Are you a doctor or physician considering making the United States your new professional home? The journey to practicing medicine in the U.S. involves a careful and intricate process, with various requirements and visa options to navigate. In this blog post, we’ll explain the crucial steps and visa options for foreign physicians aspiring to build a career in the United States.

U.S. Doctor Requirements

Let’s explore the key aspects of this initial phase in the physician immigration process. 

U.S. Medical Licensing Requirements:

  1. The first step for foreign physicians is obtaining the right to practice in the U.S.
  2. Each state has unique licensing requirements; a full, unrestricted license from a foreign country is a must.

Educational Credentials Evaluation:

  1. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) evaluates the educational credentials of foreign-trained physicians.
  2. ECFMG certification ensures that a physician’s education is equivalent to U.S. standards.

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE):

  1. The USMLE, a three-step examination, is a prerequisite for medical licensure.
  2. Completion of USMLE is a critical component in establishing the right to practice medicine in the U.S.

Visa Options for Foreign Physicians

1. J-1 Visa:

  • – Ideal for those participating in approved teaching, training, or research programs.
  • – Employers do not need to sponsor and there are no prevailing wage or employee notification requirements.

2. H-1B Visa:

  • – Requires a job offer for full-time employment from a U.S. employer (hospital, university, clinic, etc.).
  • – An essential visa for foreign physicians seeking employment in the U.S.

3. O-1 Visa:

  • – Reserved for physicians with substantial accomplishments.
  • – Requires a contract with a sponsoring employer or agent.
  • – Granted for an initial period of no longer than three years.

4. TN Visa:

  • – Specifically for Canadian or Mexican physicians.
  • – Designed for doctors working in the U.S. as teaching or research professionals.

Are You Interested in Migrating to the United States as a Physician?

Embarking on a medical career in the U.S. as a foreign physician involves meticulous planning and adherence to specific requirements. If you want to explore which options you have, the best thing you can do is to consult with an immigration attorney. You can schedule a FREE Immigration Evaluation, here; select your preferred language, date and time, we offer consultation over the phone and online.