Green Card Through a Physician National Interest Waiver (NIW)
The second-preference employment category (EB-2) allows individuals of exceptional ability and individuals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees to get a Green Card (permanent residence).
For EB-2s, a job offer and a labor certification is generally required. This requirement can be waived if the petitioner demonstrates that granting the EB-2 petition would be in the national interest of the United States.
One reason USCIS may grant the national interest waiver is because a physician has worked or agrees to work for a period of time in a designated underserved area.
- You must work full-time in a clinical practice. For most physician NIW cases, the required period of service is 5 years;
- You must work in a primary care (such as a general practitioner, family practice petitioner, general internist, pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, or psychiatrist) or be a specialty physician;
- You must serve either in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA – for psychiatrists only), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Veterans Affairs facility, or for specialists in a Physician Scarcity Area (PSA); and,
- You must obtain a statement from a federal agency or a state department of health that has knowledge of your qualifications as a physician and that states your work is in the public interest. (This statement is known as an attestation).
To apply for a Green Card you will need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
The following evidence should be submitted with Form I-485:
- Two passport-style photos
- Copy of approval notice for Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended)
- Copy of Form I-797, Approval notice for I-140
- Copy of birth certificate or other records of your birth
- Copies of all passport pages with nonimmigrant visas
- Evidence of final compliance with the 3 or 5 years service requirement to be submitted no later than 120 days after the completion of the service requirement (Evidence of compliance must be submitted at intervals while the I-485 is pending)
- Form I-693, Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- Photocopy of the Form I-797 Approval Notices for all extensions and changes of status
- Photocopy of the Form I-20 or IAP 66 school records (front and back, including all school annotations)
- Applicable fees
- Form G-28, if you have an attorney representing your case