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



Physician H1B Visa

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Physician H1B stethoscope iPad medical technology 134501532The Physician H1B Visa allows a Physician H1B Visa holder to work temporarily at a sponsoring US employer. The H1B Visa may be preferable to the J-1 Visa because it carries no 2 year J-1 Home Residence Requirement (HRR). Generally, the HRR requires certain J-1 holders to return to their home country for 2 years after their J-1 program before returning to the US. The J-1 Home Residence Requirement attaches to J-1 Visa Physicians who provide direct patient care, and it can be very difficult to waive.

The Physician H1B Visa is for eligible physicians entering the US to teach, perform research, or provide direct patient care. Initial validity is 3 years. The H-1B visa is renewable up to 6 years, but may be valid for longer in some circumstances.

Physician H1B Visa: Requirements

Requirements for the Physician H-1B for physicians intending to provide direct patient care not merely incidental to teaching or research:

  1. State license or other state authorization to practice medicine. Or, exemption by law from such licensing if state of intended practice requires no license/authorization for direct patient care.
  2. Full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in foreign state, or graduation from US medical school.
  3. Must have passed all steps of USMLE, or be a graduate of a US medical school. And,
  4. Demonstration of competency in oral and written English via ECFMG English proficiency test. This does not apply to graduates of US-accredited medical schools. (Many Canadian medical schools have US-accreditation).

Physicians with national or international renown in the field of medicine are exempt from the above. The policy presumes their admission is in the national interest.

Physicians entering the US to perform teaching and/or research, and who provide direct patient care that is only incidental to such teaching and/or research, may be eligible for multiple visa options, including the H1B Visa. The H1B Visa may be preferable to the J-1 Visa because it lacks the J-1 Home Residence Requirement, which often attaches to J-1 Visa holders. J-1 Visa Physicians who provide direct patient care will always carry a J-1 Home Residence requirement.