Kirberger PC: a boutique law firm providing US visa and immigration services since 1998.
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Physician H1B Visa

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The Physician H1B Visa is a temporary work visa that allows a Physician H1B Visa holder to work at a sponsoring US employer. The H1B Visa is often considered preferable to the J-1 Visa because it carries no 2 year Home Residence Requirement. (The J-1 Home Residence Requirement always attaches to J-1 Visa Physicians who provide direct patient care, and it can be very difficult to waive.)

The Physician H1B Visa is available to eligible physicians entering the US to perform teaching or research or to provide direct patient care. The H1B Visa is valid for an initial period of 3 years. It is renewable up to 6 years (sometimes longer in certain circumstances).

Physician H1B Visa: Requirements

Physicians entering the US to provide direct patient care that is not merely incidental to teaching or research must meet the following requirements to qualify for the Physician H1B Visa:

  1. License or other authorization required by US state of intended employment to practice medicine, or be exempt by law therefrom if the state requires such a license or authorization to provide direct patient care.
  2. Full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a foreign state, or be a graduate of a US medical school.
  3. Passed all steps of the USMLE, or be a graduate of a US medical school. And,
  4. Demonstrate competency in oral and written English by passing ECFMG English proficiency test. This requirement does not apply to graduates of US-accredited medical schools. (Many Canadian medical schools have US-accreditation).

Physicians of national or international renown in the field of medicine are exempt from the above requirements.

Physicians entering the US to perform teaching and/or research with direct patient care that is only incidental to such teaching and/or research may also be eligible for an H1B Visa. As mentioned above, the H1B Visa is preferable to entering on the J-1 Visa because the Physician H1B Visa has no J-1 Home Residence Requirement, which often attaches to J-1 Visa holders. The J-1 home residence requirement always attaches to J-1 Visa Physicians who provide direct patient care.