Are foreign physicians eligible for expedited citizenship through the MAVNI enlistment program?
The answer is that many physicians are eligible. If you are wondering what the MAVNI program is all about, please read my post about entitled "Expedited Citizenship through MAVNI." That post also sets forth some basic criteria to enlist through the program.
The MAVNI program presents a rare and wonderful opportunity for expedited citizenship, bypassing the entire green card process. J-1 physicians, who are usually subject to a two year home residence requirement, need not worry about obtaining a J-1 waiver or fulfilling the two year requirement!
Most physicians are in J, H, and even O visa status. As such, they are in a proper non-immigrant category according to the MAVNI program criteria. The physician must also have a U.S. medical license. This license requirement could pose a potential stumbling block for foreign physicians in J-1 status, and a J-1 physician interested in the MAVNI program should be aware of state licensure rules. Take the example of a foreign physician completing his or her graduate medical education in Tennessee. The physician is interested in MAVNI and wants to enlist from J-1 status to directly acquire citizenship. The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners will not approve an applicant's license while in J-1 status. There is an arrangement between USCIS and the Tennessee Board to resolve this issue in the H-1B context (see my post entitled "J-1 Physician Licensing Issues in Tennessee," and it is possible that something similar could be arranged for the MAVNI program. It is better to know early of any such stumbling blocks to acquire licensure.
It is also important to note that the Army is looking to fill medical specialties where they are experiencing shortages. In the past, the Army has recruited the following specialties (many of which are doctor positions):
*Regular Army (Active Duty): General Dentists, Oral Surgeons, Comprehensive Dentists, Pediatricians, Psychiatrists, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Nuclear Science Officers, Entomologists, Licensed Clinical Social Work Officers, Licensed Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Anesthesia
*Army Reserve: General Dentists, Comprehensive Dentists, Prosthodontists, Oral Surgeons, Preventive Medicine, Urology, Anesthesiologists, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngologists (ENT), Psychiatry, Family Physicians, General Surgeons, Thoracic Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons, Emergency Medicine, Entomologists, Clinical Psychologists, Physician Assistants, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
If your medical specialty is not listed above, it is still a very good idea to contact the Army to see if they would be interested in your area of practice. Additionally, even if the physician encounters licensure problems or practices outside of the recruited medical specialties, the physician may still qualify for the MAVNI program through proficiency in one of the Army's "44 strategic languages."
The physician applicant may choose to enlist for three years of active duty or six years in the Selected Reserve. He or she would then contract to serve as an officer and doctor in the Army during his or her service. Please note, however, that the solider must serve honorably for at least five years, or USCIS can move to revoke the solider's citizenship. See Section 239(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2014 17:03:07 GMT -6 by adamcohen