Recruiter FAQs

FAQs for Physician Recruiters

Q:Can J-1 candidates work in a specialty capacity without performing primary care?
A:Yes, J-1 candidates can obtain a waiver of the two-year foreign residency requirement and work in a specialty care so long as they agree to a three-year contract.

Q: If a physician is on an H1-B, must his/her income come from the facility in which they work?For instance, could a physician receive income from a hospital, even if they were going to be working for a private practice in affiliation with the hospital?
A:Yes, the H-1B visa requires the actual employer who sponsors the H-1B pay all income; therefore his/her income must come from the facility or practice that is the employer.The physician cannot receive income from any other facility or hospital unless that facility also obtains an H-1B visa to cover the work/income.

Q: If a physician has documents with a medical school and a residency completed overseas, can they get a license in the states and then qualify for an H1-B?Will the physician qualify for an H1-B if they already have a state license?
A. Some states may issue licensure to physicians who did not complete medical school and a residency in the U.S.However, to qualify for an H-1B visa, in addition to state licensure, the physician must also obtain an ECFMG certificate and pass all three steps of the USMLE.

Q:When an application for a state license is submitted with the H-1B application, can the physician only work in the state that the license was issued?
A:Yes, to qualify for an H-1B visa, the physician must hold a license in the state of intended employment.

Q:If a physician qualifies for a Delta waiver, does he/she have to work in those states?
A: Yes.The Delta Regional Authority will only sponsor waivers for facilities located in the Delta Region.If the physician experiences extenuating circumstances and seeks a change of employer before the three-year medical service is completed, it may be possible to change employers and work in an area that is not located in the Delta Region.

Q:Although your firm does work in immigration, do you recommend finding a local immigration attorney?
A:No, because immigration is a federal (national) practice, location of the attorney is probably least relevant.The most important consideration is whether the immigration attorney has substantial experience with physician immigration which is a particularly complex and specialized area of immigration law.

Q:Does an employer have to be non-profit and academically affiliated for them to be cap-exempt?
A:No.While generally the employer must be non-profit and affiliated with a university or college to be cap-exempt (e.g. a non-profit hospital has a training agreement with a local community college to provide internships for medical technologists), for-profit employers can sponsor H-1B physicians and be considered cap-exempt.To clarify, if the for-profit employer will place the physician at a facility that is non-profit and affiliated with a university at least 50% of the work week, then the H-1B will be cap-exempt.For example, a for-profit hospitalist group places a physician at a non-profit community hospital that is affiliated with a local community college.The H-1B visa will be considered cap-exempt.

Q:What are your suggestions on how we, as recruiters, might make our clients more comfortable with EAD (Employment Authorization Documents)?
A:All employers must complete the I-9 form in compliance with federal law.An employer must accept any employment authorization document which is listed on the back of the I-9 in List A or List C.The EAD is a List A document and acceptance of the EAD fully complies with the law.This fact might help an employer feel more comfortable with the EAD.

Q:It seems like there need to be a high level of cooperation on the part of the facility who is hiring foreign-born physicians.Am I correct in assuming this?
A:Yes, in most cases, the facility is the sponsor for the work visa so it will need to agree to the requirements for those visas.However, the level of effort to secure the visa can be minimal for the employer if an immigration attorney experienced in physician immigration is retained.

Q:Are J-1 physicians required to contract with their employer for 3 years and not be allowed to change employers?
A:Yes, generally, J-1 physicians must work for three years in an underserved area with the sponsoring employer before changing employment.However, a change of employer is possible before completion of the three-year medical service requirement if there are extenuating circumstances, e.g. closure of the employer’s facility or practice.

Q:Can an H1-B physician work locums?
A:Yes, this is possible.

Q:If your H1-B application is not filed by April 1, then is it hopeless to try to submit after that date, if you are working with an employer who is subject to the cap?
A: It depends upon the number of applications submitted on April 1.  The USCIS will announce the number of applications received on April 2.  If visas remain available, it may be worthwhile to apply. Of course, it is impossible to predict the number of applications that will be filed on April 1.

Q:Is the main purpose of J-1 waivers to place immigrants before they return to their last citizenship country?
A:Yes, the purpose of the waiver is to avoid the requirement of the immigrant returning to the last citizenship/permanent residence country.If the waiver is approved, the immigrant does not have to return to their last citizenship/permanent residence country.

Q:Is an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) the same as spousal sponsorship and if not, how difficult is it for an individual to gain employment with spousal support?
A:The EAD can be associated with various types of immigration applications, including spousal sponsorship, employment sponsorship, student status, etc.If a physician is married to a U.S. citizen and applies for permanent residence (green card) based upon the marriage, the government will issue an EAD while the application for permanent residence is pending.Therefore, it is quite easy for a physician to obtain EAD in this circumstance.

[box]NOTE: Immigration law changes frequently. The resources and information provided on this web site are intended to help you understand basic issues involved in the immigration process, and are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. This information is not offered as, nor does it constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Although we strive to keep this information current, we neither promise nor guarantee that the information is the latest available, or that it applies to your specific situation. You should not act or rely upon the information in these pages without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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Immigration Attorneys for Foreign National Physicians