VisaScreen and Licensing Requirements
Registered nurses and allied healthcare workers need to have a valid VisaScreen Certificate to qualify for a temporary working visa or for permanent residence in the United States.
Our law firm represents over 100 hospitals and related employers across the U.S. in obtaining H-1B visas and green cards for health care workers.
Registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists, medical technologists, dietitians, speech language pathologists and physician’s assistants all need to obtain VisaScreen Certificates in order to obtain temporary working visas or permanent residence in the U.S. A VisaScreen Certificate means that the healthcare worker’s education and his/her English language skills have been evaluated and found acceptable.
Certificates are issued by the following organizations: CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools), FCCPT (Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy) and NBCOT (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy ). English Examinations are administered by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) and the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS).
In addition, each state has it’s own licensing requirements. While registered nurses can take the NCLEX licensing examination abroad, most foreign-born healthcare professionals must come to the U.S. in order to take the required licensing examinations.
We hope that the links below help you to better understand this process.
- How Do I Apply for Health Care Worker (VisaScreen) Certification? (USCIS)
- Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
- VisaScreen – Visa Credentials Assessment (CGFNS)
- VisaScreen Renewal (CGFNS)
- Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT)
- National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
- Regulation Granting Additional Time for Certain TN Workers to Obtain VisaScreen (7-22-04)
- USCIS Memorandum on Final Regulations on Certification for Health Care Workers (9-22-03)
- Regulations on Certification (“VisaScreen”) of Health Care Workers (7-25-03)
- Health Care Workers (“VisaScreen”) Regulation FAQ
- INS Memo re: RNs Who Are Unable to Obtain Social Security Cards (12-20-02)