TYPES OF WORK VISAS FOR NURSES

There are several types of work visas that are available for nurses who wish to work in the United States:

 

    • H-1B Visa: This visa is available for nurses who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and are seeking temporary employment in the U.S. The H-1B visa is typically valid for up to three years and can be extended for an additional three years.

    • TN Visa: This visa is available for nurses who are citizens of Canada or Mexico and have a job offer from a U.S. employer. The TN visa is valid for up to three years and can be extended for an additional three years.

    • EB-3 Visa: This visa is available for nurses who have at least a three-year diploma or bachelor’s degree in nursing and have a job offer from a U.S. employer. The EB-3 visa is a permanent residency visa, but the application process can take several years.

    • O Visa: This visa is available for nurses who have extraordinary ability in the field of nursing, as demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. The O visa is valid for up to three years and can be extended in one-year increments.

    • J-1 Visa: This visa is available for nurses who participate in a cultural exchange program, such as the Exchange Visitor Program. The J-1 visa is valid for up to 18 months, but nurses may be required to return to their home country for at least two years after the program ends.

The EB-3 visa process for international nurses is generally the same as for other workers in the EB-3 category, with some additional requirements specific to nursing. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Employer sponsorship: To be eligible for an EB-3 visa, international nurses must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor them. The employer must obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. nurses available for the job.
  2. Nursing credentials evaluation: In addition to the labor certification, international nurses must have their nursing credentials evaluated by a designated credentialing agency. The evaluation must demonstrate that the nurse’s education and experience meet the U.S. standards for nursing practice.
  3. Form I-140: Once the labor certification and nursing credentials evaluation are complete, the employer can file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with the USCIS. This form establishes that the nurse meets the qualifications for the job and that the employer is financially able to pay the nurse.
  4. Visa availability: The availability of EB-3 visas for nurses depends on the nurse’s country of origin. The U.S. Department of State publishes a monthly visa bulletin that shows the current availability of visas for each country and category of worker.
  5. Form DS-260: If a visa is available, the nurse can apply for an immigrant visa by submitting Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application, to the National Visa Center.
  6. English proficiency: International nurses must demonstrate proficiency in English by passing an approved English language test.
  7. Consular interview: The NVC will schedule a consular interview for the nurse at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, the consular officer will verify that the nurse meets the qualifications for the job, has the necessary nursing credentials, and is proficient in English.
  8. Visa issuance: If the consular officer approves the visa, the nurse can enter the United States and begin working for the sponsoring employer. The nurse can also apply for a green card to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.