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Credential/License from Another Country

Immigrating to the United States is an opportunity to use your international training to either advance in your field or pursue a new career that builds on your education and experience. We encourage you to explore the various career pathways available so you can consider your options. Because teaching in California usually involves obtaining a certificate or license, it is especially important to fully understand and consider your options.

California has a two-tier teaching credential. The preliminary credential, valid for five years, is the first document issued after an out-of-country prepared individual has met the basic credential requirements, which includes a baccalaureate degree and teacher preparation.

The clear credential, valid for five years, is issued after all credential requirements have been met, including induction teaching and professional development experiences.

If you have completed a teacher preparation program outside the United States, you are eligible for a preliminary credential if you meet the requirements and provide:

  • Foreign transcript evaluationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site showing completion of an undergraduate or higher degree from a college or university equivalent to a regionally accredited U.S. institution.
  • Foreign transcript evaluationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site showing completion of a professional preparation program including student teaching.
  • Proof of comparable teaching credential.
Individuals who hold a teaching credential based on alternate preparation (out-of-state, outside the United States, private school experience) and wish to apply for a California teaching credentialIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site should submit a paper application following the instructions on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Website. The Commission is the state agency that grants teaching credentials.

Each type of California credential is listed below for those teachers prepared outside of the United States:

Important Note:

While bilingual abilities are beneficial, the ability to read, write, speak and understand English is required. You must be legally eligible to work in the United States. (This means that you must be a: U.S.citizen, or a legal resident with a Social Security Number or an Individual Tax Identification Number). Browse the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services WebsiteIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site for details.