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Under U.S. immigration law, physical therapists with sponsoring employers may find themselves in a position to apply for lawful permanent resident status, based on sponsorship, with the possibility of having the steps that make up that application effort processed relatively quickly by U.S. government authorities.

That is because (due to the fact that PT positions are listed on a certain Schedule A under applicable U.S. Department of Labor regulations), for qualified physical therapists, the employer sponsorship process does not require the employer to advertise or recruit for the sponsored PT position. That is, like certain registered nurse (RN) sponsorships, but unlike the vast majority of other employment-based sponsorships seeking lawful permanent resident (LPR or green card) status, PT sponsorships have the possibility of eliminating an advertising-based process that entails significant preparation, often takes six months or longer in processing time and involves advertising cost and increased attorney fees. (Schedule A occupations are those considered by the U.S. Department of Labor to have shortages of U.S. workers, and PT employment is considered such an occupation.) While green card sponsorships based on PT positions may, depending upon when they are filed, still be subject to occasional and fluctuating green card quota-based delays, they can (if successful) be relatively faster routes to lawful permanent residence than many other employment-based sponsorships.

Some of the basic requirements that must be met if a PT-position-based application is to have a chance to be approved are:

  • The PT alien must have a suitable PT diploma
  • The alien must either meet state PT licensing requirements or be qualified to sit for a licensing exam, in the state where the sponsored work will be performed.
  • The employer must have the ability to pay the wage that, under application immigration regulations, must be paid for the sponsored employment.

    The discussion of PT application basics provided above, and the content of this web site generally, are not intended to be and should not be relied upon as legal advice. To be effective and reliable, legal advice must be tailored to the specific facts and relevant law pertaining to each individual case.

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