admissions
  • Credit transfers
  • Starting the licensing process
  • Obtaining employment

Please note each organization has a different recognition process and may have its own internal requirements.

Contact us to request an upgrade to a Course-by-Course report. Please select “WES Gateway Program” as the question category. The upgrade fee is $100 CAD (plus HST). You will receive the payment notification through My Account.

An evaluation through the WES Gateway Program takes about 15 business days after we receive, review, and accept all your documents and we receive payment in full.

World Education Services (WES) has long pursued the mission of enabling individuals to fully utilize their education and talent. The WES Mariam Assefa Fund offers a new way for the organization to achieve this mission. The fund will be used to support select organizations that are working to accelerate progress in immigrant economic integration, spur innovation in the delivery of workforce development interventions, and permanently dismantle the barriers that hinder economic advancement among immigrants and refugees.

The WES Mariam Assefa Fund has identified several priorities to guide its efforts in 2019 and 2020. In the near-term, the fund is focused on supporting organizations and solutions working to address issues in five areas of immigrant integration and workforce development:

  • Skill-building: Solutions that equip immigrants and refugees with the skills to succeed in the workplace of today and tomorrow
  • Employer talent practices: Initiatives that encourage employers to tap into immigrant and refugee talent
  • Innovation and experimentation: Innovations that can accelerate scale and deepen the impact of immigrant integration and workforce development interventions
  • Leadership and capacity-building: Initiatives that build leadership capacity within immigrant and refugee communities
  • Ecosystem development: Approaches to grow the ecosystem of supportive funders, policymakers, educators, employers and service providers

The fund is initially focused on grantmaking. In the future, we may make program-related investments as well.

The Fund is focused on advancing the economic and workforce integration of immigrants and refugees. As such, we do not offer scholarships or other resources to support international students.

 

We identify potential grantees who can contribute expertise, learnings, and impact on the five core areas of exploration outlined above. All final-stage applicants must undergo financial, organizational, and programmatic due diligence.

The fund primarily supports entities classed by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. For-profit social enterprises may be eligible for a grant if the nature of their work clearly contributes to the charitable goals of the Fund. The geographic focus of the fund’s grantmaking is currently the United States. We are exploring opportunities for grantmaking in Canada at a later date.

Grantees were selected based on several factors including organizational track record, ability to generate learnings and new ideas to inform the field, and the potential impact of the proposed project.

The WES Mariam Assefa awarded its first round of grants to the five following organizations:

Click on the links above to read more about each grantee and their projects.

For its first grants grantmaking, the fund focused on organizations working in these three core areas:

  • Shifting employer engagement to encourage employers to hire immigrant and refugee talent
  • Building leadership capacity in immigrant and refugee communities
  • Creating innovative finance solutions that invest in immigrants, refugees, and their communities

The fund does not currently accept unsolicited proposals. However, we deeply value innovative ideas generated by organizations and practitioners in the field and will periodically issue calls for projects aligned with our areas of focus. Any future open calls for proposals will be shared through our distribution list, so please sign up to stay updated.

 

Please join our distribution list! We will share updates on funding priorities, partnership opportunities, learnings from our work, and more.

Please email [email protected].

In most cases, the candidate pays WES directly. Academic institutions and other organizations may also pay for WES evaluation reports.

Our Institutional Relations Department is on call to answer questions and provide information and assistance about WES evaluation reports. Please Contact Us and someone will be in touch.

Each WES evaluation report contains information that candidates can use to contact WES. We review and provide written responses to all questions from candidates.

Completed WES evaluation reports are sent to the candidate, as well as any institution or organization the candidate has designated as a recipient.

If any document submitted for credential evaluation is confirmed to be inauthentic, WES cancels the application and notifies the candidate, as well as any institution or organization the candidate has designated as a WES evaluation report recipient.

Your WES Digital Badge allows you to easily share your academic achievements online, in real time. Badges provide verification of your past academic accomplishments. They can be securely shared on the internet (through channels such as email and social media).

