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Foreign Physician's Application for EB2 National National Interest Waiver 

Hi William,

I am a physician caming to U.S. on a J-1 visa, and I have Medical degree from my home country. After my medical residency program in a large hospital, I started work on H-1B visa under the Conrad State 30 program.  My question for you is: can I apply for a National Interest Waiver to obtain my U.S. Permanent Residency?


For foreign physicians, the National Interest Waiver (NIW) is the special Green Card application type for physicians in underserved areas, and you are required to remain in the position for five years. Additionally, unless the position is through the Veteran's Administration, the physician under NIW is only available for pediatricians, general internal medicine, family or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry.

Physicians whose employment would be in the “U.S. National Interest” do not need to go through the Labor Certification process. Generally, these physicians may petition for a EB2 National Interest Waiver if they intend to work at least five years in a medically underserved areas (“MUA”) or at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. The National Interest Waivers do not require a permanent job offer, and may be filed by physicians who are independent practitioners rather than "employees" of a U.S. company or organization.  A petition for national interest waiver by a physician should include:

1) A full-time employment contract, issued and dated within 6 months prior to the date the petition is filed, for the required period of clinical medical practice, or an employment commitment letter from a VA facility, if the physician is an employee.

2) If the physician will establish his or her own practice, the physician must submit a 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 take to establish the practice;

3) Evidence that the physician will provide full-time clinical medical service in a medically underserved area and in a medical specialty designation by the HHS or in a VA-facility;

4) A letter from a U.S. federal agency or state public health department stating that the foreign physician’s work is or will be in the public interest.  These letters should reflect knowledge of the physician’s qualifications and describe the agency’s background and interest in medical affairs.

4) Evidence of satisfaction or waiver of the J-1 home residency requirement, if the foreign physician has received medical training in the United States as a J-1 exchange visitor.

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