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The National Physical Therapy Examination Suspended for All Candidates Educated in India, Pakistan, Egypt and Philippines


The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) has decided to suspend the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) testing for all candidates educated in India, Pakistan, Egypt and the Philippines. This suspension is in direct response to a high level of continual security breaches by a large number of graduates in physical therapy schools from the listed countries. These breaches include the ongoing sale and sharing of recalled test questions by graduates of schools in the countries listed as well as test preparation companies serving these graduates. The FSBPT has gathered strong evidence through forensic analyses of test performances and raids of certain test preparation companies in the listed regions and subsequently concluded that these graduates have received an unfair advantage and that the integrity of the exam has been compromised.

The FSBPT plans to resume testing for the listed countries once the development of a new examination, the NPTE-YRLY, has been completed. The new exam could take around 18 months to complete, so it is estimated it will not be ready until at least the fall of 2011. The NPTE-YRLY will be offered only once a year, and the test sites have not yet been decided.

Due to uncertainty as to when the NPTE-YRLY exam will occur, new registrations for both the Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant versions of the NPTE have been suspended as of July 11, 2010 for all graduates of physical therapy programs in the listed countries. Consequently, foreign educated Physical Therapists already in the US are currently barred from taking the NPTE.

The FSBPT recommends that the candidates continue with the credentialing process so that when registration does open the jurisdiction will have all the paperwork ready and the NPTE-YRLY registration can be completed quickly. This is very important since the NPTE-YRLY is only being administered once a year.

It is the mission of the FSBPT “to protect the public by providing service and leadership that promote safe and competent physical therapy practice.” The Licensing Examination is a “key element” in assuring that the mission statement is carried out. Therefore, the NPTE-YRLY has been viewed as the best solution to ensure accurate testing results.
As of date, the USCIS has not commented in regard to the filing of H-1B visas for non-licensed Physical Therapists educated in India, Pakistan, Egypt and the Philippines. As a practical matter, most employers will put a hold on filing H-1B visas for candidates educated in India, Pakistan, Egypt and the Philippines as these candidates will be unable to sit for the licensing exam, the NPTE, and therefore will not be able to obtain licenses upon entering the US, until such time the NPTE-YRLY is offered.

If you would like to file an H-1B visa for a Physical Therapist, please contact Immigration Attorney, Arjun Verma, Attorney at Law at (408) 436-1010 or send us an email at to set up an initial consultation.

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