If you are a physician, you may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa under the EB-2 program. Generally, applicants for EB-2s must have a labor certification and a job offer. However, those requirements can be waived if you can show that your EB-2 petition is in the national interest of the United States.
The criteria for a National Interest Waiver is:
- The proposed endeavor has substantial merit and sufficient national importance
- You can advance the proposed endeavor
- The U.S. would benefit from waiving the requirements of a job offer and labor certification.
As a physician, you should be able to prove your work in the U.S. will be of national importance by showing that:
- You agree to work full-time in a clinical practice. Usually, this must be for five years.
- You are either in primary care (general practitioner, family practice, pediatrician, psychiatrist, etc.) or are a specialty physician.
- You agree to work in an area designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Physician Scarcity Area (If applying as a specialist).
- You received a statement from a federal agency or a state department of health that knows of your qualifications and will states in an attestation that your work is in public interest.
If you meet these qualifications, then you can apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You can submit a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers along with I-485, or file the Form I-140 first and submit the I-485 once the I-140 is approved.
Along with the Form I-485, you must submit the following evidence:
- Two passport-style photos
- Copy of approval notice for Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended)
- Copy of Form I-797, Approval notice for I-140 OR Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers if a Form I-140 has not been previously filed.
- Copy of birth certificate or other records of your birth
- Copies of all passport pages with nonimmigrant visas
- Evidence of final compliance with the 3 or 5 years service requirement to be submitted no later than 120 days after the completion of the service requirement (Evidence of compliance must be submitted at intervals while the I-485 is pending)
- Form I-693, Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- Photocopy of the Form I-797 Approval Notices for all extensions and changes of status
- Photocopy of the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (formerly known as IAP 66) school records (front and back, including all school annotations)
- Applicable fees. $1,225 if under 78 years old or $1,140 if older.
- Form G-28, if you have an attorney representing your case
The process to get a National Interest Waiver for Physicians can be long and complicated. It is important to have an experienced immigration attorney along the way to make sure you have the best chance of success.
If you need further guidance or have specific questions about your individual situation, you can schedule an initial consultation with us today, don't hesitate to contact us at (949) 478-4963.