Foreign-born physicians who wish to stay in the U.S. to practice medicine may first be required to to serve for a number of years in a physician shortage area like a federally-designated medically-underserved area (MUA), a health professional shortage area (HPSA) or for a Medically Underserved Population (MUP).
Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) are designations that indicate health care provider shortages in primary care, dental health; or mental health. These shortages may be geographic-, population-, or facility-based.
Medically-Underserved Areas/Populations are areas or populations designated by Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) as having too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty or a high elderly population.
An International Medical Graduate (IMG) or a Canadian physician completing a medical residency or fellowship on a J-1 visa usually needs to serve in a physician shortage area for 3 years in order to obtain a waiver of the 2-year home residency requirement. A foreign-born doctor who wishes to obtain a green cards using National Interest Waiver (NIW) must practice in physician shortage areas for 5 years before being granted permanent residence.
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Resources – Physician Shortage Areas
- Physician Shortage Areas (PSAs)
- Find Shortage Areas: HPSA & MUA/P by Address
- Find Shortage Areas: HPSA by State & County
- How to Apply for HPSA Designation
- Frequently Asked Questions
If the above lists have provided you with a number of census tracts (CT’s), and all you have is the street address of your job offer, use “The Census Tract Street Locator” below to find the number of the census tract of your new job. If the census tract where your job offer is located is on the HPSA/MUA/MUP lists, you are in luck!
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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