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Permanent Residency in the United States: A Few-Known Doctor's Procedure for Applying for a Green Card

Permanent Residency in the United States: A Few-Known Doctor's Procedure for Applying for a Green Card

Exceptional competence in the medical sciences is an important criterion supported by degrees, certifications and professional accreditations. Photo: iStock

Among the pathways to immigrate to the United States, there is a lesser-known but important path for foreign doctors seeking the coveted green card: the National Interest Waiver (NIW) under the EB-2 visa. This process allows medical professionals to obtain permanent residency as long as they meet certain specific requirements.

By Time

To qualify for the national welfare exemption, physicians must work full-time in a clinical practice, particularly in a primary care setting. In addition, they should provide services in areas where health professionals are found to be in short supply. A basic requirement is to get a statement from a federal agency or state health department that your work is in the public interest.

Involves submitting Form I-485 along with the required documents supporting the applicant's eligibility. The EB-2 NIW visa is issued to professionals with a graduate degree or equivalent, or to citizens of other countries who demonstrate exceptional ability in their respective fields.

Most doctors applying for a green card through this exemption have five years of service. At this time, physicians can play an important role in primary care, whether in a general practice, family practice, internist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, or psychiatrist. Also, medical professionals can qualify for this procedure.

Which physicians are eligible for a national welfare waiver in the United States?
The National Interest Waiver provides a viable path for foreign doctors to obtain a green card, helping to fill gaps in areas with health care professional shortages in the United States. Although this process is unknown to many, it represents a valuable opportunity for doctors who meet the established requirements and wish to establish themselves permanently in the country.

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Health professional shortage areas considered for this exception include health professional shortage areas, mental health professional area, limited access health care area, or health care affairs facilities. Additionally, doctors working in a doctor shortage area may be eligible for a national interest exemption.

In the case of exceptional competence, the physician must demonstrate remarkable abilities above the norm in medical science. Specific criteria are established such as degree, certification, work experience, professional accreditation and membership in relevant associations that support the applicant's exceptional qualifications.

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