NIW for Physicians - Steps to do it yourself.

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
Self Help Series-Part 1: NIW for Physicians - Steps to do it yourself.

Disclaimer: This FREE self-help guide is not a legal opinion/advice. Just a personal opinion and experience. Consult an attorney if you have any doubts. thank Kidsdoc, Hashitoxicosis, J1victim for their input.


NIW (National Interest Waiver) for Physicians in Underserved Areas
(EB2-NIW for physicians working in underserved areas)
under Section 203(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.



Once you are about to start the J1 waiver job on H1 visa (or directly start an H-1 job without ever being on J-1 visa), in an HPSA/MUA/MUP/VA, there are three ways to adjust your status to a green card:-

i) Employment based (Labor Cert) filed by your employer for you.
It involves: Labor Cert > I-140 > adjustment of status (AOS) or Consular processing (CP).
LC (1-2 yrs) + I-140 (9 months) + CP (4 mths) / AOS (2 yrs)
ii) EB1-EA or EB2- NIW (Outstanding researcher) SELF filed If you have lots of papers. Good option for specialists doing specialist waiver jobs. No need for LC! GC in 1-2 yrs.
I-140 + CP / AOS
iii) EB2-NIW for physicians working in underserved areas: Self filed, No need for LC. Can be filed even before you start the job! (After you get the INS approval of your J1 waiver job). Good option for people doing H1 residency and fellowship, who is near the end of their 6 yr term. For primary care jobs only (family or general medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry. If your job will be in a VA, then it can be any specialty).
I-140 + CP / AOS
This is the main subject of this article.

I-140 is needed for all 3 of them. From then on, process is similar.

There are 2 ways to file your NIW (for Physicians in Underserved areas):

A). I-140 (opt for Status change) + I-485 (for GC) + I-765 (for EAD) + I-131 (for AP) >> you get NIW(I-140) approval, EAD and AP immediately, but your I-485 will be approved after 5 years. You may file all forms together OR just file I-140 initially. (as of Sept 2003, the probable wait time is: I-140 alone – 9 months; I-140+I-485+I-765+I-131 – 2 months).

B). I-140 (opt for Consulate Processing CP) > go to a US Consulate outside US to get your GC. This also is after 5 years of service in an MUA/HPSA/VA. U do not need to file I485/765/131.

* Start the process ASAP, because for H1B NIW (not the J-1 to H-1B NIW), the 5 year period is counted from the date of approval of NIW, not the date of filing or start of job.
* It is advised that you opt for Status Change (i.e. step A), but it’s your decision.
* You can file I-140, I-485, I-765, I-131 anytime, even before starting you job (J-1 waiver or a direct H1), as soon as you get the National Interest Letter from an IGA like the State Dept of Health/ARC/VA/HHS + BCIS approved J-1 waiver letter if you were a J-1.
* DO NOT USE STAPLE. use paper clips instead

**************************
Write a very good, detailed covering letter on your packet. The BCIS examiner may not know what this medical field is all about. So you need to explain what you are filing and what you want.
*************************


1. NIW I-140 Form: a). Filling the I-140 form: b). Documents needed

a). Filling the I-140 form: important things in the form -
Part 2. Petition type:
check the option (h) An alien applying for a national interest waiver (who IS a member ……)
Part 4. Processing Information. check the option “Alien is in the United …..
Part 5. Additional Information about the petitioner
Type of petitioner: Self
Occupation: Primary Care Physician
Part 6. Basic Information about proposed employment:
Job title: primary care physician SOC Code: 29-1062 (Family and General Practitioner
(these r examples for the title and code)
Non technical description of job: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population. (taken from the online wage library definition
Address where the …..
Is this a full time position: Yes No
Is this a permanent position: Yes No Is this a new position: Yes No
(should be Yes for first 2, and yes/no depending on your job)

b.) Documents needed with I-140 form: listed on the BCIS website at:
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/us...nnel=4f719c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

also on the BCIS website > Forms and Fees > I-140 page > bottom under *Special Instructions*
1. for 1 > employment contract for 5 years ((dated within 6 months)
2. for 2 > if you do not have step 1, then you can write your own practice plan.
3. for 3 > evidence of full time practice in HPSA/MUA in appropriate medical specialty
* full time practice ----- letter from your employer indicating full time practice
* evidence that practice is in -
HPSA: http://hpsafind.hrsa.gov
MUA/MUP: http://muafind.hrsa.gov
VA letter
* appropriate medical specialty: (for HHS – HPSA/MUA/MUP - family or general medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry. For VA - it can be any specialty).
As per: Federal Register: September 6, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 173) (Rules and Regulations) Page: 53890
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=00-22832-filed.pdf

also see USCIS rule: 8 CFR 204.12; 8 CFR 245.18 at http://www.uscis.gov/propub/ProPubVAP.jsp?dockey=790c96cac9f259897131086cb140e31c

