Allied Health Immigration Questions? Let’s Talk.


H-1B Work Visa Eligibility Requirements for Allied Health Professionals

  1. You must be a working in an Allied Health occupation that qualifies as a “specialty occupation,” which is any occupation that typically has a minimum educational requirement of a four-year Bachelor’s degree.

  2. If the U.S. state where you intend to work requires a professional license for your occupation, you must possess the appropriate license.

  3. If you will be working as a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Audiologist, Medical Technologist or Physician Assistant, you must obtain a VisaScreen healthcare worker certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).

  4. You must have an offer of employment from a U.S. employer for a qualifying nursing position.

Examples of Allied Health Occupations that are Eligible for an H-1B Work Visa

The following Allied Health positions typically qualify for an H-1B work visa because they require at least a Bachelor’s degree (and sometimes a Master’s or Ph.D degree) as the minimum educational requirement for the occupation:

  • Physical Therapist

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Speech Language Pathologist

  • Audiologist

  • Medical Technologist

  • Physician Assistant

  • Dietitian

  • Nutritionist

  • Psychologist

  • Recreational Therapist

  • Athletic Trainer

  • Cytotechnologist

  • Exercise Physiologist

  • Optometrist

  • Podiatrist

  • Genetic Counselor

  • Chiropractor

More H-1B visa questions? Let’s talk.


H-1B Work Visa Application Process for Allied Health Professionals

When applying for an H-1B work visa, an Allied Health Professional’s application must be submitted with the appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A USCIS officer will review the H-1B work visa application and either approve or deny the application. If the application is approved, USCIS will issue an approval notice, which serves as the Allied Health Professional’s official H-1B status documentation.

H-1B Work Visa Terms of Status for Allied Health Professional

Duration of Status: H-1B work visa status is granted for an initial period of up to three years and can be extended for one additional three-year increment, for a total of six years of H-1B work authorization. In some situations, an Allied Health Professional’s H-1B status can be extended beyond the normal six-year limitation if they have started a Green Card application.

Employment Authorization: An H-1B work visa provides authorization to work with your sponsoring employer only. H-1B work visa status does not provide open market employment authorization.

Employment Status/Concurrent Employment: Full-time, part-time or contingent employment status is permitted if properly documented in the application.  Concurrent employment with multiple employers is also permitted, but a separate H-1B application is required.

Country of Residence Options for Canadian and Mexican Allied Health Professional: Canadian and Mexican Allied Health Professionals with H-1B work visa status can live in the U.S. or they can live in Canada/Mexico and commute daily to their U.S. job.

Status for Dependents: Spouses and children of H-1B Allied Health Professionals can obtain H-4 dependent status, which authorizes them to live and study in the U.S. However, H-4 dependents are generally not eligible for work authorization, except in very limited circumstances.

Green Card Eligibility: Allied Health Professionals with H-1B work authorization are eligible to apply for U.S. permanent resident (“Green Card”) status. Canadian or Mexican nurses who prefer to remain living in Canada or Mexico while commuting to a job in the U.S. can apply for a Commuter Green Card.

More H-1B visa questions? Let’s talk.

 

Get Immigration News Updates from Ellis Porter!

Stay updated on the latest immigration news and alerts by signing up for our PassPorter news service.


Call Us
248.519.9900