Schedule A is a list of occupations for which the U.S. Department of Labor has determined that there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available. Inclusion on Schedule A also establishes that the employment of foreign workers in such occupations will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. The greatest advantage of being on Schedule A is that the foreign worker can obtain a green card without first having to go through the entire labor certification process, therby saving processing time.
A "physical therapist'' is defined as a person who applies the art and science of physical therapy to the treatment of patients with disabilities, disorders and injuries to relieve pain, develop or restore function, and maintain performance. The physical therapist uses physical means such as exercise, massage, heat, water, light, and electricity, as prescribed by a physician or surgeon.
To qualify for Schedule A processing, a physical therapist must
possess all the qualifications necessary to take the physical
therapist licensing examination in the state in which he or she
proposes to practice physical therapy.
Physical therapists also fall within the meaning of "foreign health care worker" and also require certification by an entity similar to the CGFNS. As of July 26, 2004, if a nonimmigrant is seeking to be admitted to the United States, is changing status, and/or is requesting an extension of stay, he or she must provide evidence of health care worker certification if the primary purpose for coming to or remaining in the United States is employment in one of the affected health care occupations. Previously, under section 212(d)(3) of the Act, the CIS and the Department of State waived Health Care Worker certification requirements for nonimmigrants, while requiring it for immigrants. After careful consideration of the statute and legislative history, it has been determined that nonimmigrants are also subject to the certification requirements. "
Which English Language Testing
Organizations Are Approved for Purposes of Health Care Worker
Every alien must meet certain English language requirements in order to obtain a certificate unless otherwise exempted. The following testing services had been approved:
What are the Acceptable English
Language Test Scores for Health Care Worker Certification?
The statute vests the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the sole discretion to determine the minimum scores required for a Health Care Worker Certification.
Because "Schedule A" applications do not require the approval of a labor certification, the process for obtaining a green card for qualified nurses or physical therapists can be much quicker than for occupations that do require labor certification.
The Basic Steps
There are three basic stages to complete in order to secure American therapy jobs as a physical therapist. Each includes working with agencies or groups-from FCCPT to FSBPT-to be eligible for our American therapy jobs.
1. Verifying Credentials
2. Obtaining a License
3. Immigration Approval
1. Verifying you Credentials is done by a board approved agency to verify that your education is equivalent to a U.S. granted Physical Therapy degree. Every state has somewaht different requirements for the number of hours in each subject and the breakdown of clinical requirements. Each state also authorizes specific credentialing agencies they work with. Basically they approve the FCCPT or the International Credentialing Associates plus one or more of the following agencies.
|FCCT - Foreign Credentialing Commission on PT
P. O. Box 25827
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 684-8562
International Educational Research
2. Each state has specific requirements which can include English competency tests as well as specific hours from credentialing. You are also required to register with the FSBPT to take the NPTE (National Physical Therapy Examination). Once the candidate's file is completed, including the state including application, fees, English Tests (if required) and other state requirements, the state will contact the FSBPT to obtain permission to take the test. The FSBPT then sends an "Authorization to Test" letter to the candidate. The candidate will then contact testing firm Prometric to schedule an exam date. Currently the FSBPT exam is only given in the U.S. and Guam.
FSBPT (The Federation of State
Boards of Physical Therapy)
VISA Screening Sources
English Language Testing Service
PERM and the Physical Therapist
Under the new PERM per regulations, the position
of physical therapist is pre-certified. This means that it is not necessary to
file a request for a labor certification with the DOL for this occupation. However,
the requirement is to submit the labor certification forms, as well as other
documentation, with the USCIS in connection with the employer's required I-140
Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker.
Under PERM, physical therapists must file a letter or statement, signed by an authorized physical therapy licensing official in the state of intended employment, indicating that the foreign national is qualified to take that state's written licensing examination. Additionaly, physical therapists must submit two Forms 9089 (PERM labor certification forms). This filing must include a prevailing wage determination (PWD) by the appropriate State Workforce Agency (SWA) and evidence that a notice of filing the Form 9089 was provided to the bargaining representative or the prospective employer's current employees. Included in the notice is notification that a labor certification has been filed for the position, provide information that any person may submit evidence regarding the application to the DOL, contain a description of the job, and include a rate of pay for the position. The rate of pay included for the position must not be less than the prevailing wage (or actual wage, if higher). Physical therapist applications must be submitted by the sponsoring employer.
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