CA professional licensing focus: refugees and asylum seekers

CA professional licensing focus: refugees and asylum seekers

| Nov 12, 2020 | Ethics & Professional Responsibility

“An inherently complicated process.”

That is how one California media source terms the in-and-outs relevant to securing a professional license in the state.

And not just one or a few select licenses. A recent Sacramento Bee article on licensing dictates in California notes that, “There are 37 different state boards and bureaus that each have their own specific requirements, exams and fees.”

That is obviously the antithesis of a unitary and ordered system governing would-be licensees. In fact, it imposes highly differentiated and often bewildering requirements that can act as insurmountable hurdles for aspiring and qualified individuals. Many of those prospective licensees seek to engage in occupations highly important to public health, legal matters, education, child care and additional concerns.

As hard as the licensing process can be in a general sense, it is often especially challenging for one specific demographic.

Namely, that is the diverse group comprising refugees and asylum seekers. The Bee piece notes that those individuals typically “have to jump extra hurdles” and must newly prove themselves to a second group of examiners and professional overseers.

That is of course understandable to a degree. The general public has a right to know that it is duly safeguarded when reaching out to professionally licensed individuals for help. Credentials attained in one country don’t automatically ensure the requisite competence required to practice in a specialized field in California.

California officials emphasize that fact, but also express concerns that many refugees and asylum seekers seeking state licenses are being unduly burdened. Notably exacting licensing mandates can sometimes be comparatively unfair and even punitive and, moreover, discourage participation in vitally important occupational spheres.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom implicitly acknowledged that last month when he signed into law new legislation aimed at expediting licensing applications for asylum seekers.

A key sponsor of the law underscored its inclusionary intent, stressing that state officials “are not working against refugees trying to rebuild their lives.”

California’s professional licensing scheme is comprehensive and, as noted above, often both challenging and complex. Questions or concerns regarding a license challenge can be directed to a proven legal team of license-defense attorneys.