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Education and Training

Foreign Program Approval Information for Schools

Foreign Program Approval Information For Schools

In order to apply for approval of a program of education, the information listed below must be submitted by an official authorized to commit the school to an agreement with VA. VA will evaluate the information and provide the school with an approval determination on the program of education.

This information should be submitted to:

Foreign School Approval Group (22-ESU)
VA Regional Office
130 S. Elmwood Avenue Suite 601
Buffalo, NY 14202

NOTE: Independent study (distance learning) courses must be accredited by a national agency or association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Also, in order to be approved, a course offered in a foreign country must lead to a standard college degree or its equivalent.

Contact us by using the Submit A Question section of our website.

Students seeking more information on attending foreign schools should click here. 

Minimum Information To Be Included In Requests For Approval Of Foreign Training Programs

VA does not have an "Official" form for requesting approval of a program at an institution outside of the United States. At a minimum, VA requires the foreign school submit a written request on letterhead stationary and signed by an official authorized to commit the school to an agreement with VA. VA will not be able to approve a program unless all of this information is provided.

Please submit all information in English or include an English translation of the submitted information. 

VA requires the following information be included in your request for program approval:

  1. Full legal name of the school and the English equivalent name of the school.
  2. Address of the school.
  3. Full name, title and email address of the school representative completing this program approval request.
  4. Is the school considered to be a public, private-for-profit or a private not-for-profit facility?
  5. Does the Ministry, Department, or Office of Education, etc. in your country, officially classify the school as an institution of higher learning? (i.e., as a college, university, or similar establishment offering postsecondary level academic instruction leading to the conferring of a degree). If so, what type of degree(s)?
  6. Provide the name of the VA student.
  7. Provide the degree type and name of the program of study. Only programs that eligible persons are enrolled in, or are thinking of enrolling in, should be requested.
  8. - Be sure to include the academic prerequisites for enrollment (for example, is High School graduation a requirement?).
    - Please indicate the total length of the program.
    - Please include the reference to the program by name and page number in the college catalog or the direct web link address for the program information on the school website.

  9. Is the program at the undergraduate or graduate level?
  10. Will the institution give appropriate credit for previous education and training of VA students, shorten the training period proportionately, and reflect the credit granted on the enrollment certifications?
  11. Will the institution agree to accept students found to be eligible for VA benefits at the student’s expense, in accordance with the provisions of the law, and at rates for tuition, related instructional fees, and expenses not greater than those required of other students similarly circumstanced?
  12. Will the institution agree to maintain sufficient records to show the progress of each VA student and to promptly inform the VA when the conduct or progress of any VA student is not satisfactory in accordance with the regularly prescribed standards and practices of the institution?
  13. Will the institution agree to complete the enrollment certifications and agree not to include any courses that are audited (no credit applied toward program requirements)? Will the institution also agree to promptly inform the VA when it comes to the school’s attention that any VA student:

    - Has changes in hours of credit or attendance, or
    - Has interrupted or discontinued a course or program of study, giving the date(s) of withdrawal and the reason(s), if known, or
    - Receives grade(s) for any course(s) that will not be used when computing graduation requirements.

  14. Will the institution, if and when requested by VA, make all appropriate records pertaining to the enrollment of VA students available for examination by VA or its representatives?

Additional Information for Medical Schools

In addition to meeting all of the criteria listed above, a program offered at a foreign medical school must also meet the following criteria:

  1. Is the school listed as a medical school in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization?
  2. What is the name of the accrediting authority in your country that recognizes the school as a medical school?
  3. Does the school provide (and requires its students to complete) a program of clinical and classroom instruction that is at least 32 months in length?
  4. Has the school graduated classes during each of the last two 12-month periods? If so, include the date (month, day, year) of the last two graduating classes and the number of students that graduated in each class.

The Department of Veterans Affairs may consult with the Department of Education and review any information about the foreign school that the Department of Education makes available.