FCCPT and NBCOT Letters

There have been a lot of discussions regarding denials of H-1B petitions by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Such denials are based on the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2008-09 Edition which states that:

Occupational Therapist
Individuals pursing a career as an occupational therapist usually need to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited college or university, which includes 6 months of supervised fieldwork.

Education and training. A master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement for entry into the field.

Physical Therapist
Individuals pursuing a career as a physical therapist usually need a master’s degree from an accredited physical therapy program and a State license, requiring passing scores on national and State examinations.

Education and training. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, there were 209 accredited physical therapist education programs in 2007. Of the accredited programs, 43 offered master’s degrees and 166 offered doctoral degrees. Only master’s degree and doctoral degree programs are accredited, in accordance with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. In the future, a doctoral degree might be the required entry-level degree. Master’s degree programs typically last 2 years, and doctoral degree programs last 3 years.

The Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc (NBCOT) have written the following letters to USCIS. We hope this matter has been settled.

USCIS to Offer Premium Processing for Certain Form I-140 Petitions

Quoted below is the USCIS Update dated June 11, 2008. It’s time to contact your California wine clubs and celebrate. This is definitely good news for fellow therapists who are on their sixth year in H-1B non-immigrant status.

USCIS to Offer Premium Processing for Certain Form I-140 Petitions
Service Begins June 16, 2008

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that on June 16, 2008, it will begin accepting Premium Processing Service requests for Forms I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) filed on behalf of certain alien workers who are nearing the end of their sixth year in H-1B nonimmigrant status. 

Premium Processing Service offers 15 calendar-day processing for designated employment-based petitions and applications upon request.  There is a nonrefundable fee of $1000 for this service.  During the 15-day period, USCIS will issue either an approval or denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence, or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation.  USCIS previously designated certain classifications under Form I-140 for Premium Processing Service in the May 23, 2006 issue of the Federal Register.  See 71 FR 29662.

USCIS is limiting Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 petitions that are filed on behalf of aliens:

  • Whose sixth year will end within 60 days;
  • Who are only eligible for a further extension of H-1B nonimmigrant status under section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21); and 
  • Who are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under section 106(a) of AC21.

Section 104(c) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to three years, provided they are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and an immigrant visa is not immediately available.   Section 106(a) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to one year, provided the Form I-140 petition or underlying labor certification has been pending for at least 365 days.

For more details on Premium Processing Service for the Form I-140 petitions described in this announcement, see the “How Do I Use the Premium Processing Service” page in the Related Links section of this page or the Fact Sheet also linked in the Related Links section.

Source: USCIS

Working as a Physiotherapist in Australia

The following information is directed to Physiotherapists from overseas wanting to gain employment in Australia. It was lifted from the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).

Step 1 – Get your Skills Recognised
This is undertaken by the Australian Physiotherapy Council.

Step 2 – Register with a Physiotherapist Board
Physiotherapy Registration Boards are statutory authorities responsible for the registration of physiotherapists. Primarily the functions of the Physiotherapists Registration Boards in each State are:

  • To protect public health and safety.
  • Maintenance and promotion of professional standards of physiotherapy practice in each State and Territory
  • To register physiotherapists
  • To advise the Minister on matters relating to the standards of physiotherapy practice;
  • To distribute information pertaining to Physiotherapy Registration Acts and the Regulations to physiotherapists, consumers and other interested persons.

You must register with the appropriate Physiotherapists Registration Board before practising as a physiotherapist in Australia.

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory – Ms Janette Steele, Registrar; Phone: (08) 8999 4157; Fax: (08) 8999 4196; Email: healthprofessions.ths@nt.gov.au
South Australia
Western Australia

Step 3 – Join the Australian Physiotherapy Association
Apply for membership here.

Step 4 – Purchase Professional Indemnity Insurance
It is recommended that indemnity insurance be obtained before commencing employment.

Step 5 – Obtain a Working Visa
The Department of Immigration can assist you with your applications for a working visa permit to work in Australia.

Step 6 – Find Employment
For a detailed listing of national vacancies, use the APA Classifeds.

Source: APA

USCIS Reaches FY 2009 H-1B Cap

For fellow therapists hoping to be included in the “random selection process,” we wish you good luck.  Quoted below is the April 8 USCIS Update.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2009.  USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the “advanced degree” exemption.   Before running the random selection process, USCIS will complete initial data entry for all filings received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008.   Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the precise day on which it will conduct the random selection process.

USCIS will carry out the computer-generated random selection process for all cap-subject petitions received.  USCIS will select the number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the “advanced degree” exemption limit. USCIS will reject, and return filing fees for all cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, unless found to be a duplicate.   USCIS will handle duplicate filings in accordance with the interim final rule published on March 24, 2008 in the Federal Register.

The agency will conduct the selection process for “advanced degree” exemption petitions first.    All “advanced degree” petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

Source: USCIS

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