You will also gain access to labor market insights, based on your skills, from Credly’s Acclaim. Once you have created an account and claimed your badge, you can apply for jobs through the Credly’s Acclaim Platform.

Read our blog post for more information about WES Digital Badges.

If you meet all of the following criteria, you will receive a WES Digital Badge:

  • You purchase the WES ICAP evaluation
  • You have a completed degree
  • You earned your degree from an accredited or recognized institution

Follow these steps to claim your badge:

  • Once your credential evaluation is complete, you will receive an email notification from World Education Services asking you to “Claim Your Badge.”
  • Within 24 hours, you will receive an email from Credly’s Acclaim.
  • Click the “Accept” button in the email.
  • Create an account on the YourAcclaim website.
  • Accept your badge.
  • Start sharing!

Read our blog post for more information about WES Digital Badges.

You can easily share your badge on your digital résumé. We also encourage you to add it to your social media profiles, such as LinkedIn. You can email a direct link to your badge. Another option is to add your badge to your email signature or professional website. View the instructions for sharing your badge.

Currently, the badge is only available to new applicants who choose ICAP. However, WES plans to make its digital badges available to former applicants soon.

Please email [email protected].

Please join our  distribution list! We will share updates on funding priorities, opportunities, what we’re learning, and more.

Grantee partners are selected based on several factors including alignment with our values and current focus areas, organizational track record, ability to learn and generate new ideas to inform the field, and the potential impact of the proposed project.

The Fund primarily supports entities classed by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. For-profit social enterprises may be eligible for a grant if the nature of their work clearly contributes to the charitable goals of the Fund. The geographic focus of the Fund’s grantmaking is currently the United States. We will begin funding in Canada in late 2020.

We identify potential grantee partners who can contribute expertise, learnings, and impact toward our mission of building inclusive economies for immigrants and refugees. All final-stage applicants undergo financial, organizational, and programmatic due diligence before funding is awarded.

The Fund is focused on advancing the economic and workforce integration of immigrants and refugees. We do not offer scholarships or other resources to support international students. In general, we do not provide funding to individuals.

The Fund does not currently accept unsolicited proposals. However, we deeply value innovative ideas generated by organizations and practitioners in the field and will periodically issue calls for projects aligned with our areas of focus. Any future open calls for proposals will be shared here or through our email list, so please sign up to stay updated. 

In the near-term, the Fund is focused on supporting organizations and solutions that address the following focus areas:

Building skills and supports for workers:  Solutions that equip all immigrants and refugees with the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy and tomorrow’s

Improving employer practices:  Initiatives that build inclusivity and equity, encourage employers to invest in immigrant and refugee talent, and ensure quality jobs

Fostering experimentation and innovation:  Novel or early-stage models for service delivery, funding, and partnerships that unlock economic opportunity for immigrants and refugees

Empowering tomorrow’s leaders: Efforts that support and empower leaders within immigrant and refugee communities

Growing an ecosystem of collaborators:  Approaches to expand the field of funders, policymakers, educators, employers, and service providers focused on immigrant workforce integration

The WES Mariam Assefa Fund is a philanthropic initiative of World Education Services (WES). For more than 45 years WES has enabled immigrants and refugees to fully utilize their education and talent. The WES Mariam Assefa Fund offers a new way for WES to achieve this mission. The Fund supports select organizations working to accelerate progress in immigrant economic integration, spur innovation in workforce development, and permanently dismantle the barriers that hinder the advancement of immigrants and refugees.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee agency (UNHCR) have temporarily suspended refugee resettlement travel  

International Rescue Committee (IRC) discourages blanket policies preventing people from seeking asylum and urges resettlement countries to ensure measures restricting entrance are temporary, proportional to public health needs, and not otherwise different than restrictions for people who are not refugees

On April 3, 2020 Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) introduced H.R. 6432, legislation to address the physician shortage in the United States by taking the first step in removing unnecessary barriers for doctors trained abroad who now reside in the U.S.  

