Frequently Asked Questions - Physicians

NIW Requirements for a Specialist Physician
Does the USCIS make a distinction as to whether a specialist physician works in a Medically Underserved Area vs Health Professional Shortage Area versus Physician Scarcity Area? My job falls in MUA, HPSA but not PSA , is this a problem for a specialist?

NIW requires "You must serve 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)."

Marriage to US Citizen with EB AOS is pending
I am currently on H1B extension (7th year ; with pending I-485 under NIW, and approved Advanced Parole & EAD) dating an American citizen. We want to get married in India. If I were to leave my current job in October 2009, and go to India (for making marriage arrangements), is it advisable to: 1. First get engaged here in the US and file for fiancé Visa while I am in US (and then travel to India) in order to re-enter US on a legal status. 2. Also do we have to get married in US again in order to provide proper legal marriage documentation and to file family based I-485 as spouse.

NIW applicants get their green card based upon an expectation of employment - not employment (unless you are a physician). So, if you have a job offer in your area of expertise, your travel on AP is fairly safe.

A legal marriage in India is fully recognized in USA.

GC future job; H-1 ext. revocation upon 140 denial, etc
I have just been accepted into a residency program here at a university. I am currently working in the same department as a clinical research associate on H1B since april 2006, they have applied for my permanent residency in EB-2 for the same position and I am on 7th year H1B valid till nov 2009. My I-140 is in process and I have responded to RFE on oct 16th and have not got any reply so far. Priority date is oct 2007. The residency starts in july I think I can continue on H1B till my I-140 is pending and since my green card process is in the same department they have assured me that they will not withdraw my I-140 and that I’ll come back and work in the position of research associate after my residency(4years). Please let me know if this is legally possible as they have the intent to hire and I have the intent to join them when green card is approved.

Ans. Yes. As long as the employer has the intention of keeping the job open for you and you have the intention to join them, the green card process can continue.

Quote: If by any chance they say that I can do it, does it involve just an amendment to my H1b or will it be a fresh H1b? My job responsibilities will change and $8000 change in salary only.( from Research Associate to resident). If yes, can I join residency before the amendment is approved? I heard that INS should receive the petition before the join date and I am fine.

Do physicians have the right to an extension beyond 6 years for waiver jobs?

1. I am curruntly on HIB Visa for the past 5yrs and 2 months (GC process started and 1-140 approved) working for a State Health Department.

May physicians process GC during residency?
Is it possible to start GC process during my first year medical residency if my hospital agrees. Have you dealt with cases like this.

The essence of a green card application is that it is meant to be for a job in the future. 

Extension of Investor Visas, Religious Visas, Conrad 30 for Physicians
We are being informed that EB-5 investments in regional centers are now possible until December. The date has been extended. 1) Is this true? 2) Given that a green card is available years after the initial investment, in the current volatile immigration climate, how safe is an EB-5 ?

True. The EB-5, the religious visa programs and Conrad 30 waives for foreign physicians have been extended until 8 December 2017 pursuant to H.R. 601 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017.

Physician FMG applying for Cap H-1 through a cap exempt employer
1. For a resident who is completing residency on Jun 30 on cap-exempt H-1B visa and has a job offer from a hospital that is cap-exempt because it is non-profit and has affiliation with a medical school for training, can the employer be requested to first apply for a cap-subject H-1B visa on April 1? 2. If the lottery does not come through, can hospital apply subsequently for cap-exempt? Are there any risks with this approach? 3. Is a start date of July 1 possible with cap-subject?
Processing Times Involved in NIW
If I may verify the processing times involved in NIW. Since it falls under EB2 category, I am assuming it may be a long time before I can get my EAD card and be able to change employers. Also, I want to confirm if there could be issues if I change employers during the process - If so, I'd prefer to change my current employer before starting with it.

You can change employers any time if you are a self-applicant and will continue to work in your stated area of national interest.  But NIW priority date will take the same time as a normal EB-2 application does.  See: 

Physician filing green card
1. I am a Canadian physician on an H-1B (never been on J-1) which expires June 30th, 2017. I am currently doing a 2 year fellowship. I'm contemplating pursuing the physician NIW process vs EB-2 through potential employer. For EB-2, my understanding is that I need to be eligible for a full-time physician position on the day the employer submits the ad. Since I won't complete my general residency until June 30th, 2016, my potential employer cannot begin recruitment until July 1, 2016, correct? 2. In your experience, is 1 year enough time to complete the EB-2 process?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=1852

J-1 Physician in Waiver Job Applying for AOS/1-485
I am a physician completing my J-1 waiver ( on H-1B now in US, waiver will finish by June 2015). My wife became a U.S. citizen few months ago and she has filed I-130 for me. If I-130 is approved, do I have to wait till June 2015 to apply for adjustment of status or can I apply sooner ? If I have to wait till June to apply for I-485, will I be able to get EAD right away or will I need to be on H-1 for a while I-485 is accepted ?

 See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YV-qIlAEpI#t=1320

 

FAQ Transcript