Temporary options for employer sponsorship of foreign nurses to work in the U.S. are quite limited. Nurses may be eligible for H1B temporary professional worker status (in limited circumstances). Nurses who are Canadian and Mexican nationals may enter the U.S. on TN status. Previously available categories for nurses, H1A and H1C, have expired and are no longer available.
The requirements are different for each available category. Requirements common to all are:
- Certification (visa screen) by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) or equivalent credentialing agency verifying the following
- Education, experience, training, and license comparable to those of U.S. nurses
- Authentication of education, work, and license, that meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements
- Satisfactory results on licensing exams (NCLEX-RN) and/or required (CGFNS) certification, depending on state requirement in the area of intended employment
- Satisfactory fulfillment of English language requirement, generally by testing or graduating from a school in a specified list of English-speaking countries
Employers may also petition the USCIS for the nurse’s permanent residence in the U.S. Positions for registered nurses (RNs) fall under Schedule A, precertification for shortage occupations. This means that employers sponsoring green card cases for nurses are not required to obtain a PERM labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.
In addition to meeting the above requirements, applicants must have:
- Job offer from U.S. employer
- Prevailing wage determination made by the employer with the U.S. Department of Labor
- Notice posted by the employer at the place of intended employment
- Immigrant petition along with ETA 9089 in duplicate filed with USCIS
- Either adjustment of status or consular processing for an immigrant visa, depending upon whether the nurse is in the U.S. or abroad
How We Can Help You
- The Murthy Law Firm has wide experience in the successful filing of petitions for nurses with the USCIS.
- We assistance and advice to nurses and the employers in determining whether the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for immigrant or nonimmigrant options.
- We represent employers and nurses in connection with obtaining nonimmigrant status as well as gaining permanent residency.