4. IGA letter (dated within 6 months).
5. evidence of admissibility requirements fulfillment:
State license, Board exam certificate, ECFMG Certificate, USMLE Step 1/2/3 certificates, H-1B approval notice (I 797), I-94, H-1B Visa or J-Visa with IAP-66 copies
( ** BCIS is now asking for ETA-750A and ETA-750B also, so it’s better to send them earlier).
6. evidence of the Service-issued waivers ….
BCIS/INS letter stating that your J-1 waiver is approved (if you are a J1)
[[[ETA-750A: 14> degree: M.D. or foreign equiv. Degree; major field: Medicine; 15> Have or be able to obtain State Medical License. 21> This application is for National Interest Waiver (NIW) for Primary care Physician (Family and General Medicine/Int Med etc), working in a Medically Underserved area under Section 203(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
ETA-750B: 12> Alien is Board Certified in ……; 13> state med license; 14> State Medical License, Board Certificate, Residency Certificate, ECFMG Certificate, USMLE Step (1,2 & 3) certificates, Medical Degree.]]]


2. NIW I-485 Form

Stuff you need: standard for any I-485 application. taken a list from the web and modified/ commented it. comments in italics. But BCIS could send an RFE.

* Photos without any ornaments (Can take pictures from digital camera, resized it to the right dimensions, printed at Walgreens digital photo printer. 20 copies for 5 bucks!)
Write name with pencil on the backside of each photo
* 485 forms
* Biographic Information G325 A
* EAD form I-765
* Advanced Parole I-131
* Birth Certificates (If none: Birth Certificates affidavit Original 2 elders)
* Marriage certificate
* Passport copy without blank pages (u may submit all pages of passport separately in
the pile)
* H-1B Current
* Hi-B previous
* H-4
* H1b extension receipt
In bold are the documents showing your current status. If you were never in H1 status before applying for NIW, then submit copies of all IAP-66 and current I-94, to show your legal status.

CARDINAL RULE: Never assume that BCIS will have all previous information. Everything they need for your current application should be in the application bundle.

* Checks payable to BCIS : Use personal checks. If you can arrange the bank to give you
cancelled checks, the BCIS receipt number is printed in the back. Valuable when you
don’t even get the receipt from BCIS!
* I-94 copy back to back
* Summary List of all document attached
* None and N/a all blank lines
* Ensure all mails are submitted to BCIS on TUE, wed, Thu

What you don’t need
- Medical examination
- Affidavit of support for spouse
- BCIS is not supposed to ask for finger printing till the 5 yrs are over, but they still may.

How to fill the the forms: you can use Acrobat (not the reader) or any other PDF writer like the Paperport. Lets you fill forms and save for the future. Also, you can modify the standard field sizes etc, helping you get your abnormally long names in!


*************************

add on:

1. it is preferable that you maintain your H1B for atleast 3 years and DO NOT use your EAD for the first 3 years.

(i am not clear why u should do so, but after speaking to some lawyers, this is what i got. may be the J1 waiver law that states "you must spend 3 years in H-1B status to get waiver of HRR (home residency requirement)".

so while your spouse may use the EAD during the first 3 years, you, the primary J1 holder, should continue in H1B status. The moment you use your EAD, your H1 status is gone and you are counted as being on EAD.


