What is the National Interest Waiver for Physicians?

Free-Photos. Pixabay

Free-Photos. Pixabay

What is the National Interest Waiver for Physicians? What are the requirements for a National Interest Waiver for Physicians? 

A National Interest Waiver (NIW) exempts the immigrant visa applicant from the job offer and labor certification normally required in an employment-based immigrant visa application as the government deems it beneficial and in the “national interest” to waive these requirements.
Do I qualify?
Any foreign physician (includes doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy) with an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) shall be granted a waiver if the applicant submits a request and establishes that:

  • The physician agrees to work full-time (40 hours per week) in a clinical practice for an aggregate of 5 years (not including time served in J-1 nonimmigrant status);
  • The service is in a medically underserved/shortage area or a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility; and
  • A Federal agency or the department of public health of a State, has previously determined that the physician's work in that area or facility is in the public interest. 

What else do I need to submit with Form I-140?
With their Form I-140, physician applicants must submit the following:

  • A full-time employment contract for the period of clinical medical practice or an employment commitment letter from a VA facility. The contract or letter must have been issued and dated within 6 months prior to the date the petition is filed. 
  • If the physician will establish his or her own practice, the physician's sworn statement committing to the full-time practice of clinical medicine for the required period, and describing the steps the physician has taken or intends to actually take to establish the practice. 
  • Evidence that the physician will provide full-time clinical medical service in a medically underserved area or in a VA facility.
  • A letter (issued and dated within 6 months prior to the date on which the I-140 is filed) from a Federal agency or from the department of public health (or equivalent) of a State, attesting that the alien physician's work is or will be in the public interest. This should include an attestation that would substantiate the finding that the alien's work is or will be in the public interest and that the State public health department has jurisdiction over the place where physician will be practicing.
  • Evidence that the physician has met all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for entry into the United States under the requested classification.
  • Evidence of the 212(e) Waiver, if the alien physician has been a J-1 nonimmigrant receiving medical training within the United States. 

Can I get a Green Card?
Yes. Physicians with an approved I-140 and NIW may apply for adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident (Green Card holder). However, USCIS will not approve the physician's application for adjustment of status until the physician submits evidence documenting that they have completed the period of required service. Click here for our blog post about Adjustment of Status for Physicians on the National Interest Waiver.
Are you interested in applying for a National Interest Waiver? Please contact us to find out how we can assist you. We are here to help!

Rasoulpour Torregoza is the law firm for immigrants, by immigrants. We are founded on the motto of LegalEase: we do away with the legal jargon and make law easy to understand, so you can focus on what’s important to you – going for your American Dream.
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