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USCIS Discusses Requirements for H-1Bs in Health Care Specialty Occupations


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a memorandum (PDF) clarifying the standards for adjudicating H-1B petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries seeking employment in a health care specialty occupation.

Among other things, the memo notes that if the petitioner provides documentary evidence that the beneficiary has a valid license to practice a health care occupation (and meets the definition of specialty occupation) in the state in which the beneficiary will be employed, the adjudicator “should not look beyond the license.” However, the petitioner will still need to provide evidence that the beneficiary is admissible. This guidance applies regardless of whether the beneficiary has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree in the health care occupation.

If the beneficiary has an unrestricted license and the petition is otherwise approvable, the memo states that an adjudicator should approve the petition for the full H-1B period requested (up to three years) but may not approve the petition beyond the validity of the labor condition application. The memo notes that most states require a license to be renewed periodically. If the beneficiary has an unrestricted license, the memo states that the renewal date should not be considered when determining the validity period of the approval.

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