Looking for an immigration lawyer who specializes in obtaining American work visas for foreign Veterinarians and Veterinary Interns?

Foreign veterinarians are often offered jobs or internships by American companies who know nothing about applying for the E-3 Visa, TN Visa, H1B Visa or H1B1 temporary nonimmigrant work visa.

Veterinarians are in high demand in many parts of America and there are not enough American veterinarians to fill the available positions.

We represent many veterinary animal hospitals throughout America who wish to hire talented foreign veterinarians by successfully obtaining the following visas:

  • H-1B Work Visa (Veterinarians from all countries);
  • TN Work Visa (Veterinarians and Veterinary Interns from Mexico & Canada);
  • E-3 Work Visa (Veterinarians and Veterinary Interns from Australia); or,
  • H1B1 Work Visa (Veterinarians and Veterinary Interns from Singapore & Chile).

The Law Offices of Danielle Nelisse provides personalized attention to Veterinarians and  Veterinary Interns  by individually analyzing their situation and presenting an effective plan of action for solving any problems.  We have many years of experience getting Veterinary Intern salaries quickly approved by the Dept. of Labor in time for the veterinary internship start date.



client testimonial attorney veterinarian work visa“A big, big thanks for your help. I’m sure without your help I wouldn’t have been able to get my H1B visa. You are wonderful to work with, and God bless you, your team, and your family!”

Dr. VCM, DVM, 2010, Florida (veterinarian originally from Romania)


“I want to thank you for getting my H1b visa. My H-1B visa appointment was cool. The Consulate Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver, Canada just asked me about the animal hospital I am going to work for and my monthly salary.  She checked the I-129 package and the I-797 Approval Notice you gave me and my state license to practice veterinary medicine in the USA. Everything was fine and I got my H1b visa stamp in my passport within 2 days. Thanks again,”

Dr. S. N. (India) 2014, working as a veterinarian legally in the State of Washington


Veterinarians Need Work Visa

We will conduct a free case evaluation for each Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern by completing the steps below:

• Analyze the facts of your case thoroughly;

• Explain all the work visa options for which the Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern may be eligible; and,

• Recommend the best ways for Veterinarians or Veterinary Intern to obtain the authority to work in the USA.

If hired, we will:

• Complete and submit the Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern’s work visa applications properly;

• Stay current on the new work visa laws that affect Veterinarians;

• Avoid delays and problems with the work visa case whenever possible;

• Discuss the status of the work visa case frequently;

• Speak for you before the Dept. of Homeland Security; and,

• Do everything in our power to ensure that your work visa gets approved.


IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY for veterinarianHow Does a Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern Get an American State License?

Each of the 50 states of the United States has different rules on obtaining a license to practice veterinary medicine. For example, for the veterinary licensing rules for the state of California, check the website of the California Veterinary Medical Board.

A foreign Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern can google the name of the state and the words “veterinary license” to find the website of the licensing agency for any state they seek to be employed.  Please keep in mind that many state licensing procedures are lengthy and it can take a minimum of 4-5 months to obtain an American state license to practice veterinary medicine.

Do You Help Veterinarians Get Jobs or Obtain a State License?

We specialize in obtaining work visas for Veterinarians and Veterinary Interns to enter the U.S. and work, but we do not specialize in finding jobs or getting a state license to practice veterinary medicine.

If an American Employer Offers Me a Job or a Veterinary Internship or Veterinary Resident Match, Should I Assume That Means They  Are Prepared to Submit a Work Visa Application for Me?

No, American employers do not usually ask whether you need a work visa prior to offering you a job or internship match because in certain circumstances it can be considered discrimination on the basis of national origin.

Often the American employer will assume you are already authorized to work when they offer you the position, and may not know anything about the process or fees regarding applying for a work visa.  Also, many American animal hospitals do not know that they may be required (by law) to pay a portion of the government fees for the H-1B visa and that they cannot let the veterinarian pay the fee for them.


There is a limit to the number of new H1B petitions that the USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) grants each year, called the “H-1B Cap.” Only the U.S. Congress has the power to raise the number of H1B visas that are issued. This limit is currently set at 85,000 approvals of new H-1B visas per year. This limit does not apply to applications for H1B visa transfers or extensions, only to new H1B applications.

Obtaining an approved H1B Petition for a Veterinarian can be challenging, and requires special knowledge about DVM degrees, Specialist Veterinarians and license to practice veterinary medicine.

