NEW VISA SCREEN REQUIREMENTS FOR NURSES AND OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Visa screen certificates verify the following:
1) the alien’s education, training, license and experience are the equivalent to those of U.S. healthcare workers;
2) the alien has competence in oral and written English; and
3) if the majority of states licensing the profession in which the alien intends to work recognize a test predicting an applicant’s success on the profession’s licensing exam, the alien has passed such test.
Currently, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Inc (NBCOT) are authorized to issue visa screen certificates.
Previously, the visa screen requirement had been applied only to registered nurses and occupational therapists, and the requirement was waived for healthcare workers applying for nonimmigrant visas. The INS proposed rule issued on October 11, 2002, broadened the visa screen requirement, applying it to additional categories of healthcare workers.
When applying for adjustment to permanent residency, registered nurses and other healthcare workers, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, medical technologists (also called clinical laboratory scientists), medical technicians (also called clinical laboratory technicians) and physician assistants must submit the Visa Screen certificate, in order to obtain their greencard.
All healthcare workers applying for nonimmigrant visas must now have a Visa Screen certificate. Additionally, the proposed rule applied the requirement to healthcare workers who already have a full and unrestricted state license. It also applied the requirement to foreign healthcare workers who have received their training in the United States.