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Visas for Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists

Although most registered nurses do not qualify for temporary working visas, the following visa options may be available:

1. Trade NAFTA Work Permits (TN Status) For Canadian and Mexican Citizens Only

U.S. employers may apply for registered nurses who are citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in temporary TN status.

For requirements relating to TN visas, click here.

2. H-1B Specialty Occupation Status

For specific requirements relating to the H-1B visa, click here

The minimum entry requirement for most staff RN jobs is a two-year associate degree. As the H-1B position requires the equivalent to a four-year bachelors degree, H-1B category does not work well for most health care facilities seeking to employ RN. However, where a facility can justify that a four-year degree (or equivalent) is the minimum entry requirement for a job, such an RN may be granted an H-1B visa.

Registered nurses need to be in possession of a VisaScreen certificate to obtain H-1B status.

Permanent Residence for Nurses

As it is difficult for a registered nurse to be eligible for an H-1B visa, most registered nurses can work in the US only if an employer petitions them for Permanent Residence. The time that it takes for the immigrant visa for a registered nurse to be approved depends greatly on the nationality of the applicant. Currently, it takes a minimum of 4 years. It takes much longer for nationals of India and China.

The employer is not required to file a PERM/Labor Certification with the Department of Labor before filing the immigrant visa petition.

Moreover, nurses must also possess a Visa Screen from the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and/or the International Consultants of Delaware (ICD). Without the Visa Screen, the green card process cannot be completed.

Temporary Visas for Physical Therapists

Physical therapist H-1B applications are exactly the same as any other H1B application, except a physical therapist must also have a license in the state of employment.

Permanent Residence for Physical Therapists

Like nurses, the employer is not required to file a PERM/Labor Certification with the Department of Labor before filing the immigrant visa petition.

Moreover, physical therapists must also possess a Visa Screen from the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and/or the International Consultants of Delaware (ICD). Without the Visa Screen, the green card process cannot be completed.

Both nurses and physical therapists can work at a facility anywhere in the US. They do not have to work in a shortage location.

If you are a registered nurse/physical therapists or an employer/hospital looking to hire one, contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal to see how we can help you obtain a work visa.





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