Immigrant Visa / Green Card

A. Standard Procedure

  • Labor Certification Application
  • Immigrant Visa Petition
  • Adjustment of status/consular processing

B. Labor Certification Application

Employer must prove that by hiring foreign national physician, employer is not taking job away from a qualified and interested U.S. physician

  • Employer generally required to complete a recruitment campaign to test the job market
  • Processing times vary depending on application procedure. Can take anywhere from several months to several years

C. Immigrant Visa Petition

Applicable visa category includes:

  1. “Outstanding Researcher/Professor” or “Alien with Extraordinary Ability”(EB-1). This category does not require labor certification.
  2. Advanced degree professional (EB-2). This category requires labor certification
  3. “National Interest Waiver” (EB-2 NIW). This category is available to applicants with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Does not require a job offer or labor certification. Must establish that that applicant will engage in work which is in the “national interest” of the United States as documented by extensive and strong evidence.
  4. National Interest Wavier for Physicians (EB-2 NIW for Physicians). Physicians working in medically underserved areas are able to qualify for permanent residence without labor certification through a revised national interest waiver classification.

D. Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

Requires that a visa is immediately available. For J-1 physicians, a waiver must be secured and the physician must have fulfilled his/her requisite commitment in H-1B status (per the terms of the waiver) before eligible to file documents at this step in the process

Adjustment of Status:

  1. Foreign national already present in the U.S. Applicable documents submitted to the appropriate Immigration Service Center
  2. Process completed while foreign national/family members at all times remain in the U.S

Consular Processing:

  1. Unlike adjustment of status, process completed through a filing with the National Visa Center and, then, interview/final processing at the applicable United States Consulate or Embassy in home country.
  2. Assuming “qualifying relationship” in place prior to principal applicant/employee securing permanent residence status, spouse and minor children simultaneously obtain permanent residence status (Green Cards).