Health Care Positions

Some health care positions have additional requirements. To practice medicine or to undergo clinical medical residency or fellowship training in the U.S. in H-1B status, foreign medical graduates must meet the following requirements:

  • Passed the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) steps 1, 2 and 3. (NOTE: *FLEX Parts I and II or National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Parts I, II and III may be substituted.)
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency. (NOTE: Showing an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates [ECFMG] certificate meets this requirement.)
  • Have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a foreign country or have graduated from a medical school in a foreign country. For H-1B purposes, graduates of Canadian medical schools are considered foreign medical graduates (although they are exempt from the English proficiency requirement). Foreign-born graduates of U.S. medical institutions are not considered foreign medical graduates.
  • Have a Michigan medical license.
  • Physicians of national or international renown may be exempted from the licensing examination and English proficiency requirements if the national or international reputation of the physician is thoroughly documented.
  • Alien physicians may teach and conduct research in H-1B status without meeting the licensing exam and English requirements if no patient care is performed, or if it is incidental to the physician's teaching or research.

Nurses generally do not qualify for H-1B status, because a bachelor’s degree is not normally required for most nursing positions. Nursing supervisors or other specialized nurses may qualify for H-1B status if the position requires a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and the candidate possesses the required degree. In addition, nurses must have a state license and the required certificate from Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to hold H-1B status.

Nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical technicians/technologists, speech/language pathologists, audiologists, and physician assistants must obtain a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) or an equivalent independent credentialing organization before they are eligible for H-1B status. For more information, please see the CGFNS Visa Credential Screening site.