1993-1997 7th generation Corolla
1998-2002 8th generation Corolla
Though similar, the body panels are not a direct fit between the generations. Both generations have bodies assembled in Japan, US, or Canada. There are also Geo/Chevy Prism clones to the Corolla made in the NUMMI plant in California, though there are physical differences in body style and some electronic components.
Generally speaking, as long as you stay within the generation and manufacturer, the part will fit. There are some odd-ball cases where there were significant running changes that will not allow for a direct swap for a body panel. My suggestion is to ping on a body shop and see if they can look up a cross index for you. What I've found is there is not a clear distinction between North American bound cars and the overseas counterparts. Overseas, the model years for a particular generation - especially in the case of Toyota - are offset by a year (overseas 7th gen runs from 1992-1996).
I think it was a great tip that you gave me about calling a body shop. I called a local dealer's parts department (they also have a body shop) and they confirmed that 1995 and 1997 have interchangeable doors. Actually, he did not spend much time figuring out my answer - he just quickly said yes.
So I called another dealer that actually attempted to match part numbers for me (he had TONS of trouble doing that) and the part numbers matched (we picked standard driver-side door on both car years (1995&1997) for the Corolla).
So I called another dealer and after few clicks he flatly said NO. He didn't seem to be in the mood to elaborate.
So I called another dealer with a collision center (because I think they maybe used to working with body parts more then dealers with out body shops) and he gave me a more detailed information: late-1996 through 1997 will fit the 1997.
I had a hunch that there may have been an error in the parts interchange database that has been causing this confusion, but I will not be able to confirm it 100% until I put the part back on. It seems like there no consensus on this subject which is a bit upsetting to me.
My best guess is based on the second parts person I've spoke with (the one that had trouble looking up parts numbers): he said that there are few different kinds of doors for the corolla: two for each of the types (standard, LX, DX). I think when they look at the doors they do not always match those things up. This leads them to tell me that that it is incompatible. It seem that physically the door should fit, but it may not be the same as far as all the parts that come with it.
I am venturing in the land of unknown, so wish me luck guys!