Some categories of Health Care workers other than physicians like the nurses, physical therapists (physiotherapists), speech-language pathologists & audiologists, occupational therapists etc. do not require the mandatory “labor certification” which is needed in other employment categories to apply for work visa or work based green card. This is because of the fact that these jobs are in scarcity of professionals in the U.S. However a nurse or physical therapist or occupational therapist etc. can apply for a pre-certified by Department Of Labor (Schedule A & DOL regulations CFR 656.10) occupation visa or schedule A visa when a U.S. employer file an immigrant visa petition I-140 directly with the USCIS.
“Schedule A” green card is the usual way of entry of foreign nurses and physical therapists to enter the U.S. for employment. However depending on condition of job contract they may also get H1B visa (graduate degree or more in their field and have completed minimum 2 years of work experience), TN visa (mainly for physical therapists and nurses from Canada and Mexico), EB2 and EB3 visas.
Now let us discuss about Nurses and physical therapists in detail.
Nurses need to have:
A valid and full-fledged license to practice nursing in their country of origin.
He/she should have graduated from an accredited nursing college in English medium and in an accredited nursing program.
He/she should pass the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) exam for foreign nurses.
He/she should get certificate from Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) that she has passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
Has got a valid and unrestricted license in the US state where she/he intends for employment.
Physical therapists need to have:
He/she needs to have a 4 year bachelor degree in Physical therapy from a recognized university in his country.
He/she should have a valid and full-fledged license in his/her country of origin for registered practice of physical therapy.
He should certification of Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT).
He/she should pass the written licensing exam of the U.S. state where he/she intends to work.
Similarly occupational therapists should pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification test.
Even though it is fairly easy for nurses and physical therapists to get work visas and green cards, sometimes it can get difficult due to the erratic filling of forms and improper preparation of documents and lack of coordination between employee and employer. Gavlin & Associates, P.C., helps Nurses , Physical therapists and other health care professionals to submit their work visa or green card in a fool proof manner and provide better coordination of communication between you and your employer by representing you in the U.S.