2. compliance reporting for NIW to USCIS:

here is what INS notice says in Fedreal Register: page 53891, column 3.
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=00-22832-filed.pdf

""""""""""" The interim rule establishes two points where the alien physician must submit evidence noting his or her practice of medicine in an underserved area. First, physicians with the 5-year
service requirement must make an initial submission of evidence no later than 120 days after the second anniversary of the approval of the immigrant petition, From I–140. The physician must document at least 12 months of qualifying employment during the first 2-year period. If a physician has not worked at least one year of this 2-year period, requirement. ..................... read the original """"""""""""""""""
 
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feba

Registered Users (C)
hi

thanks for your really extensive reply on NIW
two queries
1.i was given to understand that the 5year period of NIW started ticking from the time u joined waiver job and not from the time NIW is approved?
2.I140(opt for statuschange) versus I140(for CP), besides the fact that u can still stay in US and try if something goes wrong at i 485 stage(compared to CP), are there any other plus points for status change.do u think if all the paper work is correct is there still chance of rejection via cp( IT DOES SAVE A LOT TIME)
thanks
feba
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
replies ------

hi feba,
answers to ur Qs:

1. **i was given to understand that the 5year period of NIW started ticking from the time u joined waiver job and not from the time NIW is approved?*****

a). Residency on H1 and start NIW job on H1 > 5 yr clock starts from date of approval of I-140 (or date of start of waiver job, whichever is LATER).

b). Residency on J1 and start NIW job on H1 > 5 yr clock starts from day of joining the job.

2. ***** I140(opt for statuschange) versus I140(for CP), ............... are there any other plus points for status change. do u think if all the paper work is correct is there still chance of rejection via cp *******

a. u get an EAD that u can use for moonlighting.
b, if ur employer is like one of those blood-sucking vampire bats, ur EAD is a good reassurance for u.
c. if u loose ur job due to any reason, u don't have to panic. u have EAD that can help u get a job quickly (in an MUA/HPSA/VA/ARC).
d. if u r married, ur spouse can use that EAD for employment.

e. CP is useful for saving I-485 processing time when going for LC.
For NIW --- CP/AOS don't matter much (in relation to time) as both will be approved AFTER completing 5 yrs.
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
to clarify this 5 yr time count and some issues with INS interpretation of NIW Law ......

***********************
1. **i was given to understand that the 5year period of NIW started ticking from the time u joined waiver job and not from the time NIW is approved?*****

a). Residency on H1 and start NIW job on H1 > 5 yr clock starts from date of approval of I-140 (or date of start of waiver job, whichever is LATER).

b). Residency on J1 and start NIW job on H1 > 5 yr clock starts from day of joining the job.

etc etc...
****************************

look at the lawsuit filed by Carl shusterman (at shusterman.com) at this link: http://shusterman.com/niwcomplaint.html

this lawsuit aims to clarify many points regarding INS regulations for NIW, mainly:

1. count the period of H1 job before starting H1 NIW job (Residency on H1 and start NIW job on H1)
2. make NIW available for all specialties/subspecialties.
3. public interest letter could be from any health dept
 

ganesh_2001

Registered Users (C)
Hi!!!


It is really very usefull information. I have just started my job in MUA. My spouse has a greencard thro employment. I would like to know which is the best way to go about to get my GC.

1. Wheather to go through my employment?
2. My spouse can sponsor for my GC?


Please reply regarding this.


thanks
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
i think, GC th' spouse will be quicker.

when does ur spouse become a citizen > if by the end of 3 yrs, then wait for spouse to be a citizen, as wait time is less for citizen spouse.

at end of 3 yrs, u can go on H1 at any fully served place and wait for ur GC to be processed th' ur spouse.
 

ganesh_2001

Registered Users (C)
Hi thanks for the reply. For my spouse to be citizen it will another 4-5years. How long is the wait time to get me GC if applied after my spouse gets citizen.
I thoguht the waiver is 5yrs now. Do i have to wait till i complete my waiver to apply for my GC throu my spouse.?
 

feba

Registered Users (C)
hi

clarification guys
when applying concurrently for NIW, i140 and I485,
when does
1. medical exam get done(if wife is the dependent does she also need medical exam), lawyer says we should do it all before sedning the preliminary papers
2.timing of affidavit of support
thanks
feba
 

kidsdoc

Registered Users (C)
The law clearly states that medical exam repoort is not send at the time of filling the 485 but later once u have completed the required duration in MUA(3v/s5 years) Please refer to the federal register
The affidavit of support has to be send at the time of filling 485/765/140
wife also have to get the medical exam done if getting resident status through the NIW but if she is getting her own 140 - LC etc then has to filled at the time of filling 485
hope this helps:)
 

kumar_lbr

Registered Users (C)
My wife just finished USMLE steps and she might get H1 sponsership from her Univercity in Indiana for doing Residency in OBG, can she apply for Green card on her own under NIW,
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
check this thread for answers to your Q:

http://boards.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?threadid=104311



