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MDVisajobs.com is the first web site specifically designed to link internationally-educated, American-trained doctors with employers interested in employing those doctors and sponsoring the necessary immigration paperwork. Because the site has been created by immigration lawyers with decades of physician immigration experience, the right questions are asked to employers and physicians so that each side can determine if a match will comply with immigration rules. And the site’s immigration lawyers review every resume and job posted to be able to give a brief synopsis of what types of candidates and employers are appropriate based on immigration law.
Despite the fact that there is a severe national shortage of doctors in nearly every
specialty, international medical graduates (IMGs) face significant challenges
finding suitable employment. For physicians completing their graduate medical
training, they must find employers that are not only open to employing IMGs
(not always a given), but they must also satisfy the complex legal requirements
that can vary significantly from one physician to the next.
For a physician training in J-1 status, the employer may
have to be in a federally designated shortage area, accept Medicare and Medicaid
and have a recruiting history for the position. Beyond these threshold
requirements, the four federal J-1 waiver programs and 50 Conrad 30 state J-1
waiver programs have a wide range of additional requirements that vary from
program to program. And then there may be significant issues relating to the
amount of time needed for processing the case, salary requirements, contract
requirements, license restrictions and more.
Obstacles Faced by IMGs
For physicians training in H-1B status, there are also a number of
challenges. For one, the vast majority of H-1B graduate medical training
program sponsors are exempt from the annual 65,000 H-1B visa limit. That can
make it much easier for the doctor to get to the US to train since the H-1B cap
is reached quickly in most years and not typically available at the start of a
training program. Unfortunately, when an H-1B physician moves from an exempt
employer to an employer that is not exempt, an H-1B visa number must be
available. Depending on the demand for H-1B visas in a particular
year and the time of year the doctor's prospective employer seeks a
visa, getting approved can be very difficult.
For many H-1B trainee physicians the only solution may mean finding an employer
exempt from the H-1B cap. And that can be a challenge since there are many
restrictions on cap exemption status. For example, employers may have to prove
they are academic medical centers or non-profits properly connected to a
university. H-1B trainee doctors may also have used up much of their six years
of H-1B eligibility in order to complete their training. The only way to
address the question for many is to find an employer willing to file a green
card application very early on in the employment.
For doctors already working for post-training employers who wish to move to a
new position, the rules are also complex. For former J-1 doctors, they may be
obligated to stay in their first position until they have worked three years.
To move before that date could require a showing that there are exceptional
circumstances and the new location is in a shortage area. For doctors who
trained on H-1Bs whose post-training employer or employers have claimed
exemption from the H-1B cap, the H-1B cap could be a problem.
With all of these variables, employers wishing to hire IMGs and IMGs wishing to
find suitable employers often waste considerable time in the job search
process. Employers often don't know which kinds of doctors they can sponsor and
IMGs often have to pursue jobs where they can't determine immigration
suitability until well in to the recruiting process.
The Current Landscape of
Physician Job Search Web Sites
Unfortunately, the leading physician job search web sites are
unable to fill this information gap. The few that bother to address IMG issues
usually only provide cursory information like whether an employer is open to
visa sponsorship or what visa category an IMG is using.
For more than 20 years, I have
borne witness to this frustrating situation. As a lawyer specializing in
physician immigration cases, I can often be helpful when a doctor or an employer
find me early in the process. But calling a lawyer is intimidating for many and
certainly not the most efficient way to screen jobs and job candidates.
Why MDVisajobs.com is Different
With MDVisajobs.com, Siskind Susser is offering a new tool that we
believe will prove highly useful to IMGs, recruiters and employers. It is
a job site that asks the usual questions about employment openings and the
background of physicians seeking employment. But we also ask a number of
additional questions that are immigration-specific and which will make it much
easier to see if a prospective match is realistic.
The site also has one more extremely critical feature. Siskind Susser lawyers
review every job posting and physician profile posted on the site and will
offer our views on what types of visa sponsorships are appropriate for an
employment opportunity and on what types of employment opportunities will meet
the immigration needs of a doctor.
And best of all, unlike most of the physician job sites out there,
MDVisajobs.com site is completely
free. Why? First, we believe the site is a
valuable tool for Siskind Susser's existing clients and if we can foster the
matchmaking process for our employer, recruiter and physician clients, we will
be rewarded with more work. We also think the site will be a great way to
introduce the firm to others.
MDVisajobs.com is the creation of Siskind Susser PC, one of the leading immigration law firms in North America. Siskind Susser attorneys have experience handling all aspects of American immigration and nationality law and their depth of knowledge in health care immigration is well known. Accomplishments of firm lawyers include:
- Authoring the LexisNexis’ J-1 Visa Guidebook (annually updated since 1997) and the H-1B Book (published by ILW) as well as chapters in the books Immigration Options for Physicians (published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association), Immigration Options for Nurses (published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association), The Biggest Mistakes Physicians Make (published by SEAK) and The Physician Immigration Book (published by ILW)
- Drafting the original guidelines for the Delta Regional Authority’s J-1 Physician Waiver Program and assisting in drafting the 2004 physician immigration statute
- Testifying in front of the US House of Representatives Immigration Subcommittee on pending immigration legislation
- Serving on the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Serving as chairs of the IMG Taskforce (the national physician immigration bar organization), the Physicians Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Health Care Worker Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Immigration Committee of the American Health Lawyers Association
- Serving as a founding member of the Foreign Nurse Taskforce (the national bar organization for nursing immigration lawyers)
- Regularly speaking on health care immigration including presentations to the National Association of Physician Recruiters, the Healthcare Staffing Summit, the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Health Care Lawyers Association
- Founding visalaw.com in 1994, the first immigration law firm website, first website of a solo law firm in the world, first law firm website in Southern US and cited as best law firm website in the US; founding the Visalaw Healthcare Immigration Blog; founding one of the most popular ILW.com lawyer blogs
Awards and accolades:
- AV rating by Martindale Hubbell
- Selected among the top 25 immigration firms in US by Chambers and Partners, Business Tennessee Magazine’s Top 150 Lawyers in Tennessee, and Best Lawyers in America
- Awarded Memphis Business Journal’s 2006 Small Business of the Year
- Ranked 6th in international Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Law
- First and only immigration attorney to appear on the cover of the American Bar Association Journal
In addition to serving many small practices and individual health care professionals, Siskind Susser PC represents many of America’s largest hospital systems and one of the largest international nurse staffing companies in the United States. The firm serves clients in all 50 states. Consultations are free for physician-related matters and can be arranged by calling us at 1-800-343-4890 or 901-682-6455.