The labor certification application process requires employers to prove that there are no qualified US workers available to fill the job position, and as such, it can be a lengthy and complicated process. However, there are exemptions available for certain professions, including professional nurses and physical therapists.
To qualify for the exemption, the nurse or physical therapist must have a job offer in the United States and must meet specific educational and licensing requirements. For nurses, this includes obtaining a degree from a nursing program that is approved by the state and passing the National Council Licensure Examination. For physical therapists, this includes obtaining a degree from a physical therapy program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and passing the National Physical Therapy Examination.
Additionally, the nurse or physical therapist must have a full and unrestricted license to practice in the state where they will be employed, and the job must require at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in the relevant field.
Once the nurse or physical therapist meets these requirements, their employer can file a petition for them with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permanent residency. This petition is called an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and it does not require the employer to go through the labor certification process.