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Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Old Mar 23rd 2021, 9:14 am
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Default Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Hi All,

I am a fully qualified Clinical psychologist in Ireland.


I have just had my qualifications assessment by the ECE in America and they have concluded that My doctorate is equivalent to the doctorates in clinical psychology in America. I am hoping to move to either Florida or Boston and I just wonder if others have experience of this and could tell me what is involved and what my chances of getting registration to practice/psychology license for those states are.

I have heard that some boards of psychology won’t accept any supervised experience carried out outside of the US and therefore fully qualified psychologists sometimes have to do low paid or unpaid internships to get a license- is that true?


Any assistance you can provide would be much appreciated as I am a little confused and hoping to relocate to the United States this summer all going well.

Last edited by rebecca259; Mar 23rd 2021 at 9:17 am.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Hi, welcome to BE.

Just checking, but are you a US citizen (or green card holder)? It's just useful to mention if so, so that people know if you don't need a visa and job offer/sponsorship to move, as that will make a huge difference.

Best of luck with the move.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 9:33 am
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Hi, welcome to BE.

Just checking, but are you a US citizen (or green card holder)? It's just useful to mention if so, so that people know if you don't need a visa and job offer/sponsorship to move, as that will make a huge difference.

Best of luck with the move.
Thank you so much for your reply- I am not a citizen and don’t have a green card (though I did have one as a baby- my family got it in the green card lottery in the early 90s- but I believe it is out of date/lapsed as I haven’t used it throughout my life).

My partner and I have highly specialised jobs- my partner’s employer is based in Boston so they may help us with visas/sponsorship. It’s something we need to look into once we know if I am employable as a clin psych over there.

thanks again
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by rebecca259 View Post
Thank you so much for your reply- I am not a citizen and don’t have a green card (though I did have one as a baby- my family got it in the green card lottery in the early 90s- but I believe it is out of date/lapsed as I haven’t used it throughout my life).

My partner and I have highly specialised jobs- my partner’s employer is based in Boston so they may help us with visas/sponsorship. It’s something we need to look into once we know if I am employable as a clin psych over there.

thanks again
Ah, ok. Summer isn't likely then in all honesty, so you might need to adjust your timing expectations, and do check that whatever visa your husband would get would allow you to work too - not all allow a spouse to.

Also, you say 'partner' but just checking, are you married? As you'll need to be if you want to go on a derivative visa. And you might need to formally renounce your green card, others will know more than me on that though.

There have definitely been threads in the past about psychologists working in the US, so a search of the forum should bring up some relevant info. Here's one to get you started - https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-...-state-856837/

Best of luck.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Thank you- we have a son due to finish primary school here in summer so would like to move by September the latest- would that be doable do you think?
we aren’t married but talked about it for years so might just go ahead with it now if it helps our visa situation - the romance! 😅
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by rebecca259 View Post
Thank you- we have a son due to finish primary school here in summer so would like to move by September the latest- would that be doable do you think?
we aren’t married but talked about it for years so might just go ahead with it now if it helps our visa situation - the romance! 😅
I'll get my hat.

I don't see how September is possible personally. I wish it was, but my own move to Boston which was supposed to happen in July/August has probably been scuppered due to the visa timescales. We were going to be moving on a L1 visa (company transfer visa) with my husband's company, which is usually the quickest and easiest way over and presumably the way you could have moved? However, because of Trump's ban on the L1 visa, which is due to expire at the end of this month, it means there will essentially be a year's worth of backlogged applications from people that haven't been able to apply, so our immigration lawyers are telling us that the usual timescales are out of the window. You'd be cutting it fine anyway without the backlog, but with that then in all honesty I don't think there's any chance, if you haven't even spoken to your husband's company or an immigration lawyer yet.

