Articles Posted in Nurses

The H-1B visa is a lottery visa that is reserved for individuals who seek to work in what is called a “specialty occupation” in the United States.

A specialty occupation exists if any of the following are satisfied:

a) the foreign worker either possesses a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent work experience for the particular position sought

b) that the degree requirement is common for the particular position within the industry, or that the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone possessing a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a relevant field for the position

c) that the employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position or

d) that the nature of the duties necessary to perform the position are so specialized and complex that performance of the duties is associated with attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher, or equivalent work experience.

Nurses in management positions, nurse practitioners, certain ICU high level nurses, and some nurses in research, may qualify for the H-1B visa.

General Requirements

  • The nurse must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher relating to their area of employment
  • The nurse must have a job offer from a U.S. employer to perform work in a specialty occupation (such as a nurse practitioner)
  • The H-1B visa is a lottery visa subject to a numerical cap. An applicant may only apply for an H-1B visa in April of each fiscal year
  • The nurse’s employer must be willing to pay the prevailing wage which is the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in the area of intended employment. The prevailing wage is determined based on the occupation and work location where the foreign worker will be employed
  • The employer must attest that they will pay the nurse at least the prevailing wage and also that the nurse will be working at a particular location

For more information about the H-1B visa please visit our website.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick forms part of a panel of distinguished immigration attorneys. During this panel you will hear all about immigration options for foreign nurses.

These options include the H-1B visa for highly educated nurses such as nurse practitioners, the TN Visa for citizens of Canada or Mexico, and finally EB-3 employment based green card processing.

For more information about these options please click here.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses immigration options for foreign nurses.

Overview: 

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.

Option 1:

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.

Option 2:

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.

Option 3:

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

For more information please contact us at jacob@h1b.biz.

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