Friday, June 22, 2012


The USCIS has been wildly inconsistent in adjudicating petitions for EB-2 Physical Therapists. But they should not be. The law is straightforward.

If the position requires an Advanced Degree, then EB-2 Petition should be approved. An Advanced Degree is a US Master’s Degree, the foreign equivalent of a US Master Degree, or a Bachelors Degree and five years of progressive work experience.

If the FCCPT or another credible educational evaluator finds that the Beneficiary’s foreign education is equal to a US Masters Degree, then the EB-2 Petition should be approved, since all US employers effectively require an Advanced degree as their minimum requirement for entry into the petition.

Many foreign schools issue a diploma that says “Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy”. Many of these degree are, in fact, equal to US Masters Degrees and therefore approvable as EB-2 Petitions.

Unfortunately, the USCIS Texas Service Center has a training issue and some USCIS officers are denying these approvable EB-2 Petitions. Their flawed analysis is that since the degree is titled Bachelors Degree, the petition is inappropriate as an EB-2. This is wrong. The legal question isn’t the title of the degree but the US educational equivalence.

The most frustrating part of Physical Therapy EB-2 Petitions is the maddening inconsistency caused by the USCIS training issue. Virtually identical petitions will get different USCIS Decision: some denied and some approved. MU Law has several of these petitions on appeal and we are working with AILA to remedy this flawed training problem.

For now, the safer approach is to use the Bachelors Degree plus five years’ experience path to a Physical Therapist EB-2 Petition.


  1. @ MU Law: how about a PT who earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in the US? will it merit approval of an EB-2 petition since it is an advanced degree?

  2. Hi Blue - Yes. A PT with a DPT obtained in the US should surely qualify for EB2.

    1. My agency would sponsor us for online transitional-DPT degree of US. I've had 6 years continuous PT experience from 1999-2005 however, NOT actively practicing PT profession from 2006 up to present but instead, I've worked as Rehabilitation Health Care Assistant. Would EB2 visa be denied because of my present job?? Or is US- DPT program + 6 years of previous experience is enough to get EB2 visa??

  3. I have PT with US masters degree in Exercises science. can I qualify for EB2 since its advance degree in US.

  4. The creation of a grandfathered PT class of physical therapists means they don't necessarily have a master's degree and don't necessarily qualify for EB2 status.
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  6. Is it true that if you haven't pass NPTE you will be denied for an EB2 visa?

  7. The USCIS has been inconsistent in their adjudication of Physical Therapist EB-2 Petitions when the Therapist holds an FCCPT “first professional degree” evaluation. Bromfenac The inconsistency largely is due to some degree being titled, Bachelor Degree, when in fact, these degrees are equivalent ot a US Masters Degree.

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  9. Many, for sure, have asked themselves "how do I get my degree online?" Good thing plenty of accredited schools are available to answer that question.

  10. Have current H1B status and looking at EB2 application before CIR potentially makes things more difficult.
    Can go for H1B extension as safety net but would prefer EB2.

    Is this problem still prevalent Chris?
    Did you win on those cases you had on appeal?
    I know it runs case by case but it seems ironic that on one hand they will happily extend my H1B for another 3 years but on the other they may claim I do not have an advanced degree.

    Any advice would help.


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  12. Sir, this has recently happened to my friend. He has ongoing 4 and 1/2 experience as a PT and an FCCPT certificate stating the master's program equivalency of his education here. The consul mentioned that the FCCPT is questionable for giving PT degree in the Philippines a Masters equivalency. However, A LOT of PTs now working in the US has been given immigrant visa with the same credentials (some doesn't even have working experience). What should be the legal action here because it is certainly not fair. The applicant should have been informed about the issue surrounding FCCPT before he applied for an immigrant visa, or even before challenging the NPTE. We are hoping for your immediate response to this case. Our agency have already informed your firm but a week has passed and no response yet.

  13. I just want to say that It was very good post, it helped me in finding a good affiliate,
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  14. I have an embassy interview next month at the embassy. Is this issue still ongoing? Any news and updates on this? I would to hear on other PTs out there who can give advices and suggestions. I have 3 years of clinical experience under my belt.

  15. Some of my friends were looking for such opportunity of EB2. I don't know whether they knew it or not. But I am going to inform them now about this information and I hope that they will be happy. Thanks

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  16. It is true to say that physical therapists means they don't necessarily have a master's degree and don't necessarily qualify for EB2 status. There is a good information and I support it very much. Take it up..
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  17. Can we apply for an EB2 visa if we have a cumulative 5 year working experience in the country of origin and US as a physical therapist? And the work experience is from the same petitioner?

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