Thursday, 30 August 2012

Feature: Growing demand for PT in US

Michigan, USA

SUMMER time in Michigan is really fun for everybody -- including me -- knowing that after these three long blistering months, comes fall, then the bitter onslaught of snow amid the biting chill of winter.

We try taking advantage of the warm climate because after that, we will be stuck most of the time at home. Picnic groups were everywhere and just like them, we were enjoying the nearest park we can be.

It was in one of this summer outings that I met Alfonso Aguirre (I kept him anonymous for reasons of privacy), a two-week old tourist in the US from Obando, Bulacan.

He is a 27-year old bachelor, who just took and passed the US licensure examination for physio-therapist.

He was simply excited about having a bright future soon either as a permanent resident or as temporary working professional anywhere in the US.

Back home in Manila, the only requirement holding him back is the availability and issuance of his US work visa.

But before that, the recruiting US-based company (working on his employment) wanted him to take a chance ahead of the regular procedure by flying to the US and take the test, which he did and passed successfully. 

He said that “pagkatapos pong ma-evaluate ang job application ko that included my Philippine PT license, work experience, my academic transcript of records and other personal details, binigyan po ako ng advice and assistance on what to do in every step of the way para maipasa ko ang visa interview sa US Embassy" (once all credentials pertinent to my job applications were reviewed and evaluated, which included my Philippine PT license, work experience, academic transcript of records and other personal details, I was provided with good advice and assistance on what to do every steps of the way to pass visa interview at the  US Embassy).

Aguirre would not be coming back to America until next year.

All working visa allotments of about 60,000 have been issued as of June 2012, but the good thing is, he has the upper hand and getting close to his American dream.

He finally landed the best option to become a “green card holder" or a permanent resident of the US by nailing down the examination, which entitled him for "Schedule A" (group 1).

It is a list of pre-certified occupations, in which the US Department of Labor has determined that there are not sufficient US workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available, and that the wages and working conditions of US workers similarly employed will not be adversely affected by the employment of aliens in  “Schedule A" occupations.

Accordingly, foreign nationals qualified to work in any of the "Schedule A" occupations do not require a labor certification because the occupation has already been certified by the Department of Labor.

His US recruiter must urgently file employment petition on his behalf with the United States Department of Labor once Aguirre has notified said US recruiter of his "Schedule A" examination passing before the 2013 visa allocation in the Philippines (per information, visa availability starts first week of April ) and make sure this last requirement has to be accounted for to qualify for visa issuance by the US Embassy in Manila.

US visa for physical therapist: Schedule A Green Card,
H1 B Visa and TN VISA

Considering the prominence and importance that the United States places on health care for its citizens, it is not surprising that physical therapists, who play a vital role in assisting patients in physical recovery and aiding in pain relief, are in high demand in the US.

Nothing signifies this better than the certification by the US Department of Labor that the occupation of Physical Therapy is one with shortage of qualified and available US workers.

Immigration policies accordingly favor foreign national physical therapists.

As a result, foreign national physical therapists find the US a lucrative destination for work, either as a permanent resident or as a temporary working professional.

While foreign national Physical Therapists with multiple visa option have their own advantages and limitations, it would therefore be helpful for foreign national physical therapists, as well as their employers, to understand the various visa available to them.

This article will present a snapshot on the most popular physical therapist visa options that are available to foreign national physical therapists to come and work in the US, either as a permanent resident or as a temporary working professional.

Eligibility requirements for a Schedule A Green Card for Physical Therapists

Persons who will be employed as physical therapists and possess all the qualifications necessary to take the physical therapist licensing examination in the state in which they propose to practice physical therapy are eligible to seek a Physical Therapist Green Card.

To be eligible to apply for the Physical Therapist Schedule A Green Card, the foreign national PT must have, among other things:

* A bachelor's or master's degree in physical therapy or the equivalent (the minimum degree requirement is dependent on the state and/or specific position)

* A permanent license to practice in the state of intended employment, or a letter or statement, signed by an authorized state physical therapy licensing official, stating that he or she is qualified to take that state's written licensing examination for foreign physical therapists; and

* A job offer from U.S employer.

Foreign national physical therapists who would like to obtain a Green Card through "Schedule A".

Green Card must also obtain a Visa Screen issued by commission of Graduates of  Foreign Nursing schools (CGFNS), after completing a screening program that would include:

* An assessment of his or her education to ensure that it is comparable to that of a US graduate in the same profession;
* A verification that all professional health care licenses that he or she ever held are valid and without restrictions; and
* An English language proficiency examination

The Visa Screen certificate, however, will only be required to be submitted at the time of foreign national Physical Therapist's immigrant visa interview, if he/she is outside the US or with his or her application for Adjustment of Status, if he or she is applying from within the US, but not along with the immigrant visa petition.

(Above detailed information were obtained from Visa Pro website.)

Current state of employment of Physical Therapist in Manila.

Aguirre said a licensed PT gets a starting monthly pay of about P8,000 a month for a six-month job contract, and if given a chance to be on provisional employment of less than a year, the pay is about P10,000.

And should employment last more than a year and onward, the pay goes up to about P16,000 per month.

In the US, the going rate for PT is about US$35/per hour (starting rate), or US$72,800 per annum, excluding overtime and holiday pay. Yearly income hike is based on years of experience.

Leading schools for Physical Therapy.

I asked Aguirre as to what school he graduated from for his PT degree but he declined to answer.

But he said: In fairness to others, I can only name the leading schools and these are the University of Santo Thomas, University of the Philippines and Pamantasan ng Maynila.

No comments:

Post a Comment