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If you’re a nurse who wants to go work in the United States, the H-1B Visa may now be an option. The H-1B Visa is a temporary worker visa designed for non-immigrant applicants in specialty occupations, including careers focussed on medicine. Because the standard required education for H-1B Visas is a post-secondary degree with at least four years of study in the specialty area, and registered nurses in the US instead needed an associate’s degree or a certificate of nursing, most nurses weren’t previously eligible.
Now, however, a recent policy memorandum shows that the USCIS is changing its requirements to be more in line with recent trends in the nursing industry, including employer’s preferences for more educated nurses. While not all nurses are eligible, those who work with specialized patient groups (including nurses in areas including but not limited to pediatrics, genetics, addictions, cardiovascular, critical care, and the emergency room) may now qualify. Some Advanced Practice Registered Nurses may also qualify.
It’s worth checking to find out if your area of expertise is on the list (or, if it’s not, whether it might still fit the requirements—not all possible eligible fields are listed in the memorandum).
If you qualify based on your occupation, there are still some additional requirements. An H-1B Visa applicant must prove that they have an employer-employee relationship established for when they arrive in the US. A valid employer-employee relationship means that the petitioning U.S. employer may hire, pay, fire, supervise or in some other way control the work of the proposed employee. The employer must also intend to pay the “actual or prevailing wage” for the relevant occupation in the area where the applicant would be employed; proof can be in the form of past pay stubs from the company or a letter from the company stating the intended pay once the applicant is employed.
To put it simply, you have to prove that you have a valid job opportunity and that you will be paid an appropriate wage based on the standards for that occupation in the region you’d be working in. There’s a cap on how many H-1B Visa application can be successful in any given year, but this new policy opens up the possibilities for nurses and is worth exploring.
The documentation and processes involved in successfully obtaining a U.S. work visa for a foreign beneficiary are complex and usually require legal expertise. At Visaplace, we have helped thousands individuals enter the U.S. with H-1B visas, and we can help you too! The first step towards a successful H-1B application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.
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