Work Visas for Physical Therapists
Foreign physical therapists are eligible to work within the US on several types of work visas. The H-1B category is available to foreign physical therapist from all countries throughout the world. Depending on the physical therapist’s country of citizenship, he or she may be eligible for a TN, E-3, or H-1B1 work visa allowing his or her legal employment within the US.
H-1B Work Visas for Physical Therapists
Foreign physical therapists are eligible for H-1B work visas. In order to be successfully sponsored for an H-1B work visa, the following steps must be taken by a knowledgeable immigration attorney:
- A determination must be made that the foreign national physical therapist has a US bachelor’s degree in physical therapy or alternatively has a foreign bachelor’s or higher degree that is the equivalent of a US bachelor’s higher degree in physical therapy;
- A prevailing wage determination must be made to determine that the foreign physical therapist will be paid the actual or prevailing wage for a physical therapist at the place of intended employment, whichever is higher.
- A posting notice must be posted at the location of intended employment for at least ten business days to satisfy the US Department of Labor’s Labor Condition Attestation for H-1B nonimmigrants’ requirements.
- A Labor Condition Attestation for H-1B nonimmigrants must be filed with the US Department of Labor by the US H-1B sponsoring employer.
- The foreign physical therapist must have a VisaScreen Certificate that has been issued to him or her by the CGFNS.
- The foreign physical therapist must have obtained a physical therapist license from the state of intended employment.
- An H-1B petition is filed with the USCIS on behalf of the sponsored physical therapist.
Mr. Shapiro’s office has experience working with health-care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes that sponsor physical therapists, nurses, and other health-care professionals for H-1B visas. If the physical therapist is presently working within the US on an H-1B visa, steps may be taken to immediately transfer the H-1B visa to a new sponsoring employer. In the event that the sponsoring physical therapist has never held an H-1B visa, the earliest that he or she can be sponsored for an H-1B visa is April 1 of each year with a start date of October 1st.
Mr. Shapiro also has experience sponsoring physical therapists for TN, E-3, and H-1B1 visas depending on the citizenship of the physical therapist.
TN Work Visas (For physical therapists who are citizens of Canada)
Under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), physical therapists are eligible for TN visas if they meet the following requirements:
- The sponsored physical therapist holds a US bachelor’s or higher degree or its US equivalent in physical therapy.
- The sponsored physical therapist has a physical therapist license allowing him or her to be employed within the state of intended employment.
- The sponsored physical therapist has been issued a VisaScreen Certificate by the CGFNS.
E-3 Visa Category for Physical Therapists Who Are Australian Citizens
If you are a physical therapist and are a citizen of Australia, you are eligible for an E-3 work visa. For a physical therapist to qualify for an E-3 visa, he or she must meet the following requirements:
- A four-year US bachelor’s degree in physical therapy or its US equivalent.
- A VisaScreen Certificate issued to the physical therapist by the CGFNS.
- A labor condition application for E-3 nonimmigrants that has been certified by the USDOL.
H-1B1 Work Visas for Physical Therapists Who Are Citizens of Either Chile or Singapore
If you are a citizen of either Chile or Singapore, you may qualify for an H-1B1 work visa. To qualify for this type of work visa a physical therapist must meet the following requirements:
- The physical therapist must have a US bachelor’s degree in physical therapy or its US equivalent.
- The physical therapist must have a license allowing him or her to practice physical therapy in the state where he or she will be employed.
- The physical therapist must have applied for and been issued a VisaScreen Certificate by the CGFNS.
- The physical therapist must have had a Labor Condition Attestation certified by the US Department of Labor for the physical therapist position that the physical therapist will fill while employed by either a nursing home, hospital or other type of health care facility in the state of intended employment.
For more information about obtaining a work visa for a physical therapist, you should contact a health care immigration attorney at the Shapiro Law Group who has experience working closely with health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and other types of health care providers.