Nurses and Healthcare Worker Visas

Registered Nurses (RNs) & Healtchcare Workers US Visas-Immigrant and Non-immigrant Status

Healthcare workers who possess bachelor’s degrees may apply to work for a designated employer by seeking the H-1B visa if the employer requires a bachelor’s degree.  This applies to nurses (only where bachelor’s degrees are required), physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants and other job classifications where a bachelor’s degree is the norm. The employer may be required to provide evidence that other workers in the position possess a bachelor’s degree. The USCIS has issued specific guidelines for H-1B applications for nursing petitions. Foreign nurses who are employed in a Medically Underserved (HPSA) area may also qualify for an H-1C visa.

In addition, certain healthcare workers such as nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists may apply for permanent residency (green cards) without first obtaining Labor Certification. This permits such health care workers to become permanent residents faster and with less paper work. These healthcare workers may submit a green card petition for themselves and their family members upon receiving a job offer from a prospective employer so long as the a visa number is available. 

Registered Nurse is a pre-certified occupation and considered a Schedule A position for which no labor certification petition is required.  Nurses typically seek green cards under the EB-3 employment preference. 

For visa processing, foreign health care workers must first complete the educational requirement, pass the required examinations, comply with the state licensing requirements, and the necessary Certification.

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