Alabama and Tennessee Laws Allow Foreign Doctors Without Residency to Work in the U.S.

On April 6, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law allowing international medical graduates to bypass U.S. residency training and practice as licensed physicians. On June 12, the Alabama governor signed the Physician Workforce Act, an effort to recruit doctors from abroad and “speed up licensing so international medical graduates can work in overcrowded hospitals.”

These two U.S. states are attempting to alleviate the current national shortage of doctors. According to the president of the Alabama Medical Association, there is a growing shortage of physicians, resulting in more patients experiencing delays in receiving medical care. The Physician Workforce Act is a significant step toward ensuring that more people have access to the care they need and deserve.

Under the new law, international medical graduates can skip residency training if they demonstrate competency to the state medical board, complete three years of training or a postgraduate program in their licensed country. During the initial two years, foreign doctors will work with a provisional license, supervised by a licensed professional. After this period, professionals will receive unrestricted licenses.

Doctors are highly sought-after professionals in the United States, and due to the high demand in this field, Americans, and particularly these states, consider these professionals of national interest who can contribute significantly and sustainably to the country. This makes them eligible to apply for a permanent residency visa in the United States.

According to immigration lawyer Ingrid Domingues McConville, these news affirm how significant the presence of qualified immigrants is in the United States. However, it is crucial that the legal situation of newcomers is in order. The most suitable visa for these professionals is undoubtedly the EB2-NIW, granting not only a Green Card but also extending to the spouse and children under 21. Dr. McConville emphasizes the importance of verifying eligibility for this type of visa and stresses that a well-crafted project showcasing the intention to use their skills for the country’s improvement increases chances. Hence, the importance of planning and presenting a well-thought-out project. While some medical professionals may try to secure a position directly in hospitals in these states, it can be a more challenging and difficult process.

There is a growing concern among some U.S. legislators about the ongoing shortage of healthcare professionals in the country. In May, the United States needed over 17,000 additional primary care professionals, 12,000 oral health professionals, and 8,200 mental health professionals, according to data from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Contact the office and determine the appropriate planning for your evaluation with Dr. Ingrid Domingues McConville’s team:

  • Ingrid Domingues-McConville founded DM VISA LAW – Domingues McConville, P.A. in 1995. She has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1995 and a member of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. Ingrid earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. With over 28 years of experience in Immigration Law, Ingrid has represented clients throughout the United States and worldwide, handling both business and family immigration matters. She has assisted companies and individuals in obtaining visas and permanent residency in the United States. Ingrid plays a significant leadership role in the Brazilian community in South Florida and across the United States, providing much-needed legal guidance and advice.