CO Executive order No. 2020 038, April 15, 2020, in which Colorado Gov. Polis authorized creating pathways for internationally trained nurses and doctors to provide healthcare services in response to the pandemic

MA – The Baker administration announced several executive orders to support the health care workforce and expand its capacity, including easing licensing restrictions for internationally educated doctors 

MI – On April 26, 2020, Gov. Whitmer issued an emergency order that provides for temporary licensing of individuals with international healthcare experience and education in a variety of health care professions. Executive Order 2020-61 permits the licensure of physicians, physician assistants, RNs, LPNs, and respiratory therapists licensed in another country who have at least five years of practice experience and who have practiced for at least one year in the last five years

NJ – Executive order No. 112, April 1, 2020, in which New Jersey Gov. Murphy authorized immigrant doctors licensed in another country to practice medicine in the state, allowing state officials to grant temporary licenses to doctors who have a medical license in another country. New Jersey also passed legislation, S-2333/AA-3910, on April 13, 2020, which was signed by Gov. Murphy on April 14, 2020. The new law delegates to the director of the state licensing department the ability to temporarily suspend licensing requirements in all licensed health professions during the pendency of the emergency  

NY – Executive order, No. 202.10, March 23, 2020, in which Gov. Cuomo temporarily modified requirements for graduates of foreign medical schools to practice medicine in NY state 

NV  Nevada Gov. Sisolak issued an executive order authorizing the waiver of licensing requirements for a wide range of medical services providers with training from another country, including doctors, nurses, and behavioral health professionals

IMPRINT’s Policy Map now features “COVID-19 Emergency Response” as a searchable issue area highlighting executive orders authorizing internationally trained healthcare workers who are not yet licensed in the U.S. to join the fight against COVID-19 in certain states

We Speak, We LEAD is a free online learning program from New Women New Yorkers for immigrant women, focusing on workforce development and professional English skills aquisition through interactive workshops and personalized support

As demand for contact tracers increases throughout the U.S., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a free online course to train individuals on the fundamentals of contact tracing

The Emergency Fund for Story County is a collaborative fund created for immigrant residents who require assistance with rent, utilities, and other basic needs

Immigrant Connections provides resources for English Learner (EL) and immigrant parents to support them as they help their children complete school assignments and online learning. The resources include videos, clips, articles, toolkits

Switchboard has released multiple blog posts on topics related to the COVID-19 crisis, including making remote work successful, helping refugee clients navigate economic hardship; using virtual job readiness resources; helping clients cope; and getting started with video remote interpretation

Upwardly Global has a list of national and state-level programs to connect and support immigrant and refugee professionals with government, nonprofit, and other services that can supplement family income, nutrition, healthcare, and other needs 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is seeking responses from immigrants and refugees who have an international degree or certification in the healthcare field and are now interested in assisting in the COVID-19 emergency response  

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has print resources free for download to support COVID-19 recommendations in 21 languages 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement “COVID-19 Resources” includes a link to Multilingual Resources from Switchboard 

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s COVID-19 and the American Workplace resource page has employee rights fact sheets in 10 languages 

The COVID-19 Health Literacy Project created in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing provides fact sheets in 30+ languages 

Local non-profits such as the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) are compiling web-based resource toolkits with a range of information for constituents. Check to see if there is an NPNA member organization in your area with similar resources 

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides an introductory video course, available in multiple languages, with an overview of emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronaviruses, and strategies to communicate risk and engage communities to detect, prevent and respond to the emergence of a novel respiratory virus 

Whitetulip Health Foundation (WHF) is asking internationally trained healthcare professionals who are not yet licensed in the U.S. to fill out a questionnaire if they would like to assist in the COVID-19 emergency response. Their Emergency Financial Assistance Program for Internationally Trained Healthcare Professionals during COVID-19 Outbreak is accepting applications until April 30, 2020. It is not necessary to be a member of the foundation to apply for the funding: rather, applicants need to elect to be mentees on their application 

Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation offers COVID-19 emergency funding for undocumented and mixed-status families 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, searchable by state

One Fair Wage offers temporary cash gifts for service workers as funding becomes available 

Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RIF) has emergency cash assistance grants for asylum seekers. Due to the number of responses, new applications are currently not being accepted. Check back for updates 

The Resilient Rapid Response Initiative through Welcoming America will assist local government and nonprofit members with immediate needs in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include grants, resources, trainings, and a community of practice for members to exchange knowledge and collaborate. Grant applications are due May 15th and notifications of decisions will be announced by May 22nd

NonProfit Quarterly provides an analysis of how nonprofits can utilize the funding available through the CARES Act  

The Council of Non Profits provides a list of loans available for nonprofits in the CARES Act, including links to applications 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans by the Federal government through the U.S. Small Business Administration provide resources for small business relief through $10,000 grants and/or low-interest loans available to small businesses. Loans may become eligible for forgiveness if small businesses are able to bring back their workforce following the COVID-19 pandemic and meet additional requirements outlined by the Small Business Administration 

The CDP COVID-19 Response Fund (Disaster Philanthropy) will focus on supporting nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations to help build their capacity for response. These will include social service organizations focused on supporting hourly wage earners, workers in the gig economy, immigrant/New American populations, older adults, people with disabilities and other communities vulnerable to the physical health, and the mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic 

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is dedicating $50 million to respond to COVID-19 through their Coronavirus Emergency Support GrantsOrganizations in NY state may submit proposals for projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic via the online portal, open through June 3, 2020 

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small businesses, including nonprofits keep their workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis. Open April 3, 2020-June 30, 2020, first-come-first-served. The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding but has links to other resources. 

Economic Opportunity Finders (EOF) created a list of resources on philanthropic response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic

World Education has launched the webinar series “Distance Learning Strategy Sessions” to address different aspects of distance learning and share resources, promising practices, and examples with educators across the country

Upwardly Global is now offering free, self-paced job search and skill-building digital tools to help all jobseekers — regardless of immigration status — to navigate the job search process. Jobseekers who would benefit best from these free digital learning tools should have an intermediate to advanced level of English, and have some vocational training, technical certification, or a Bachelor’s degree or higher

National Skills Coalition’s (NSC) COVID-19 page includes latest podcast episodes, op-eds, press releases, blogs, toolkits, virtual events, and action alerts based on resources shared by hundreds of NSC’s member organizations

World Education has launched the webinar series “Distance Learning Strategy Sessions” to address different aspects of distance learning and share resources, promising practices and examples with educators across the country

NYATEP provides a searchable database with useful resources for workforce professionals during COVID-19 including federal and state policy, funding opportunities for nonprofits, and other resources for small businesses

Welcoming America has compiled COVID-19 resources for the public and members

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) Guidance for Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs Dealing with the Challenges of COVID-19 – This memorandum provides clarification and supports to State Adult Education Offices as States seek to provide continuity of operations for adult learners in the current COVID-19 environment 

In response to COVID-19, The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) has created page with useful resources and trainings to help adult education programs

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the availability of up to $100 million in National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grants to help states, territories, and tribal governments respond to the workforce-related impacts of COVID-19 

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has developed a series of technical assistance resources, trainings and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address grants management questions related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) to help state and local workforce leaders, and other stakeholders and partners to assist the public workforce system during this crisis

This Cato Institute articles identifies the crucial role immigrant health care workers provide to the health care system

The Migration Policy Insitute’s (MPI) recent brief highlights the high percentage of U.S. workers represented by immigrants in numerous essential occupations, including health professions

This opinion piece from the Sun Sentinel discusses the need for further integration of internationally educated healthcare professionals to fill current healthcare shortages, specifically referencing brain waste

