H-1B for Doctors and Medical Professionals

H-1B for Doctors and Medical Professionals

H-1b visas for doctors make lots of sense.  The United States fails to train enough doctors to care for its unhealthy and aging population.  Seriously, the average american male is 200 pounds and shade under five feet, ten inches (5’10”).  This means that the average American has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 29, meaning they are overweight and boarding on the obese rating of 30.  Americans have greater health problems because of how bad of shape they are in, which means that H-1B visas for doctors can greatly help a problem the US faces.

H-1b visas for doctors can help fill the shortfall

In 2017, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicted that the shortfall of doctors will be 88,000 by 2025, and 104,900 by 2030. Americans may stop eating garbage and all begin exercising 6 days a week, but that is not likely.  Moreover, Americans are growing older.  The percentage of Americans over 65 will grow by fifty-five percent (55%) by 2030.  America has a vested interest in granting H-1B  visas for doctors.  Also, most of these H-1B visas do not face the cap that businesses face because most hospitals are exempt non-profits.  In theory, H-1B visas could fill the gap, in conjunction with J-1 visas.

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Guidance for Petitions in Which the Doctor or Medical Professional Is in Possession of a License

If the Hospital provides documentary evidence that the doctor has a valid license to practice a health care occupation in the state in which the doctor will be employed, the government should not look beyond the license.

The doctor meets the qualifications to perform services in a specialty occupation as outlined in the federal regulations from the USCIS. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(C)(3).

If the doctor is in possession of an unrestricted license, and the petition is otherwise in order, the USCIS should approve the petition for the full H-1B period requested.

If the doctor is in possession of a restricted license (e.g., license approved except for mandatory supervised practice), and the petition is otherwise approved, the USCIS should approve the petition for a period of one year, or the duration of the restricted license, whichever is longer.

Guidance for Petitions in Which the Doctor Is Not in Possession of a License

In order to perform in a health care occupation, the doctor must obtain a license from the state in which he/she will be working, meaning the doctor must meet the license provisions for H classifications.

If the hospital states that the doctor cannot obtain a license to practice the health care occupation in the state in which the doctor will be employed due to the fact that the state’s statutes mandate possession of a social security card and/or a valid immigration document as evidence of employment authorization, the adjudicator must ascertain the requirements for the license (including educational degree requirements) in the health care occupation in that state to determine whether the doctor is qualified to perform.

All aliens who wish to enter the United States to practice in a health care occupation other than as a physician must be found to be admissible under Section 212(a)(5)(C) of the the Immigration and Nationality Act (the “Act”).

If the hospital fails to provide evidence that the doctor received a certificate from a recognized credentialing organization as outlined in 212(a)(5)(C) of the Act, the doctor may still qualify for classification as an H-1B non-immigrant.

If the doctor is seeking to extend status or change status, and the hospital fails to provide the requisite credentialing evidence, the request for extension or change of status should be denied as the doctor is inadmissible under Section 212(a)(5)(C) of the Act.

If after conducting research the adjudicator is unable to determine the state’s requirements for licensing, the USCIS may send the hospital a request for evidence (RFE) asking the hospital to provide documentary evidence of the state’s requirements.

Furthermore, the hospital will need to provide evidence that the doctor:

Has filed an application for a license in accordance with state or local rules and procedures; and

Cannot obtain a full unrestricted license in the state in which he/she will practice due to the requirement for possession of a social security card, valid immigration document, and/or physical presence in the United States in the form of a letter from the State Board.

Assuming a petition is approvable under the above standards, the validity period should be one year.

The approval of any such H-1B petition shall not constitute approval by USCIS for the alien doctor to engage in any activity requiring possession of such State or local license.

It is merely a means to facilitate the state or local licensing authority’s issuance of such a license to the alien, provided all other requirements are satisfied.

If the hospital later requests an extension of stay on behalf of the doctor , the hospital must demonstrate that the doctor has been granted a valid unrestricted license to practice the health care occupation in the state in which he/she will be working.

