Immigration Options to Get Physiotherapy jobs in USA for Foreigners

If you are a foreign trained Physiotherapist interested in getting a job in the US there are quite a number of immigration pathways available for you.
The route you take to migrate to the US as a physiotherapist, however, will depend on your own personal situation. 

Some popular ways of getting to work in the US are:

  1. Coming with a family member (family based visa).
  2. Getting job offer (employment based visa)
    3.Getting a degree from an American University (student visa)
  3. Visa lottery (if your country is elligible)

Health Care Worker Certification

If you as a foreign trained Physiotherapist (assuming you’re not a US citizen) are interested in working in the US, you will be required by the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) to have a HCWC (Health Care Worker Certification).

Before you can apply for the HWCW you need to have your credentialing done by either the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) or the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).

FCCPT Requirements:

  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in physical therapy.
  • Must have a Master’s degree or higher in any subject.
  • Transitional DPT (tDPT) post-professional degrees offered by regionally accredited universities, in the United States are accepted.
  • Must be eligible to practice physical therapy in the country of education where the first professional degree was obtained.
  • Must pass the TOEFL or qualify for the TOEFL exemption.

There will also be:

  • Verification of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree or higher
  • Verification of ALL licensure/registration held since graduation
  • Verification of TOEFL or TOEFL exemption
  • Equivalency on CWT6
  • Minimum of 210 total semester credits

Get more information on FCCPT

Getting a Work Visa

This Health Care Worker Certification is what grants you the permission to apply for a work visa.
These are 3 Types of Work Visa you can apply for when you have your HCWC:

  1. H-1B visa : a non-immigrant (3years) visa given to degree holders in specialty occupations.
  2. EB2 visa : an immigrant visa issued to an advanced degree holder to work in the US.
  3. EB3: an immigrant visa issued to a skilled Worker or professional to work in the US.

As a physiotherapist having a Masters Degree is now the minimum requirement to apply for the HWCW.

Note:

  1. Getting your Health Care Worker Certification is for immigration visa purposes not licensing.
  2. The Certification is valid for 5years.
  3. If through some other pathway you legally become a permanent resident in the US, you no longer need the HWCW.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PHYSIOTHERAPY LICENSE EXAM IN USA

If you have any information or personal experience to share about working in America as a physical therapist please leave your contribution in the comments section.

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