Home  William's Answers for Immigration and Visa Questions  |  Google+  Facebook  Twitter
Options for a Foreign Physician to Apply for U.S. Permanent Residence

Hi William:

I am a foreign medical graduate subject to the J-1 visa two-year home country residence requirement, and I am in the process of J-1 waiver application for the two-year home country residence. After the J-1 waiver approval, what are possible options for a foreign physician to apply for U.S. permanent residence status?


The international medical graduates often overcome the J-1 visa two-year home residence requirement through a J-1 waiver based on the support of an Interested Government Agency (IGA), or request by a designated State Public Health Department (CONRAD State 30 Program).

The foreign medical physicians cannot apply for J1 waiver
"under the no-objection category", for physicians who acquired their J-1 for the purpose of receiving graduate medical education or training in the United States.

These waivers require three years of service as a physician in certain designated underserved areas. The grant of this waiver opens up the possibility of pursuing U.S. permanent residence status. International medical graduates completing J-1 waiver requirements most commonly choose between two options to file and obtain the U.S. Green Card: the National Interest Waiver (NIW), or the Labor Certification-based Green Card process.

For physicians, both options are within the employment-based, second preference category (EB2). The NIW is a waiver or elimination of the standard requirement of obtaining a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, as the first step in an employment-based Green Card case. The medical care that must be provided by the physician to qualify for the J-1 waiver is considered to be in the National Interest, and important enough to override the purpose of the Labor Certification process.

Questions & Answers for Green Card Application
EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)
EB1 Outstanding Professor / Researcher (EB-1B)
EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C)
EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW)
Form I-485 Adjustment of Status
PERM Labor Certification
Form I-140 Application after Labor Certification
Request For Evidence (RFE) for EB1, NIW, L1 Visa
Questions & Answers for Working Visa Application
J-1 Waiver of 2-Year Home Residence
H-1B Visa Application or Extension
O-1 Visa Application or Extension
L-1 Visa Application or Extension
P-1, P-2, P-3 Visa Application or Extension
William's Answers for Immigration Questions
Home Page

For All Your Immigration and Green Card Application Needs
EB-1A sample of reference letter graphic © Green Card Application Service, www.greencardapply.com