If the doctor does not have the valid unrestricted license at the time the extension of stay petition is filed, the petition will be denied.

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% from 2016

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% from 2016

H-1B Visa Applications drop almost 16% in Donald Trump’s first lottery. There is an upside, your chance of being awarded an H-1B visa increased!!!  In 2016, USCIS received 236,000 applications for only 85,000 available H-1B visas, or only about 36% chance of being awarded.  This year because USCIS only received 199,000 H-1B visa applications for the same 85,000 spots.  This means that the average applicants chances of being awarded an H-1B increased to 42%!!  That’s great news for talented internationals that want to stay in the United States after their education.

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% to 199,000

USCIS announced:

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency reported the H-1B visa applications drop, then conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.  So having a master’s degree somewhat increases your chance because first you are placed in the pool of 20,000, then if you fail to be selected, the application is dumped into the general lottery for 65,000 remaining H-1B visas.

As announced on March 3, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

* Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;

* Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

* Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

* Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.


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StartUp Visa Rules Finalized

StartUp Visa Rules Finalized

A Startup Visa may be just the thing for Silicon Valley.  Actually, startups have sprouted from coast to coast in the United States.  A startup visa enables these young companies to have the world’s best and brightest on their team.  Everyone knows that the team is the most important factor contributing to a startup’s success.  Having an immigrant on the team can lead to huge successes.

immigrants create one in four tech startups

Innovative foreign-born entrepreneurs are super important to the U.S. economy.  Immigrants founded roughly one in four STEM startups between 2006 and 2012.  In June of 2013 publicly traded immigrant founded companies had a combined market cap of over $900 billion dollars.  The stock market is over 30% higher now than in June of 2013, so the immigrant founded businesses are worth over $1 trillion dollars today.

According to data released by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),  only 2,940 entrepreneurs will qualify for startup visas each year. That number pales in comparison to the 85,000 annual H-1B visas. USCIS published its final rule for startup visas, also called entrepreneur visas, on January 17, 2017.  DHS issued the visas under its discretionary parole authority to enhance entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation in the United States.

The details of the startup visa limit the number of foreign born founders to only three per start up.  PayPal, for example, had six founders.  Only one was American.  Tech startups reflect the STEM education landscape, which is mostly foreign born.  50% of Google’s founders are foreign born (of course there were only 2).  The restrictions on the startup visa do not stop with the limits on how many of the founders are foreign born.

The startup visa provides a temporary stay of thirty months, with possible extension  of another 30 months.  This is one year less than the H-1B visa, which lasts up to six years.  Facebook did not go public until eight years after it was founded.  Snapchat only took five years.  And these are a bad example of a startup because of how wildly successful they have been from the start.  Most of these visa holders may be forced to return home before their startup can really take off.

The startup visa makes a number of assumptions as well.

The applicant must prove that the startup the foreign entrepreneur owns has a substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.  The vast majority of startups do the exact opposite.  Amazon employs many people, but they grew their base by taking retail jobs from other companies.  Uber employees many drivers, which took market share from taxicabs.  Both these companies are working toward more automation.

Price Waterhouse Cooper estimates that by the 2030s upward of 40% of American workers may lose their jobs to robots.  What if the startup made these robots?  Would it qualify for the startup visa?  Probably not because to get the visa the applicant must prove that his or her stay will provide a significant public benefit to the U.S.  The applicant must also prove that the startup has received a significant investment of capital from qualified U.S. investors with established records of success.  So this hypothetical robot startup would attract a lot of capital because of its ability to disrupt almost 40% of the workforce, but run smack into the problem of being a significant detriment to the U.S workforce.

Meanwhile, the robot startup could have structured its corporate governance to provide for the founder to be an employee, then entered three H-1B visa applications for the founder for the various roles that he played at the company into the H-1B lottery that has approximately 33% chance of getting the work visa.  The company incurs three application fees of approximately $1,200 instead of just one fee for the startup visa.  However, the company may save on attorney fees because H-1B applications do not require the hoops that the startup visa does.  The startup benefits with an extra year of having the founder legally work in the United States, plus dual intent so founder can pursue the permanent residence process.

