Overview for an International Applicant

In general, foreign engineers applying for a standard license in Texas must meet the same requirements as Texas engineers, but there are a few extra process steps that must be addressed.

Law and Rules
This page refers to several TBPE rules. Download the Law and Rules Document here: http://pels.texas.gov/downloads.htm#general

Application Forms
Foreign applicants applying for a standard license use the application forms found here: http://pels.texas.gov/downloads.htm#license

Engineers visiting Texas for a limited amount of time from Australia, Canada or Mexico can apply for a Temporary License.
More information can be found here: http://pels.texas.gov/temporary_international_licensure.htm.

Eligibility to Work
By US federal law, anyone applying for a professional license in the US must provide evidence that they have the legal status to work in Texas. That includes a visa number or something equivalent. For applicants from countries that have a standing trade agreement with the US, such as NAFTA or AUSFTA, which specifically address professional licensure, this requirement is not applicable.

Any applicant for a PE license or an EIT certificate must demonstrate that they meet the education requirements set in the Board rules. All non-US degrees which do not meet the requirements of 133.31(a)(1) must be evaluated to determine equivalence with a US degree. Evaluations must be done by one of the Board approved companies.

Foreign engineers must meet the requirements for experience as specified in section 133.27(a)(4). The Board uses the criteria set out in rule 133.43 for analyzing the experience. Experience obtained outside the US may be claimed, but foreign engineers should pay special attention to section 133.43 (a)(3)(D), which requires that at least two years of the experience being claimed is obtained in the US or working with US design codes and standards. The amount of experience that is required is set in rule 133.41(C)(5). In many cases, the results of the degree evaluation will determine the amount of experience that will be required.

Foreign engineers must meet the same requirements for Reference statements as US engineers, which are set in rule 133.51. Please note that references must be from licensed PEs. References from non-US engineers do not meet this requirement in many cases. Engineers who are claiming foreign engineering experience may find section 133.51(b) useful. It states that an applicant may obtain references from PEs who did not personally witness their work.

Foreign engineers must meet the same requirements for examinations as US engineers. If you have a degree that meets the education requirements of 133.31 and are a resident of Texas, you may take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The degree evaluation and transcript are not required prior to taking the FE exam. All applicants must apply and receive approval before registering for or taking the PE exam in Texas.

Criminal History Record Check
Effective January 1, 2014, an applicant for professional engineer licensure in Texas must submit a legible set of fingerprints to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from the TXDPS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. See more information at https:/pels.texas.gov/recordcheck.html.

For general standard license requirements go to this page: http://pels.texas.gov/lic_basic.htm