From Russia, With Love


The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a growing need for registered nurses due to an aging population and technological advances that emphasize preventive health care. In fact, health care is one of the two industry sectors expected to have the largest employment growth, adding 4 million jobs between 2008 and 2018.* To fill this need, employers will have to hire more foreign nurses and health care professionals. There are a variety of nonimmigrant and immigrant visa options for foreign nurses. Let’s look at them.

Nonimmigrant or Temporary Work Visas for Nurses

Before either an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa can be issued to a foreign nurse, a VisaScreen certificate must be granted by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). This certificate signifies that the applicant’s education, training, license and experience are the equivalent of a U.S. nurse of the same type; the appropriate license is unrestricted; and the applicant is fluent in English. Certain nurses are exempt from the equivalency evaluation and English language proficiency testing if their degree is from Australia, Canada (English-speaking territories only), Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, or the United States. The CGFNS, the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) and the Educational Testing Service Test of English as a Foreign Language administer the VisaScreen and English language tests respectively.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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