Requirements for H-1B Beneficiaries Seeking to Practice in a Health Care Occupation: h1b-health-care-occupations-5-20-09.
Guidance for Petitions in Which the Beneficiary Is in Possession of a License
If the petitioner provides documentary evidence that the beneficiary has a valid license to practice a health care
occupation in the state in which the beneficiary will be employed, the adjudicator should not look beyond the license.
The beneficiary will be considered to meet the qualifications to perform services in a specialty occupation as outlined in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(C)(3).
If the beneficiary is in possession of an unrestricted license, and the petition is otherwise approvable, an adjudicator should approve the petition for the full H-1B period requested.
If the beneficiary is in possession of a restricted license (e.g., license approved except for mandatory supervised practice), and the petition is otherwise approvable, an adjudicator 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 Beneficiary Is Not in Possession of a License
In order to perform in a health care occupation, the beneficiary must obtain a license from the state in which he/she will be working.
As such, the beneficiary must meet the licensure provisions for H classifications.
If the petitioner states that the beneficiary cannot obtain a license to practice the health care occupation in the state in which the beneficiary 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 licensure (including educational degree requirements) in the health care occupation in that state to determine whether the beneficiary 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 Act.
If the petitioner fails to provide evidence that the beneficiary received a certificate from a recognized credentialing organization as outlined in 212(a)(5)(C) of the Act, the beneficiary may still qualify for classification as an H-1B non-immigrant.
If the beneficiary is seeking to extend status or change status, and the petitioner fails to provide the requisite credentialing evidence, the request for extension or change of status should be denied as the beneficiary 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 licensure, the adjudicator may send the petitioner a request for evidence (RFE) asking the petitioner to provide documentary evidence of the state’s requirements.
Furthermore, the petitioner will need to provide evidence that the beneficiary:
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 beneficiary 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 petitioner later requests an extension of stay on behalf of the beneficiary, the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary 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 beneficiary does not have the valid unrestricted license at the time the extension of stay petition is filed, the petition will be denied.