As an addendum:

right now, BCIS does NOT count the period of H1 residency in an underserved area towards the 5 years of NIW

a lawsuit has been filed by *shusterman.com* in favor of doctors who did residency on H1 in an underserved area and then did h1 job in an underserved area. This lawsuit is still pending.
check shusterman's website for details.
 

alam144

Registered Users (C)
jivictim

j1 victim or kidsdoc:

Did you guys have any update on your I-485 processing? I believe kidsdoc have already finished the fifth year of NIW requirement.
 

inddoc

New Member
Dear J1victim,
Really a nice post.
Can you tell me if these documents (I94, I 797 etc.) to be sent in original or copy (notarized if so?).
Do you have any sample Practice plan letter. Thx
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
inddoc wrote:
***************
Can you tell me if these documents (I94, I 797 etc.) to be sent in original or copy (notarized if so?).
Do you have any sample Practice plan letter.
*************

photocopies. no need to get them notarized.

sample practice plan? send me an email at
j1victim at yahoo.com


***************
personal opinion only.
 

danilo4

Registered Users (C)
niw for physicians

hi j1 thank you for your info, please see if you can help me with this:
the letter from the department of state that i have was issued in 2002 in my case in order to recomend a j1 waiver . do you know how can i request a letter from the dptment of state dated during the last 6 months?? can i do it by phone? do i have to hire a lawyer? . I would appreciate any feed back. I am trying to apply for the niw myself and try to save money from lawyers, I am missing the uptodate letter.


fabfer
 

kidsdoc

Registered Users (C)
Hi
U donot need to hire lawyer to get letter from state department can just fax a letter requesting them to send the letter for NIW and they should be able to send do not waste money hiring lawyer just for this
hope this helps
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
sample cover letter for NIW

hi guys/gals,

many people have asked me for the -
1. sample covering letter for the NIW petition
2. Sample practice plan for 5 year of practice in MUA/HPSA/ARC

i am posting both here separately. The cover letter is taken from an RFE reply. You may modify it per your needs ----

***********************************
********************************************
Sample covering letter for the NIW petition


INS/BCIS Examiner
XXXXXXX Service Center
PO Box xxxxx
xxxxxxx xx xxxxx


Sub: Reply for RFE to I-140. (Case No. xxxx xx xxx xxxxx)
Immigration Under the National Interest Waiver for Physicians in Underserved Areas under Section 203(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, in the practice of Family and General Medicine.
(EB2-NIW for physicians working in underserved areas)


Dear Sir/Madam,


I am sending the required documents as asked by your office. The documents include –

1. Fully executed uncertified Form ETA - 750 A & B in Duplicate Exhibit A

2. Copy of I-797 approval notice relating to my H1B employment. I am also attaching copy of my H-1B Visa and my I-94 card showing my legal status. Exhibit B

3. I want to go for Adjustment of Status proceedings (through I-485 route) and not the consulate notification. In my earlier I-140 application, I had wrongly mentioned Consulate Notification. My apologies for writing incorrectly.

4. The RFE mentions, “the petitioner is seeking classification as a member of a profession holding an advanced degree who is also requesting a waiver of a job offer under section 203(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act”.

I am applying this I-140 under the sub-category, “Immigration Under the National Interest Waiver for Physicians in Underserved Areas under Section 203(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, in the practice of Family and General Medicine.

The practice of Family and General Medicine is eligible for a National Interest Waiver as published in the [Federal Register: September 6, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 173)
(Rules and Regulations) Page: 53890]. Exhibit C




In the I-140 form, there is no separate line/option for this Type of Petition and it is
grouped under option *h* (previously option *i* in old I-140 forms).

