If You are a Foreign Trained Physiotherapist thinking of Working in the US, Read This.

If you are a non-citizen who seeks to enter the United States with the intention of working as a health care worker other than as a physician, you need to have documentation from a credentialing agency recognized by USCIS attesting to your fulfillment of the necessary standards for education, training, licensure, experience, and English proficiency.

According to 8 CFR 212.15(c), the following health care professions require this certification:

  • Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed vocational nurses (a foreign nurse may present a certified statement from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) or an approved equivalent independent credentialing organization)
  • Physical therapists;
  • Occupational therapists;
  • Speech-language pathologists and audiologists;
  • Medical technologists (also known as clinical laboratory scientists);
  • Medical technicians (also known as clinical laboratory technicians); and
  • Physician assistants.

The Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) has been authorized to issue certifications for physical therapists.

Type 1 Review for Immigration by the FCCPT

The Type 1 Review for Immigration is a visa screening service for applicants who need the Health Care Worker Certificate at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To apply for the Type 1 Review for Immigration service you must meet the following 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.

A Health Care Workers Certificate is issued only if the following requirements are satisfied: 

  • 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

More information

Types of Visas that Require Health Worker Certificate

After getting your Hearth Worker Certificate, you may then apply for the appropriate visa:

  • The H-1B Visa allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers (non-immigrants) in specialty occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher. An H-1B visa allows a foreign national to enter the United States for up to three years (extendable to six years with some exceptions). The number of H-1B visas is capped annually.
  • EB2 is a permanent worker (immigrant) visa that allows an individual holding an advanced degree to enter the United States for employment. The visa holder will be eligible to apply for permanent resident (green card) status.
  • EB3 is a permanent worker (immigrant) visa that allows a skilled worker, professional, or other to enter the United States for employment. The visa holder will be eligible to apply for permanent resident (green card) status.
  • TN nonimmigrant classification allows, under the NAFTA agreement, a qualified Canadian or Mexican citizen to temporarily enter the United States to engage in professional level business activities.

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