If you have any questions about your corporate immigration needs, please email us with the button below.

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H-1B Visa Abuse and Policy Change

H-1B Visa Abuse and Policy Change

H-1B Visa abuse complaints echo all across America.  60 Minutes recently did a lead story on its popular news program profiling the horror story of experienced American IT workers losing their jobs to young H-1B visa holders.  These visa holders all come from India and arise from contractual relationships for IT staffing that employers make with companies like InfoSys, Tata consulting, and other similar companies.

The Trump Administration already has a draft executive order regarding work visas, read it here.  The order never became a reality, at least not yet.  Perhaps the Trump administration is waiting until after the flood of H-1B visa applications before issuing the executive order.  All the H-1B visa applications for private employers begin arriving at USCIS after April 3rd.  By Friday April 7th, over 230,000 H-1B applications will compete for only 85,000 visas.  Historically, a lottery decides at random who gets the visas.

H-1B Visa Abuse comes from gaming the lottery

The problem with the visa lottery is that about 60 percent of the applications come from those eight Indian IT staffing firms.  As a result, those eight companies get 60 percent of the H-1b visas.  Then American employers hire these low paid visa holders and fire their experienced IT staff.  The Trump administration’s draft executive order does not exactly state what will be done to fix this issue. It provides:

consider ways to make the process for allocating H-1B visas more efficient
and ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest

Trump suspended premium processing, which shortened the time period to award the H-1B visa from two weeks to the current processing time of over six months!!  Perhaps once all the H-1B visa applications arrive, Trump will announce his administration is suspending the lottery.  The administration can then handpick what applications are approved, and which are denied.

We at Work Visas paid close attention to the USCIS announcement suspending premium processing. USCIS specifically stated that expedited processing will continue.  As a result, we are hard at work crafting methods to make our H-1b visa applications truly “America First.”  We concentrate on American educated STEM grads.  We believe that if the students have been educated and trained in America, they are the best candidates to stay in America to return their skills back to the country that educated them.

By keeping these great minds in America, it can maintain its competitive edge in technological innovation.  By doing away with the lottery H-1B Visa abuse will become a thing of the past.



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Driving Drunk Can Get Your Visa Revoked

Driving Drunk Can Get Your Visa Revoked

Driving drunk is stupid.  Order an Uber.  Leave your car where it is and order an Uber to pick it up tomorrow.  Call a friend, anything besides drive drunk.  And if the obvious was not enough.

Getting caught driving drunk can get your visa revoked!

Seriously, the regulation is really clear:

9 FAM 403.11-3(B)  (U) When Consular Officers May Not Revoke Visa

(CT:VISA-10;   12-08-2015)

a. (U) A consular officer does not have the authority to revoke a visa based on a suspected ineligibility, or based on derogatory information that is insufficient to support an ineligibility finding, other than a revocation based on driving under the influence (DUI).  A consular revocation must be based on an actual finding that the alien is ineligible for the visa.

If you’re caught driving drunk, a/k/a DUI, a consular officer can revoke your visa.  This article is so short that our SEO program tells us to write more copy.  But how clear do we need to make it.  You’re in America.  This is America, the America.  People love 2 places in their lives, where they are from & America.  So why would you get a job in America and risk it to go out and get drunk?

Especially in 2017!  You have never had more options to get your drunk ass back home safely and legally. You press a couple buttons on your phone and a car magically appears!  That car is not just driving you home, but it is making sure that your visa does not get revoked!  Isn’t that worth the $20.00??

If you do not think so, it is.  A DUI can cost upwards of $10,000.  A $100.00 spent on Uber is cheap, cheap, cheap!  Especially since it protects you against criminal liability and your visa being revoked.

No one wants to explain to their family they had to return to the home country because they were driving drunk.  So do not do it.  Don’t even bring your car keys out when you’re drinking.  Make getting home an adventure!  One that is solved by several apps that are quite good at driving drunk people home safe.


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