There are other visa routes, but most take longer anyway. But all you could do is speak to your husband's company asap (like, today!), get them to get an immigration lawyer on the case and you may just get lucky. I'd also say that if your son is at the end of Year 6 then it won't make much difference to him if you move in the summer or not, as presumably he'd be moving on the US educational system? Our move had to happen in the summer as our children were going to be going to The British School in Boston and are at much more critical stages in their education, so we don't have the luxury of going next year unfortunately.

Best of luck, I hope you can find a way to make it work.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

You are doing this back to front, if your Partners employer is in Boston how does Florida come into this?
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

My partner can work remotely and Florida is our desired destination, second to that is Boston. We are hoping his employer might help with visas.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Who would they go to the time and trouble of sponsoring somebody to move to the US when they work remotely?
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by rebecca259 View Post

My partner and I have highly specialised jobs- my partner’s employer is based in Boston so they may help us with visas/sponsorship. It’s something we need to look into once we know if I am employable as a clin psych over there.

thanks again
If you haven't even spoken to your partner's employer about the possibility of him being transferred to one of their US offices, I see no hope whatsoever of you being in the US by the fall. While he is speaking to them, you can look up the official organizations that govern your job field in the US and talk to them about your qualifications and job possibilities. And start planning a wedding, of course! Do note that if your OH was able to secure a transfer, you would not be able to apply for permission to work until after arriving in the US as his derivative, so that would mean it would be four to six months before you received that permission.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Who would they go to the time and trouble of sponsoring somebody to move to the US when they work remotely?
You are just so helpful. Thank you so much for contributing to this thread.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by rebecca259 View Post
You are just so helpful. Thank you so much for contributing to this thread.
It's a fair point though. It's going to cost them a small fortune to transfer him (or a large fortune if they offer any kind of expat package), and it's an awful lot of hassle for them to do so. So if he can work from anywhere, will they go through that for him, and would a visa application be approved if he doesn't actually need to be in the US and can work anywhere?

I'd say that needs to be your first step, talk to them to his company to see if they're prepared to apply for his visa etc, and then take it from there.

Best of luck.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
If you haven't even spoken to your partner's employer about the possibility of him being transferred to one of their US offices, I see no hope whatsoever of you being in the US by the fall. While he is speaking to them, you can look up the official organizations that govern your job field in the US and talk to them about your qualifications and job possibilities. And start planning a wedding, of course! Do note that if your OH was able to secure a transfer, you would not be able to apply for permission to work until after arriving in the US as his derivative, so that would mean it would be four to six months before you received that permission.
Thank you - some of the jobs I have applied to have said they can help me with a visa so I might be able to apply separately and hopefully work sooner than that. We are seeking advise from an immigration lawyer now so hopefully we will get some clarity on our position. Thank you for your advice- I am speaking with the APA and Florida’s and Boston’s psychology boards so hopefully we can work it out. Thanks again.
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by rebecca259 View Post
Thank you - some of the jobs I have applied to have said they can help me with a visa so I might be able to apply separately and hopefully work sooner than that. We are seeking advise from an immigration lawyer now so hopefully we will get some clarity on our position. Thank you for your advice- I am speaking with the APA and Florida’s and Boston’s psychology boards so hopefully we can work it out. Thanks again.

Do note that if you obtain a job, it would be unlikely that he could "piggyback" on the visa that you would be granted, whereas if his current employer transferred him you could obtain a derivative visa.So if his employer didn't offer the transfer, that would mean you would each need to be sponsored for a job -- making the process twice as difficult!
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Old Mar 23rd 2021, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Irish clinical psychologist relocating to America

Originally Posted by rebecca259 View Post
Thank you - some of the jobs I have applied to have said they can help me with a visa so I might be able to apply separately and hopefully work sooner than that.
It would still be worth exploring your husband's visa options, partly because it's likely to be much quicker and easier than yours if he can do a company transfer, and also because if you did move over on a visa such as a H1-B, it would mean your husband couldn't work. So if he can get a L1 then that would mean you can both work.

Good luck!
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