New Jersey to Allow Professional and Occupational Licensing Regardless of Immigration Status

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Sanctuary State New Jersey’s Immigrants Professional and Occupational Licensing: Frontline Undocumented Immigrant Workers, Financial Ruin, and Health Risks

Last week, the New Jersey Assembly sent legislation to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk that would prohibit the state’s professional and occupational licensing agencies from requiring applicants to establish lawful presence in the United States as a condition of obtaining a professional or occupational license. Gov. Murphy is expected to sign the bill into law according to his spokesperson, Alyana Alfaro, who said in a statement to, that “Governor Murphy believes that immigrants are a critical part of the fabric of life in New Jersey and that they should not face unnecessary barriers as they seek to participate in our society and economy.”

The legislation will take effect immediately upon Governor Murphy’s signature. It will prevent the following state agencies from denying licensing because of an applicant’s immigration status in the United States:

  1. New Jersey State Board of Accountancy
  2. New Jersey State Board of Architects
  3. New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
  4. Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
  5. New Jersey State Board of Dentistry
  6. State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey
  7. State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
  8. State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners
  9. State Board of Medical Examiners
  10. New Jersey Board of Nursing
  11. New Jersey State Board of Optometrists
  12. State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians
  13. Board of Pharmacy
  14. State Board of Professional Planners
  15. State Board of Psychological Examiners
  16. State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers
  17. New Jersey Real Estate Commission
  18. State Board of Court Reporting
  19. State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
  20. Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners
  21. Acupuncture Examining Board
  22. State Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  23. State Board of Respiratory Care
  24. State Real Estate Appraiser Board
  25. State Board of Social Work Examiners
  26. State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors
  27. Elevator, Escalator, and Moving Walkway Mechanics Licensing Board
  28. State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners
  29. Orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners
  30. New Jersey Cemetery Board
  31. State Board of Polysomnography
  32. New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
  33. Genetic Counseling Advisory Committee

To learn more about this blog post or if you have any other immigration concerns, please feel free to contact me at or (484) 544-0022.

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