On February 9, 2016, the Administrative Appeals Office of the USCIS restored the eligibility of physicians in all medical specialties; both primary care and subspecialists; for the approval of Employment-Based Second Preference Physician National Interest Waiver (NIW) Immigrant Visa Petitions (I-140). This welcome decision, Matter of H-V-P-, ID# 16270 (AAO Feb. 9, 2016), reversed the decision of the USCIS Texas Service which denied a Physician NIW Immigrant Visa petition filed by a hematologist-oncologist (cancer specialist) stating the USCIS regulations limited approval of Physician NIW Immigrant Visa petitions to primary care specialties as defined by Health and Human Services (internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, OB-GYN and psychiatry).
Many Physician NIW Immigrant Visa Petitions have been delayed in adjudication awaiting this AAO decision, thus lengthening an already long decision making process on Physician NIW Immigrant Visas. Those who have had decisions on their Physician NIW Immigrant Visa Petitions delayed awaiting this AAO decision should expect a decision within a relatively short period of time.
Thus, those of you who have delayed your initial filing of a Physician NIW because you heard USCIS was denying subspecialists should now file.
We are working to persuade USCIS to permit premium processing of Physician NIW petitions to provide incentives to physicians to work in medically underserved areas and to remain there.
Let us know if you have any questions. You may access Frequently Asked Questions about Physician National Interest Waiver Petitions on our www.maggio-kattar.com.
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