Most doctors get a green card through an employer’s sponsorship of the labor certification process. Depending upon your country of birth, it can take anywhere from two to eight years to get the green card this way.
And if you don’t have an employer willing to sponsor, then labor certification is not an option at all.
I have helped many doctors quickly get the green card, avoiding super long wait list or the need for a sponsor. Some of these doctors have never even practiced medicine in the U.S. How? It’s possible through the EB-1A extraordinary ability green card. Doctors who have engaged in professional activities beyond clinical work may want to consider this option.
Each case is different, however, and of course, there’s no guarantee of winning the green card through this route. But with some homework, a doctor can help greatly improve the odds. Here are five of the best steps you can take that could lead to EB-1 green card victory:
- Publish and present as often as possible, preferably in national or international publications and conferences. While there is no set number of publications or presentations required, the more the better. Be sure to track citations and downloads of your open access articles, studies, or abstracts. While citations are not required, the government does place a lot of weight on them.
- Become a peer reviewer, serve on editorial boards, or participate on fellowship or conference organizing committees to prove you have judged the work of others in your field. Save all acknowledgments of your service in these capacities.
- Acquire membership in professional organizations that require high achievement for entry, such as becoming a fellow in the American College of Physicians (FACP), Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, or other professional honorary society.
- Gain support of national and international experts in your field. Reference letters are critical and should come from other experts in U.S. and overseas. Ideally, you should have support from some who have not worked with you but can independently review your articles or career and explain your contributions to medical science, if applicable.
- Take on additional roles at your work such as joining key committees that oversee various components of operations, particularly if you work for a high ranking medical institution. Winning awards within your organization is helpful to your application as well.
I hope this article helps you understand basic immigration requirements, but please don’t consider it as legal advice or legal opinion about your specific circumstances. Evaluation of your case from an experienced immigration lawyer should be part of your immigration prescription.
This information is provided as an educational service. If you need information about complex immigration rules that affect your ability to practice medicine in the U.S. you are invited to call me at 214-472-2161 or visit my website at http://www.physicianimmigration.com.