The requirements of this type of petition are mentioned on the BCIS website at this link:
http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/services/residency/physwaiver.htm
and a printout of this webpage is attached as …………… Exhibit D

I am resubmitting the required documents as per the instructions on that webpage:

i) Full-time employment contract for 5 years. Exhibit E

ii) Evidence of Medical Service in an Underserved Area Exhibit F

* Letter from Current Employer that physician is providing Primary Medical Care Services
* Proof that the practice is in areas “designated” by Secretary of HHS as having shortage of Health Care Professionals (Health Professional Shortage Area, HPSA; and Medically Underserved Areas) in the specialty of Primary Medical Care.

iii) Letter from Federal agency, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx stating that physician’s work will be in the Public & National Interest. Exhibit G

iv) Proof that the Physician meets admissibility Requirements of Section 212(a)(5)(B) of the Act:

* License to practice Medicine in xx State. Exhibit H

xxxxxxxx state license is issued after completing 3 years of advanced Postgraduate training (Residency). Exhibit I

* Board Certified; passed the xxxxxx (American Board of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) exam. Exhibit J

* 3 years of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Residency from xxxxxxxxxxxxx University (xxxxxxx Hospital) xx state. Exhibit K

* Certified by the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates), Philadelphia, PA. Exhibit L

ECFMG is the entity responsible for evaluating the qualifications and English proficiency of Medical Graduates from outside the US. The ECFMG certificate is issued only after a medical graduate has passed the USMLE and English exams and his medical education has been directly verified by ECFMG. Exhibit M

* Passed all the exams (Step 1, 2, & 3) of the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination). Exhibit N

The USMLE exam is sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) for purpose of Medical Licensure in the US. Every Physician has to take this exam before they can get medical license to practice medicine. It has replaced the previously held Part I & Part II NBME exams that are no longer held. Exhibit O

* Medical degree from xxx country Exhibit P

This degree has been verified by ECFMG, Philadelphia, and only then the ECFMG certificate (Exhibit L) was issued.


v) INS issued waiver of the requirements of section 212(e) of the act. Exhibit Q



Please let me know if I need to submit any other document.

Thanks.

Sincerely,
 

J1victim

Registered Users (C)
Sample practice letter for 5 years

many people have asked me about the sample practice letter as their employer refused to give them the contract for 5 years. so these persons have only a 3 years' contract.

I am posting a sample NOTARIZED letter (for 5 year practice) submitted by a J1 waiver person. The NIW petition (for which this letter was submitted) is still pending, so i don't know the result.
But looking at the letter it looks satisfactory. Decide for yourself.
(update >>> July 25, 2004)>>> the I-140 petiton for which this letter was submitted has been approved).
************************************

U.S.Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization service
xxxxx Service Center, P.O. Box

CASE TYPE: I-140- through National Interest Waiver

Intent to practice for five years in the areas where there is shortage of Health Professionals

I am a physician willing to practice full time as Primary Care Physician for the aggregate of five years, in an area having shortage of health professionals, as designated by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, to fulfill the requirement of National Interest Waiver, in order to fulfill the requirement of National Interest Waiver, under Section 203(b) (2) (B) (ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Presently I am employed by ------------------------------------., which is a Primary Medical Care Provider and which provides medical services to medically indigent population regardless of age or sex on continuing basis, in health professional shortage areas.

I am licensed to practice in the State of ----------------------, and board certified (American Board of xxxxxxxxx). Ever since I started my residency in xxxxxxxxxxx, I had a desire to serve the people of rural America, and by accepting this job in rural America, where people are medically under served I would be able to fulfill my long time wish to do so.

I intent to establish my own practice after finishing my service contract of three years at -------------------------------------------------------------------------, in the Health Professional shortage area as designated by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, in the State of -----------------.

I would incorporate my practice in the State of ---------------, and fulfill all the requirements set forth by-----------------of Medical Board, the -------------------------Department Of Health, and also abide by all the laws of -------------Labor and Workforce development.


Signed

ADRESS

(NOTARIZED)
 
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gg1592

Registered Users (C)
Hi Guys,
I was wondering if anyone of you could shed some light on my query.
I am about to complete 5 years of my service at VA as general internist. I have NIW I-140 approved on basis of working in MUA/VA for 5 yrs, and have I-485 pending. Can I join a fellowship in, say, cardiology, while my AOS is pending after completing the 5 years. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Balraj

Registered Users (C)
Steps

Hi all,
I am looking for some one to shed light on steps or procedures to be done after 5yrs is completed. I am about 10 months from finishing 5yrs. What needs to be done. Please direct me to the thread if there is one already.....

Meanwhile, J1Victim has done such a wonderful job on the steps to NIW self petition, there is hardly any questions about it - except just kudos. :) Simply fantabulous. Where is he....he seems not to be seen or heard in the forums these days.

thanks balraj.
 
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