Getting Certified

Interstate Reciprocity and International Applicants

Interstate Reciprocity

We welcome applicants who are certified or licensed in another state. The New York State Education Department  (NYSED) issues the Conditional Initial Certificate to qualified individuals holding a reciprocal certificate who have not yet met the state testing and workshop requirements. At least one reciprocal certificate from each of the 50 states is accepted. When applying for certification, you should apply for Initial Certification and then choose Interstate Reciprocity as your pathway.

Please consult this list to determine if your out-of-state certificate is accepted by the New York State Education Department. The minimum certificate level generally accepted is the Level II, but the level can vary. NYSED requires applicants to either have earned the Level II certificate through a university based teacher preparation program, or if earned through a district-based alternative certification program, that they have three years of verifiable full-time teaching experience in the subject area sought.

Applicants must apply directly to the New York State Department of Education for the Conditional Initial Certificate. The Conditional Initial Certificate is valid for up to two years while a teacher completes the additional testing and workshop requirements.

Applicants who are submitting an employment application to the New York City Department of Education must provide a copy of their reciprocal certificate as part of the application process. Visit Applying and Getting Hired for more detailed information.

International Applicants

Teachers from other countries may qualify for employment in New York City public schools if they meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must hold New York State certification in a particular teaching discipline
  • Applicants must be licensed to teach in a designated shortage-area subject (these vary from year to year)
  • Applicants must hold current visas in one of the categories below:
    • a foreign teacher studying in the United States (F1, OPT)
    • a foreign teacher currently employed on a work visa (J1, H1-B, Q)
    • a foreign teacher currently on a visitor's visa (H4, J2, L2) 

Candidates fitting the above criteria may apply online to the NYC Department of Education. Once your application is received and reviewed, further instructions will follow.

While we welcome all applications, please be advised that candidates who do not fit the above criteria are not eligible for consideration at this time.