In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses immigration options for foreign nurses.
At the moment it is quite difficult for foreign nurses to immigrate to the United States because of how strict immigration officials are being in adjudicating these petitions.
While there are rigorous requirements that must be proven to immigrate to the United States, the demand for nurses in the United States continues to grow. Therefore, there is a still a need for foreign nurses to come and work in the United States.
The good news is that the immigration backlog for nurses is decreasing. The time that a nurse must wait to work in the United States depends on the nurse’s country of nationality.
So, how can a nurse get a visa to come to the United States?
There are generally two ways that a foreign nurse can come and work in the United States.
Green Card: A nurse may come to work in the United States if their employer files a petition on their behalf specifically on Form I-140 Immigration Petition for Alien Worker. Once the I-140 is approved, the nurse may apply for an immigrant visa under the EB-3 category for nurses once the I-140 priority date becomes current on the visa bulletin. This process culminates in an interview at the U.S. Consulate for the immigrant visa.
H-1B:A foreign nurse who has a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree, plus five years working experience, and is seeking to work in a specialty occupation (for example as managers or nurse practitioners) may apply for the H-1B work visa.
TN Visa: A foreign nurse from Canada or Mexico may apply for a TN visa.
Most nurses come to the United States by being petitioned for a green card directly by their employer.
What is required for this option?
The foreign nurse must have a visa screen which is an evaluation of educational equivalency by the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools)
The foreign nurse must establish English proficiency by passing either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) www.toefl.com or International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic version) www.ielts.org.
The foreign nurse must also pass the state licensing exam and the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination)
The foreign nurse must have a job offer and
The employer must be willing to sponsor the foreign nurse for permanent residency
The employer must be willing to pay the prevailing wage of the location where the foreign nurse will be working
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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses what you can do if your TN visa is denied.
What is a TN Visa?
First, let’s discuss what a TN Visa is, who qualifies, and what the process is like to apply.
The TN Visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
What are the requirements?
In order to be eligible to apply for a TN visa, the applicant must:
Be a Citizen of Canada or Mexico
Apply to work in a profession authorized by NAFTA.For a complete list of authorized professions click here.
Fill an approved position under NAFTA regulations
Work in a pre-arranged full-time or part-time job, for a U.S. employer
Have the qualifications required for the position sought.
Educational requirement: The employer must submit proof that the applicant meets the minimum education requirements or has the alternative credentials as required by NAFTA. Evidence of professional qualifications may include copies of degrees, certificates, diplomas, professional licenses, or membership in a professional organization. Degrees, diplomas, and certificates from an educational institution outside of the U.S. must be accompanied by an evaluation by a credential evaluation service specializing in evaluating foreign academic credentials.
Work Experience Requirement: The applicant must provide evidence of his or her experience in the position sought (recommendation letters from former employers).
Provide proof of ties to your home country
Canadian citizens may apply for a TN visa at a U.S. port of entry providing the following supporting documentation:
Request for admission under TN status to Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. immigration officer;
Employment Letter – Evidence of professional employment;
Proof of professional qualifications, such as transcripts of grades, licenses, certificates, degrees, and/or records of previous employment;
Proof of ability to meet applicable license requirements;
Proof of Canadian citizenship- Canadian citizens may present a passport, as visas are not required, or they may provide secondary evidence, such as a birth certificate. However, Canadian citizens traveling to the United States from outside the Western Hemisphere are required to present a valid passport at the port-of-entry;