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MOST AMERICAN WORK VISAS REQUIRE STATE LICENSES FOR FOREIGN VETERINARIANS TO WORK IN AMERICA
by Danielle Nelisse, Immigration Attorney
Before an American employer can submit an application to the American government (USCIS) for a work visa for a foreign veterinarian, the foreign veterinarian needs to obtain a state license to practice veterinary medicine in the American state where they will be working.
Each of the 50 states of the United States issues their own license to practice veterinary medicine in their state. Theoretically, it is possible to have 50 licenses to practice veterinary medicine in all of the 50 states. In most cases (there are some exceptions) a copy of the state license must be submitted with the work visa application.
For example, to find out the veterinary licensing rules for the American state of California, check the website for the California Veterinary Medical Board.
Each of the 50 states has different rules concerning veterinary licensing requirements, fees, when a license to practice veterinary medicine is required, and how to apply. Most of the states require that the foreign veterinarian pass a national test before they take their state test.
For more information about all of the American work visas available for foreign veterinarians, click here.
One of the work visas that are available to licensed professionals is the H-1B visa, which must be submitted by the employer. The foreign veterinarian cannot submit an H-1B visa petition on their own. The H-1B visa petition that an animal hospital submits to the USCIS has to list the specific hospitals that the foreign veterinarian would be authorized to work for, and it is permissible to list more than one hospital located in different states on one H-1B visa petition. The H-1B visa petition may be submitted up to 6 months ahead of time.
For example, the H-1B visa petition could request authorization for a foreign veterinarian to work at one hospital in the state of New York and another hospital in the state of New Jersey (so long as both animal hospitals are owned by the same company). After the H-1B visa is approved, either location could be selected.
At the time an H-1B visa petition is submitted to the American government by the animal hospital, the employer’s immigration attorney must submit proof that the foreign veterinarian is already licensed to practice veterinary medicine in both New York and New Jersey. The majority of American immigration attorneys do not assist the foreign veterinarians in getting their licenses to practice veterinary medicine.
For information about veterinary licensing in states other than California, google the name of the American state and the words “veterinary license” to find the Veterinary licensing website for the licensing agency in that state.
Are there any license exceptions?
Educational Prerequisites and Pre-Licensing ECFVG Certificate for Foreign Veterinarians
The educational prerequisite educational prerequisite for veterinary licensure in most American states includes graduation from a veterinary school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education. For graduates of foreign, non-accredited schools, most American states require successful completion of an educational equivalency assessment certification program called the ECFVG.
Hopefully this helps explain the work visa process for foreign veterinarians.
Kind regards, Danielle Nelisse, Immigration Attorney
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (619) 235-8811 or (877) 884-6644 for a free phone consultation after your research the state requirements for a license to practice veterinary medicine.