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.
Christopher T. Musillo is a partner at MusilloUnkenholt Immigration Law. He is a graduate of Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania. When not zealously representing his clients, Chris enjoys outdoor sports, listening to music, traveling and reading.