Green Card for Physicians in Underserved Areas
The national interest waiver for physicians in underserved areas relieves
the petitioner only from the labor certification process. If you are:
- A petitioner requesting a national interest waiver on behalf
of a qualified alien physician, or
- An alien physician self-petitioning for second preference classification,
based on medical service in a Health and Human Services Department (HHS)-designated
underserved area or a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility, you
still must meet all eligibility requirements for this immigrant classification
in order to be eligible for the national interest waiver.
Petition Document Requirements
The petitioner or self-petitioner must submit the following evidence
with Form I-140 to support the request for a national interest waiver.
For physicians planning to divide the practice of full-time clinical medicine
between more than one underserved area, the following evidence must be
submitted for each area of intended practice:
- If the physician will be an employee; 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 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
- In a geographical area or areas designated by the Secretary of
HHS as having a shortage of health care professionals and in a medical
specialty that is within the scope of the Secretary's designation for the
geographical area or areas; or
- In a facility under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of VA.
A letter (issued and dated within 6 months prior to the date on which
the petition is filed) from a Federal agency or the department of public
health (or equivalent) of a State (including territories of the United
States and the District of Columbia) attesting that the alien physician’s
work is or will be in the public interest
- Any attestation from a Federal agency must reflect the agency’s
knowledge of the alien’s qualifications and the agency’s background in
making determinations on matters involving medical affairs so as to substantiate
the finding that the alien’s work is or will be in the public interest.
- An attestation from the public health department of a State,
United States territory, or the District of Columbia must reflect that
the agency has jurisdiction over the place where the alien physician intends
to practice clinical medicine. If the alien physician intends to practice
clinical medicine in more than one underserved area, attestations from
each intended area of practice must be included. Attestations from the
public health department of a State, United States territory, or the District
of Columbia that does not have jurisdiction over the place in which the
alien physician intends to practice clinical medicine will not be accepted.
Evidence that the alien physician meets the admissibility requirements
established by section 212(a)(5)(B) of the Act.
If applicable, evidence of the Service-issued waivers of the requirements
of sections 212(e) of the Act, if the alien physician has been a J-1 nonimmigrant
receiving medical training within the United States.
Time Limit for Required Service
If the physician already has authorization to accept employment (other
than as a J-1 exchange alien), the beneficiary physician must complete
an aggregate 5 years of qualifying full-time clinical practice during the
6-year period beginning on the date of approval of the Form I-140.
If the physician must obtain authorization to accept employment before
the physician may lawfully begin working, the physician must complete the
aggregate 5 years of qualifying full-time clinical practice during the
6-year period beginning on the date the Service issues the necessary employment