Immigration Services

Immigration Services

For Physicians


National Interest Waiver Immigrant Visa Petition for Physicians


In order to qualify for an immigrant visa through a waiver of the labor certification requirement in the employment-based second preference category (EB-2), you must demonstrate that your work as a clinician (either in a primary care discipline or a medical specialty) will “substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interest, or welfare” of the United States. Note that the national interest waiver is not a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement imposed by the J-1 visa classification. If you are subject to this requirement, you must obtain a J-1 waiver in order to be eligible for permanent residence.

The legal standard for the National Interest Waiver classification for physicians can be established by showing that you:
  • Committed to work full-time (40 hours per week) in an area designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as having a shortage of health care professionals, or at a Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facility, for at least five (5) years; and
  • Obtained a letter from the state department of health or VA certifying that the medical service you provide at the facility is in the public interest.
You may self-petition for the NIW, as long as you can show a five-year commitment to an underserved area. Together with the NIW petition, you and your dependent family members may also apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence, as well as employment and travel authorization. Note that, while your employment and travel authorization documents will be issued approximately 90 days after filing the application, your permanent residence will not be granted until you have completed five years of service in an underserved area.


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