If you are a physical therapist who is eligible for a license in the United States, you may be able to get a green card (lawful permanent residency) without the need for a PERM labor certification.

This is because physical therapists are on Schedule A. The U.S. government has already determined that there are not enough physical therapists in the country to meet the need. You are pre-certified, so your green card application could be approved more quickly.

Eligibility and requirements

In order to apply for a green card under Schedule A as a physical therapist, you must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy or an equivalent degree, and
  • Have a physical therapy license in the state you wish to practice in OR
  • Have a letter from the state’s licensing agency that states you are qualified to take the licensing examination

You must also meet minimum standards for education, training, experience, licensure, and English proficiency.

You will need to get a health care worker certification before you can work in the United States. This is a certification from an approved organization verifying that you have met those minimum standards.

This certification shows that you:

  • Have education, training, experience and licensing that are comparable to your American peers
  • Have a license that is authentic and unencumbered
  • Meet all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements

Additionally, you must pass a recognized English competence test. And, you must either pass the actual licensing or certification exam or a predictor test.

Your immigration attorney can help you determine if you meet these criteria and apply for the health care worker certification.

How do I get started?

If you intend to practice physical therapy in California, contact Yew Immigration Law Group. Schedule A petitions are somewhat complex, and we can help you through the steps. Attorney Alison Yew is certified by the State Bar of California as an immigration law specialist.