A registered nurse (RN) applying for permanent residency must have an employer who will provide a job offer. The employer usually is a health care facility like hospital, nursing home etc.

The employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker along with duplicate ETA Form 9089 with the USCIS. There is no requirement that the labor certification should be approved.

The RN must have credentials showing that he or she is licensed to practice as a RN in his or her country. Also, a certification from Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School (CGFNS) that RN meets the Visa Screen requirements must be submitted. Visa Screen is a verification and evaluation of credentials to ensure compliance with government’s minimum eligibility standards. It is primarily an evaluation of the RN’s education, license and English language proficiency assessment. Certain applicants from countries like Australia, Ireland United Kingdom, and USA who meet certain criteria are exempted from the English language proficiency requirement. In lieu of CGFNS certification the RN may show that he or she has obtained a passing score on National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) as proof of nursing knowledge. The Visa Screen certification or a certified statement from the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) which is a part of CGFNS must be obtained before the RN’s immigrant visa or adjustment of status is granted.  The RN should have a full and unrestricted license to practice nursing in the state of intended employment. There is no requirement of any specific degree but the RN should meet the minimum requirement of nursing studies in his or her country. 

A physical therapist (PT) applying for permanent residency must have an employer who will provide a job offer. The employer usually is a health care facility like hospital, nursing home, physical therapy clinic etc.

The employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker along with duplicate ETA Form 9089 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There is no requirement that the labor certification should be approved.

The PT must show credentials that he or she is permanently licensed in the state of intended employment. Instead of the license, the PT may provide a letter or statement from the state physical therapy licensing official that he or she is qualified to take the state’s written licensing examination.  Besides, the PT must also produce a certification from Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School (CGFNS) or Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) verifying and evaluating his or her credentials to ensure compliance with government’s minimum eligibility standards.

FCCPT grants Type I and Type II credentials certificates. Type I certificate is for individuals who have never been licensed to practice physical therapy in United States and needs a visa for employment. It is a health care worker certificate required by some states and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Type II is required for individuals currently licensed in the United States or do not hold Type I certificate and are seeking adjustment of status.

The PT should show that he or she is licensed to practice or should have registered as a PT in the country where he or she studied. There is no requirement of any specific degree. 

The PT must meet the Visa Screen requirements. Visa Screen is a verification and evaluation of credentials to ensure compliance with government’s minimum eligibility standards. It is primarily an evaluation of the PT’s education, license and English language proficiency assessment. Certain applicants from countries like Australia, Ireland United Kingdom, and USA who meet certain criteria are exempted from the English language proficiency requirement. The Visa Screen certification or a certified statement from the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) which is a part of CGFNS must be obtained before the PT’s immigrant visa or adjustment of status is granted.

The second-preference employment category (EB-2) allows individuals of exceptional ability and individuals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees to get a green card (permanent residence).  For this category a job offer and a labor certification is generally required. This requirement can be waived if the petitioner demonstrates that granting the EB-2 petition would be in the national interest of the United States. USCIS may grant the national interest waiver (NIW) if a physician agrees to work for a period of time in a designated underserved area.

The physician must agree to work full-time in a clinical practice for the required period of 5 years and must work in a primary care such as a general practitioner, family practice petitioner, general internist, pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, or psychiatrist. He or she could be even a specialty physician. The physician must serve in a designated underserved area i.e. either in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA – for psychiatrists only), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Veterans Affairs facility, or for specialists in a Physician Scarcity Area (PSA). A statement (known as an attestation) from a federal agency or a state department of health that has knowledge of the physician’s qualifications and which states that his or her work is in the public interest  must be obtained.

Medical eligibility is a requirement of INA Sections 212(a) and 221(d). Failure to provide required information may cause delay or denial of an applicant’s immigrant visa. If an immigrant visa is not issued, all medical eligibility forms are treated as confidential under INA Section 222(f).

The medical examination is not a complete physical examination. Its purpose is to screen for certain medical conditions relevant to U.S. immigration law. The panel physician is not required to examine applicant for any conditions except those the U.S. Public Health Service specifies for U.S. immigration purposes, nor is the physician required to provide applicant with diagnosis or treatment even though other matters related to applicant’s health might be discovered.

The applicant must show his/her passport (or other photo identification) and appointment letter to the doctor during the medical examination. The medical examination report prepared by the USCIS certified physician or any physician authorized by the U.S. Consulate must be submitted to USCIS or to the U.S. Consulate within 60 days of its issuance.

The medical examination will include a medical history review, physical examination, chest X-ray and blood tests for syphilis. The physical examination will at least include examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia.

In some countries, the panel physician will send the results to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate directly. In other countries, the panel physician will give the applicant his/her medical exam results in a sealed envelope and an x-ray which the applicant must bring to the interview.

Applicants with mental retardation or learning disabilities must present a report of their condition and any special educational or supervision requirements.

Chest X-ray and blood tests are not usually required for children under the age of fifteen.

The following vaccinations are required for immigration purposes:

  1. Hepatitis A
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Influenza
  4. Influenza Type B (Hib)
  5. Measles
  6. Meningococcal
  7. Mumps
  8. Pneumococcal
  9. Pertussis
  10. Polio
  11. Rotavirus
  12. Rubella
  13. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
  14. Varicella

Immigration medical examinations conducted inside the United States must be performed by a civil surgeon who has been designated by USCIS. Immigration medical examinations conducted outside the United States must be performed by a panel physician who has been designated by the Department of State.

Civil surgeons must perform the immigration medical examination according to the Technical Instructions for the Medical Examinations of Aliens in the United States (Technical Instructions or TIs), published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

A public list of designated civil surgeons is available online through the Civil Surgeon Locator

A registered nurse (RN) applying for permanent residency must have an employer who will provide a job offer. The employer usually is a health care facility like hospital, nursing home etc.

The employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker along with duplicate ETA Form 9089 with the USCIS. There is no requirement that the labor certification should be approved.

The RN must have credentials showing that he or she is licensed to practice as a RN in his or her country. Also, a certification from Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School (CGFNS) that RN meets the Visa Screen requirements must be submitted. Visa Screen is a verification and evaluation of credentials to ensure compliance with government’s minimum eligibility standards. It is primarily an evaluation of the RN’s education, license and English language proficiency assessment. Certain applicants from countries like Australia, Ireland United Kingdom, and USA who meet certain criteria are exempted from the English language proficiency requirement. In lieu of CGFNS certification the RN may show that he or she has obtained a passing score on National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) as proof of nursing knowledge. The Visa Screen certification or a certified statement from the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) which is a part of CGFNS must be obtained before the RN’s immigrant visa or adjustment of status is granted.  The RN should have a full and unrestricted license to practice nursing in the state of intended employment. There is no requirement of any specific degree but the RN should meet the minimum requirement of nursing studies in his or her country. 

A physical therapist (PT) applying for permanent residency must have an employer who will provide a job offer. The employer usually is a health care facility like hospital, nursing home, physical therapy clinic etc.

The employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker along with duplicate ETA Form 9089 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There is no requirement that the labor certification should be approved.

The PT must show credentials that he or she is permanently licensed in the state of intended employment. Instead of the license, the PT may provide a letter or statement from the state physical therapy licensing official that he or she is qualified to take the state’s written licensing examination.  Besides, the PT must also produce a certification from Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School (CGFNS) or Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) verifying and evaluating his or her credentials to ensure compliance with government’s minimum eligibility standards.

FCCPT grants Type I and Type II credentials certificates. Type I certificate is for individuals who have never been licensed to practice physical therapy in United States and needs a visa for employment. It is a health care worker certificate required by some states and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Type II is required for individuals currently licensed in the United States or do not hold Type I certificate and are seeking adjustment of status.

The PT should show that he or she is licensed to practice or should have registered as a PT in the country where he or she studied. There is no requirement of any specific degree. 

The PT must meet the Visa Screen requirements. Visa Screen is a verification and evaluation of credentials to ensure compliance with government’s minimum eligibility standards. It is primarily an evaluation of the PT’s education, license and English language proficiency assessment. Certain applicants from countries like Australia, Ireland United Kingdom, and USA who meet certain criteria are exempted from the English language proficiency requirement. The Visa Screen certification or a certified statement from the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) which is a part of CGFNS must be obtained before the PT’s immigrant visa or adjustment of status is granted.

The second-preference employment category (EB-2) allows individuals of exceptional ability and individuals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees to get a green card (permanent residence).  For this category a job offer and a labor certification is generally required. This requirement can be waived if the petitioner demonstrates that granting the EB-2 petition would be in the national interest of the United States. USCIS may grant the national interest waiver (NIW) if a physician agrees to work for a period of time in a designated underserved area.

The physician must agree to work full-time in a clinical practice for the required period of 5 years and must work in a primary care such as a general practitioner, family practice petitioner, general internist, pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, or psychiatrist. He or she could be even a specialty physician. The physician must serve in a designated underserved area i.e. either in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA – for psychiatrists only), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Veterans Affairs facility, or for specialists in a Physician Scarcity Area (PSA). A statement (known as an attestation) from a federal agency or a state department of health that has knowledge of the physician’s qualifications and which states that his or her work is in the public interest  must be obtained.

Medical eligibility is a requirement of INA Sections 212(a) and 221(d). Failure to provide required information may cause delay or denial of an applicant’s immigrant visa. If an immigrant visa is not issued, all medical eligibility forms are treated as confidential under INA Section 222(f).

The medical examination is not a complete physical examination. Its purpose is to screen for certain medical conditions relevant to U.S. immigration law. The panel physician is not required to examine applicant for any conditions except those the U.S. Public Health Service specifies for U.S. immigration purposes, nor is the physician required to provide applicant with diagnosis or treatment even though other matters related to applicant’s health might be discovered.

The applicant must show his/her passport (or other photo identification) and appointment letter to the doctor during the medical examination. The medical examination report prepared by the USCIS certified physician or any physician authorized by the U.S. Consulate must be submitted to USCIS or to the U.S. Consulate within 60 days of its issuance.

The medical examination will include a medical history review, physical examination, chest X-ray and blood tests for syphilis. The physical examination will at least include examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia.

In some countries, the panel physician will send the results to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate directly. In other countries, the panel physician will give the applicant his/her medical exam results in a sealed envelope and an x-ray which the applicant must bring to the interview.

Applicants with mental retardation or learning disabilities must present a report of their condition and any special educational or supervision requirements.

Chest X-ray and blood tests are not usually required for children under the age of fifteen.

The following vaccinations are required for immigration purposes:

  1. Hepatitis A
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Influenza
  4. Influenza Type B (Hib)
  5. Measles
  6. Meningococcal
  7. Mumps
  8. Pneumococcal
  9. Pertussis
  10. Polio
  11. Rotavirus
  12. Rubella
  13. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
  14. Varicella
Immigration medical examinations conducted inside the United States must be performed by a civil surgeon who has been designated by USCIS. Immigration medical examinations conducted outside the United States must be performed by a panel physician who has been designated by the Department of State. Civil surgeons must perform the immigration medical examination according to the Technical Instructions for the Medical Examinations of Aliens in the United States (Technical Instructions or TIs), published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. A public list of designated civil surgeons is available online through the Civil Surgeon Locator

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