U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued new policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the evidentiary requirements for physicians seeking a national interest waiver of the job offer requirement, based on work in underserved areas or at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
With this guidance, for physicians who have worked or agreed to work full-time in areas designated by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of health care professionals or at a health care facility under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the job offer requirement – and the permanent labor certification requirement – may be waived.
The updated policy guidance confirms that if a physician has not yet started working, then:
- The required employment contract or employment commitment letter must be issued and dated within six months before the filing date of the petition.
- The required public interest letter from the federal agency or state department of public health must be issued and dated within six months before the filing date of the petition.
USCIS also confirmed this guidance applies only in cases when the physician has not yet started. The six-month requirement does not apply to work the physician has already started or completed before the petition filing date.