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How to Move to the USA as a Veterinarian

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11 months ago

by Ciara McCabe

How to Move to the USA as a Veterinarian

Moving to a new country for work can be an exciting and challenging endeavour. For veterinarians looking to make the move to the United States, there are several important steps to consider. From obtaining the necessary qualifications and licenses to navigating the immigration process, we have everything you need to know to successfully relocate to the USA.

Firstly, veterinarians from outside the USA must ensure they meet the educational and professional requirements set by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and individual state licensing boards. The AVMA evaluates the educational programs of international veterinary schools through a process known as the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG). This involves submitting transcripts, curriculum details, and taking the required examinations. Fulfilling these requirements demonstrates that the veterinarian's education is equivalent to that of a U.S.-trained veterinarian.

1. The VISA process

After obtaining approval from the AVMA/ECFVG, the next step is to apply for a visa to legally work in the USA. The most common visa for veterinarians is the H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations. To qualify, veterinarians must have a job offer from a U.S. employer, possess a valid veterinary license, and meet the educational requirements.

2. Finding the right role

This is were we come in! Our USA specialist, Sinead, has a number of amazing opportunities available for vets throughout America and Canada. Sinead takes the stress out of your job search, by finding the most appropriate job options, arranging interviews and negotiating with hiring managers. And the best part - it’s completely free and confidential. Send Sinead your CV today for a quick chat about your USA prospects.

3. Book the flights!

Once the H-1B visa is approved and your job is secured, you can make arrangements to relocate to the USA. It is advisable to begin the visa application process well in advance, as the H-1B visa has an annual cap, and there may be delays in processing times.

5. Get to know the USA

In addition to the legal and licensing requirements, veterinarians should also consider the cultural and professional adjustments associated with working in a new country. Familiarising oneself with the veterinary practices, regulations, and standards in the USA is essential to providing high-quality care to animals and effectively communicating with colleagues and clients.

It can be beneficial to join professional organisations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and local veterinary associations to connect with fellow professionals and access valuable resources and continuing education opportunities.

Lastly, veterinarians should consider the financial implications of relocating to the USA. Researching the cost of living, salaries, and tax regulations will help in planning and budgeting for the transition. It is advisable to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional who specializes in international relocations to ensure compliance with tax laws and optimize financial arrangements. However many of our clients offer relocation packages and sign on bonuses.


Moving to the USA as a veterinarian requires careful planning, perseverance, and attention to detail. By fulfilling the necessary educational requirements, obtaining the appropriate licenses and visas, and preparing for the cultural and professional adjustments, veterinarians can successfully transition their careers to the USA. With dedication and a passion for providing excellent veterinary care, this journey can open up new opportunities for professional growth and personal fulfillment.​

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