Immigrant Licensure Information

Colorado has a diverse, growing immigrant population. While the Division recognizes the contributions immigrants make to the state, the duty to protect the public health and welfare in some cases requires immigrant applicants to fulfill additional requirements as part of the licensure process. For example, as a foreign-trained or foreign-credentialed applicant, you must be prepared to have all of your foreign education, training, and professional credentials evaluated and translated (as necessary) by a third-party credential evaluation organization. Additionally, some professions, such as nursing, also require foreign-trained applicants to demonstrate English-language proficiency. Similarly, many licensing tests are only available in English. The Division encourages all applicants for whom English is a second language to contact the Division’s licensing staff in order to determine any English-language requirements for your profession or occupation. Additional information can be found on the Division’s Home Page. Please be sure to check back often on this webpage for updates. The Division will post additional resources for immigrants and refugees to this webpage as they become available.

In addition to these general requirements, the following opportunities and resources are available specifically for immigrants and foreign-trained individuals:

Barber & Cosmetology Foreign Training Equivalency program

For applicants with work experience gained in a foreign country, the program is an important opportunity to take advantage of your previous experiences. Created in 2019, this program allows applicants for barber, cosmetologist, esthetician, hair stylist, and nail technician licenses to substitute on-the-job work experience obtained in a foreign country for the training hours normally required for licensure. Under this program, applicants may substitute their previous foreign work experience at a ration of three months of experience for every one hundred training hours. The training hours required to learn disinfection, cleaning, safe work practices, and to review laws and rules are not eligible for substitution.

Please refer to these Frequently Asked Questions, or see additional resources for foreign applicants.  Further information about obtaining any necessary training can be found at the Colorado Community College System and the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

To apply for a license please visit our Online Services page.

Barber & Cosmetology Skilled Immigrants Licensing Guide

The Division of Professions and Occupations has prepared a Barbers & Cosmetologists Skilled Immigrants Licensing Guide, that includes comprehensive information about the process and requirements to become a licensed barber, cosmetologist, esthetician, hairstylist, or nail technician in Colorado. Please refer to the guide for detailed guidance. If you have additional questions that are not addressed by the guide, please call 303-894-7800, or email the Division at dora_dpo_licensing@state.co.us

Foreign Trained Professional Engineer Licensure Guide

The Division of Professions and Occupations has prepared a Foreign Trained Professional Engineers Licensure guide, that includes comprehensive information about the additional process and requirements to become a licensed Professional Engineer in the state for an individual who either obtained their education from a foreign country, or are currently licensed as a Professional Engineer in a foreign country. Please refer to the guide for guidance. If you have additional questions that are not addressed by the guide, please call 303-894-7800, or email the Division at dora_dpo_licensing@state.co.us.