Open Society Foundations, with More in Common and YouGov, conducted a survey asking Americans if they would approve of foreign doctors working on the front lines of the pandemic. By a 6/1 margin, Americans support overseas-trained doctors and nurses being able to temporarily practice medicine in America to help care for COVID-19 patients

This New Yorker article highlights the actions taken by some states to help integrate foreign educated medical graduates into the fight against COVID-19

New data from Center for Migration Studies (CMS) estimates that 19.8 million immigrants work in “essential critical infrastructure” categories. The report goes into detail about the amounts of immigrants working across specific industries

Brooking’s Institute, “Don’t Forget to Thank the Immigrants Too” discusses the contributions of immigrants across sectors and industries, highlighting the role immigrants are playing in helping humanity during the COVID-19 crisis and advocating for an ease in regulations preventing immigrants from utilizing their skills 

Center for Global Development (CGD)“Migrant Health Workers Are on the COVID-19 Frontline. We Need More of Them” advocates for reducing barriers to help immigrant healthcare professionals practice in the U.S. and other countries, including data on the number of healthcare professionals in the U.S., shortages in healthcare workers prior to COVID-19, and the historical resistance to migration of healthcare professions 

Immigration ImpactsImmigrant Health Care Workers Play a Vital Role in the United States’ COVID-19 Response” gives current data on immigrants in the healthcare profession/industry during COVID-19 crisis 

Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) fact sheet Immigrant Workers: Vital to the U.S. COVID-19 Response, Disproportionately Vulnerable” shows that immigrants account for larger shares in coronavirus-response frontline occupations, and discussing opportunities for practitioners to address the additional challenges faced by immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Migration Policy Institute (MPI)“As U.S. Health-Care System Buckles under Pandemic, Immigrant & Refugee Professionals Could Represent a Critical Resource” gives commentary on the role of immigrant healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 crisis including some valuable data about the underutilization rates of their skills and talents 

New American Economy (NAE)“Immigration and Covid-19” contains useful data pertaining to immigrants and the COVID-19 pandemic 

Center for American Progress (CAP), “Removing Barriers for Immigrant Medical Professionals Is Critical To Help Fight Coronavirus” highlights unique ways that state and federal stakeholders can lift barriers and enable immigrant and internationally trained healthcare professionals to work in their field in the COVID-19 crisis. It encourages USCIS and the U.S. Dept. of State to remove roadblocks, such as visa and interview requirements, and ease residency requirements to allow more immigrant doctors to practice 

To date, six states have issued executive orders to address health care shortages arising from the COVID-19 crisis by adjusting licensing requirements to allow internationally trained health care professionals to practice on a temporary basis.

The application process guides below provide context and guidance navigating state portals and offer additional state-specific information:

For more information, check out IMPRINT’s policy page Opening Pathways for Immigrant and Refugee Health Professionals

If you were educated in more than one of the eligible countries, you will have an opportunity to add that information later in the application. If you have additional education in a country that is not eligible for the WES Gateway Program, you must submit a separate application for that credential and meet the WES standard document requirements. Fees apply to only one application. 

To be eligible for the WES Gateway Program, you must be:

  • Currently living in the United States
  • Referred by a WES partner organization—for more information contact us (select “WES Gateway Program” as the question category).
  • Educated in one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Türkiye, Ukraine, or Venezuela
  • Unable to obtain your academic documents from your institution, and have proof of your academic attainment, such as a transcript, degree certificate, or professional license

WES corroborates these claims using the best information and resources available. If only a partial transcript is available, WES may be able to reconstruct the degree profile and courses likely taken to attain that credential.

If you have your academic documents in a sealed envelope, you are not eligible for the WES Gateway Program. You can apply for a standard WES credential evaluation.

Note regarding education obtained in Ukraine: Please visit the Important WES Notices page for updates on our evaluation policy.

Note regarding education obtained in Afghanistan: WES evaluates education from 31 universities if it was completed before August 15, 2021. Study completed between 1996 and 2001 cannot be evaluated at this time.