Every year, the USCIS accepts new H-1B visa applications from private animal hospitals in March for first time H-1B foreign veterinarians to have the chance to be selected in a lottery so that they can begin work on October 1 of the same year.

To start the H1B visa process, the employer has the case evaluated by an immigration attorney, and then arranges to submit the veterinarian’s name into the H1B visa lottery in March.

If the H1B is chosen in the lottery, an H1B application, called an H1B Petition, must be filed by the private animal hospital (called the “Petitioner”) requesting permission for the foreign Veterinarian to work temporarily in the United States. This H1B Petition must be approved by the USCIS (United States Citizenship Immigration Services) before the H1B Veterinarian can start working in the United States.

The H1B visa is employer specific and the job position can be part time or full time. The Veterinarian may only work for the animal hospital that was listed on the H1B petition. Transfers of H1B status are possible, but the new employer would need to file a new H1B Petition. If a veterinarian wants to work for more than one animal hospital at the same time, each employer must file separate H1B Petitions.

The H1B work visa is initially approved for three years. An extension of the H1B work visa for an additional three year term is possible. A foreign veterinarian cannot stay beyond the six year period in H1B visa status unless steps have been to begin the process of permanent residency (green card sponsorship initiated by the private animal hospital).

A spouse and the children of an H1B visa Veterinarian may be granted H4 status.

The H1B visa is the only work visa for Veterinarians and Veterinary Interns that requires the American employer pay a portion of the government fees.



TN visa status is a special non-immigration status unique to citizens of Canada and Mexico issued for 3 years at a time. TN status was created by virtue of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  It allows Canadian and Mexican citizens the opportunity to work in the United States in certain professional occupations, such as Veterinarian, Specialist Veterinarian or Veterinarian Pathologist.

There are no numerical quotas for the TN Work Visa . The TN status may be renewed indefinitely, but that has recently been questioned because the TN visa is a “single intent” nonimmigrant visa. Therefore, TN visa holders are not supposed to be applying for their green card while in TN visa status and are required to show continuous residence (bank statements, driver’s license, tax returns) in their home country during the time they are working in the U.S.

The spouse and dependent children of a TN Visa Veterinarian can be admitted into the United States in TD status, but are not allowed work permits of their own.


American employers can apply for an 18 month H1B1 visa for professional employees who are citizens of Chile or Singapore. The H1B1 visa application requires that the employer obtain an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA). Certain professionals  who are citizens of Chile or Singapore may enter the USA temporarily to work for 18 months at a time if they work in what is called a “specialty occupation.” The H1b1 visa is normally issued at a U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy (a consulate is just a small embassy) in Chile or Singapore.

The Chile & Singapore Free Trade Agreement requires that the USCIS reserve 6,800 H1B visas for eligible citizens of Chile and Singapore.  H4 dependents (spouses and children) are not counted toward this annual limit, nor are H1B1 extension applications. We do not expect that the annual limit of H1b1 visas will be reached (at least so far it has never been reached).



The E-3 visa is similar in many respects to the H-1B1 and TN visas. Professionals such as veterinarians are routinely approved to work in the United States in E-3 visa status at the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy in Australia (also sometimes in other countries).

Important differences include the fact that spouses of E-3 visa holders may obtain a work permit after arriving in the United States to work for any employer, and the E-3 visa is renewable in 2 year increments.

Australian citizens applying for an E-3 work visa are not subject to the 65,000 annual visa limit for H-1B Visas.  Although there is a separate annual quota of 10,500 E-3 visas, this is believed to be much more generous to Australians than requiring them to compete with all other nations for H-1B visas, and thus far the annual quota has not been reached.


What Does a Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern Need in Order to Submit Any Work Visa Application?

We can assist a foreign Veterinarian or Veterinary Intern in obtaining a work visa to enter and work in the U.S. only after they have first:

  • Received a job offer for a veterinary job or an veterinary internship offer from an American company; and in SOME cases only after they also have;
  • Obtained an American State License to practice veterinary medicine in the State that the animal hospital is located.

Sorry, in general Veterinary Technicians are not eligible for a professional work visa because American employers do not normally require a four year college degree.

danielle nelisseCall Danielle Nelisse at (619) 235-8811 in  San Diego, California if you want to discuss legal immigration representation for your veterinary work visa case – there is no charge for a brief telephone call or email questions.

When you call the office, just ask to speak to Danielle Nelisse.

Email or call (619) 235-8811 or (877) 884-6644 to ask about your case at no charge.