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As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, many individuals pursue education and career opportunities abroad. However, the process often involves foreign certificate evaluation and translation services when using foreign qualifications in a new country, such as the United States. This informative blog will delve into the procedure, cost, and duration of foreign certificate evaluation, shedding light on the essential steps and considerations involved.

What is Foreign Certificate Evaluation?

Foreign certificate evaluation is the process of assessing and verifying the equivalence of educational and professional credentials earned in one country to the standards of another. This evaluation is crucial when individuals seek to use their foreign qualifications for academic pursuits, employment, professional licensing, or immigration purposes in a new country.

Why is Foreign Certificate Evaluation Necessary?

Several factors highlight the necessity of foreign certificate evaluation:

  1. Comparative Assessment: It allows institutions, employers, and government agencies to make informed decisions by comparing foreign qualifications to the host country’s standards.
  2. Academic Pursuits: Many educational institutions require international students to have their certificates evaluated to determine eligibility for admission, course placement, and credit transfer.
  3. Employment Opportunities: Employers often require foreign job applicants to provide evaluated certificates to ascertain their qualifications and suitability for positions.
  4. Professional Licensing: Certain regulated professions, such as medicine, law, or engineering, may mandate foreign credential evaluation as part of the licensing process.

The Procedure of Foreign Certificate Evaluation

The process of foreign certificate evaluation typically involves the following steps:

1. Document Collection

The first step is to gather all relevant documents, including:

  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from your educational institution detailing your coursework, grades, and degree earned.
  • Degree Certificate: Copies of your degree certificates or diplomas.
  • Course Descriptions: Detailed course descriptions or syllabi may be required for a more in-depth evaluation.
  • Language Proficiency Scores: If your documents are outside the language of the host country, language proficiency test scores, such as TOEFL or IELTS, may be necessary.

2. Choose a Credential Evaluation Service

Select a reputable credential evaluation service. Choosing an organization recognized by the institution or employer where you plan to use the evaluated credentials is essential. Organizations like the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) provide a list of accredited members.

3. Application Submission

Complete the application provided by the chosen credential evaluation service and submit it along with the required documents. Some services may accept electronic submissions, while others may require physical copies.

4. Evaluation Process

The evaluation process involves thoroughly assessing your academic credentials by trained evaluators. Depending on your specific needs and the service you choose, different evaluation types are available, including:

  • Document-by-Document Evaluation: A fundamental evaluation that verifies the authenticity of your documents.
  • Course-by-Course Evaluation: A detailed assessment that includes a breakdown of your courses, grades, and credit hours, comparing the host country’s education system.
  1. Wait for the Evaluation Report

The duration of the evaluation process varies depending on the service’s workload, the complexity of your case, and the type of evaluation requested. It can range from several weeks to a couple of months.

  1. Review the Evaluation Report

Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive a detailed report outlining how your foreign education compares to the host country’s standards. Review this report carefully to ensure its accuracy.

  1. Use the Evaluation Report

With the evaluation report in hand, you can now use it for your intended purposes, such as applying for admission to educational institutions, seeking employment, or fulfilling licensing requirements.

5. Cost of Foreign Certificate Evaluation

The cost of foreign certificate evaluation can vary significantly depending on several factors:

  • Type of Evaluation: A document-by-document evaluation is generally less expensive than a course-by-course evaluation.
  • Service Provider: Different credential evaluation services may have varying fee structures.
  • Additional Services: Some services offer rush processing, translations, or expedited shipping for an additional fee.
  • Number of Documents: The more documents you need to evaluate, the higher the cost.

The cost of foreign certificate evaluation ranges from $75 to $250 or more per evaluation. Additional fees may apply for rush services or translations.

6. Duration of Foreign Certificate Evaluation

The duration of the evaluation process can vary widely, depending on factors such as the evaluation service’s workload and the complexity of your educational background. However, here’s a general timeline to provide an idea:

  • Standard Processing: For standard processing, which is usually the most affordable option, you can expect the evaluation to take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks.
  • Rush Services: If you need a quicker evaluation, many services offer rush processing for an additional fee. Rush evaluations can often be completed within 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Translations: If your documents require translation, this can add extra time to the process. Translation services may take an additional 1 to 4 weeks, depending on the complexity and volume of documents.


Foreign certificate evaluation is vital for individuals seeking to use their international qualifications in a new country. This process ensures that your educational and professional credentials are recognized and compared to the host country’s standards, facilitating academic pursuits, career advancement, and professional licensing. While the procedure, cost, and duration of foreign certificate evaluation and translation services may vary, choosing a reputable evaluation service and allowing ample time will help you navigate this critical step successfully. With an adequately evaluated foreign certificate, you can confidently pursue your educational and career goals in your new host country.