An evaluation through the WES Gateway Programs takes about 15 business days after we receive, review, and accept all your documents.

If you cannot find a referral partner near you, please contact us.

For WES to process your WES Gateway Program application, you must have originals or copies of at least one of the following documents issued by an institution:

  • Diploma / Degree Certificate
  • Transcript / Mark Sheet / Statement of Marks
  • Professional License / Certificate
  • Other officially issued documents (such as a letter of appointment, student ID card, or membership in a recognized professional association or certification body)

Documents that are not in English must be translated.

The WES Gateway Program currently focuses on Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Türkiye, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Our research team will continue to review all factors and whenever possible expand this list. A public announcement will be made if countries are added.

Depending on your goals in the U.S., you may be able to use another credential evaluation service provider to help you meet admission, licensing, or employment requirements. Before requesting a credential evaluation from any agency, contact the institution that needs the evaluation. The institution may require that you use a specific provider. These institutions are responsible for the final recognition decision. You may also use the free WES degree equivalency tool to preview the U.S. equivalency of your international credentials. This preview does not replace a formal credential evaluation that may be needed for official purposes.

Your WES credential evaluation highlights your academic achievements and serves as proof of your qualifications. Your credential evaluation report may help you meet the requirements for:

  • University and college admissions
  • Credit transfers
  • Starting the licensing process
  • Obtaining employment

Please note that each receiving organization has a different recognition process for credential evaluations and may have its own set of requirements.

A report issued through the WES Gateway Program validates and assesses the education of individuals who cannot obtain verifiable academic documentation. The documents used for this evaluation come from the applicant and are not authenticated as in a standard WES evaluation.

Because academic institutions and licensing bodies value authenticated documents, we recommend that you attempt to obtain your official documents for a standard WES evaluation before applying through the WES Gateway Program.

Please contact us to request an upgrade to a Course-by-Course report. Your request must include the name of the organization that will receive the upgraded report.

Currently, all WES Gateway evaluation reports in the U.S. will be provided free of charge, through a voucher provided to referral partners. The vouchers will cover the cost of the evaluation.

You will receive:

  • A credential evaluation report (print and electronic copy) for yourself
  • Storage for copies of the documents for future use (ICAP)
  • One copy to go to any institution that may need your report, such as a college or university, licensure or certification body, or employer

Standard fees apply for additional copies and delivery.

If you were educated in more than one of the eligible countries, you will have an opportunity to add that information later in the application. If you have additional education in a country that is not eligible for the WES Gateway Program, you must submit a separate application for that credential and meet the WES standard document requirements.

The Slate integration automatically uploads completed WES credential evaluations directly into your Slate system.

You must have an AccessWES account and be using Slate in order to set up the integration.

Send WES the requested information using the online form found on this page. Please also follow the directions outlined in this article to prepare your system for the integration.

The Slate integration should be seen as a compliment to AccessWES, not as a replacement. You will continue to use AccessWES to check an evaluation’s status, review any outstanding documents, and receive notifications via email when an evaluation is completed. In addition to the benefits of AccessWES, the Slate integration will upload completed evaluations directly into your Slate system.

You are able to check the status of an applicant’s evaluation through AccessWES. You are also able to see any outstanding documents WES is waiting to receive before the evaluation can be completed.

You will continue to receive email notifications whenever an evaluation is completed.

If a record for an applicant does not already exist in Slate, the system will create a new one for the incoming evaluation.

All completed evaluations for the day are uploaded into Slate through the integration each night at 10pm EDT.

If you don’t want to wait until 10pm for the file to upload into Slate, you may still download it directly through AccessWES.

Yes, you will need to set up each Slate instance, but this process is fairly quick and easy.

All reports received via AccessWES and the Slate integration include both the WES Evaluation Report, as well as copies of verified transcripts, diplomas, degree certificates, English translations, and any other documents that were used to evaluate the credential(s).