USCIS memo, “Requirements for H-1B Beneficiaries Seeking to Practice in a Health Care Occupation,” B. Velarde (May 20, 2009)

This USCIS memo summarizes USCIS policy adjudicating H-1B petitions in the context of State licensure requirements. Extract:

"Furthermore, the petitioner will need to provide evidence that the beneficiary:
  • Has filed an application for a license in accordance with state or local rules and procedures; and
  • Cannot obtain a full unrestricted license in the state in which he/she will practice due to the requirement for possession of a social security card, valid immigration document, and/or physical presence in the United States in the form of a letter from the State Board.
Assuming a petition is approvable under the above standards, the validity period should be one year. The approval of any such H-1B petition shall not constitute approval by USCIS for the alien beneficiary to engage in any activity requiring possession of such State or local license. It is merely a means to facilitate the state or local licensing authority’s issuance of such a license to the alien, provided all other requirements are satisfied.

If the petitioner later requests an extension of stay on behalf of the beneficiary, the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary has been granted a valid unrestricted license to practice the health care occupation in the state in which he/she will be working. If the beneficiary does not have the valid unrestricted license at the time the extension of stay petition is filed, the petition will be denied."