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Chat For Nurses: H-1C's, TN's and Permanent Residence, with Carl Shusterman, Esq.Jennifer Wipf: Welcome to our chat for Nurses: H-1C's, TN's and Permanent Residence. Our host tonight is Carl Shusterman, leading immigration attorney, and your guide to this site, Jennifer Wipf, will moderate.
Carl Shusterman: Carl Shusterman: Good evening all :)
Jennifer Wipf: Please remember that all questions and answers are of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. :)
Question #1: Who's eligible for H1C Visa?
Carl Shusterman: To be qualified for an H-1C visa, an RN must be petitioned by a hospital with an approved attestation (more about this later) and have a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and:
#1 have a valid, unrestricted license as a nurse in the state where s/he will be employed.
The State must verify that any foreign licenses are authentic and unencumbered;
#2 the nurse has passed the NCLEX (state board examination) and;
#2 - Registered nurses.
That is why it is easier and less expensive for physical therapists and nurses to
obtain green cards, than it is for anyone else applying through their employment.
Therefore, the best strategy is to wait a minimum of 60 days after you receive TN status before having an I-140 submitted on your behalf.
If you have the I-140 filed sooner than 60 days, you risk having INS determine
that you misrepresented your original intention to return to Canada (or Mexico). However,
given the long processing times that prevail in all INS service centers, with the
exception of the Vermont service center, it is also a risk if you file an I-140 months
after receiving your one year TN status.
Make sure to indicate on your TN extension application that a visa petition has been filed on your behalf.
The mere submission of your application for an extension of your TN status buys you an additional 240 days of work authorization. Hopefully, your I-140 will be approved during this period and/or your TN extension will be approved.
However, if worst comes to worst, Section 245k of the Immigration Law allows you
to adjust status in an employment based category, as long as you have not been out of
status, for more than 180 days.
Question #12: What is the best way for a nurse to file, through AOS or consular process?
Carl Shusterman: Whether to adjust status in the
United States or to consular process depends on a number of factors.
However, in general, I would advise nurses to adjust their status in the United States unless their case is squeaky clean :)
If anything could go wrong, it probably will, and it's a great comfort for most nurses to have their attorney sitting next to them during the interview.
Our firm has obtained green cards for over 5,000 RNs :) during the past 18
years, mostly by adjustment of status. I believe that most of my clients would agree
with me that this is the better way to obtain permanent residence.
Question #13: What about nurses who will be entering for the 1st time on their green card? How do I take the NCLEX if I'm not in the US?
Carl Shusterman: Most of our nurses who consular process, do so because they are not in the United States. If the nurse has passed the CGFNS exam, she may be petitioned by a US employer.
At her immigrant visa interview abroad, she presents her VisaScreen certificate. Only when she arrives in the United States as a permanent resident does she take the NCLEX examination. Prior to passing the NCLEX, the nurse may work using an interim permit.
What is the VisaScreen certificate?
Although nurses who received their education in English in the US, Canada, Great
Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa are exempt from the English
requirement, no foreign-born nurses are exempt from the credentialing requirements, even
if they were educated in the United States.
Question #15: I am in US now on H-4. Where and how to obtain VisaScreen certificate and is this certificate enough for applying for permanent residence?
The VisaScreen application may be
obtained from the International Commission on Health Care Professions (ICHP). We link with
Click on ICHP's Visa Screen, then click on "How to Contact Us" and you
will find that you can request a VisaScreen application on line. :)
Carl Shusterman: Section 343 requires that the RN have a visa screen certificate before becoming a permanent resident of the United States, not that she has passed the NCLEX as a condition of entering the United States. Since the NCLEX examination is not given abroad, such a policy would prevent US Health Care providers from hiring nurses from abroad. For a list of over a dozen articles dealing with section 343 and its proper interpretation, see:
Carl Shusterman: Thank
you Jennifer, for inviting me. I am so used to fielding nurse questions from immigration
attorneys, across the US, that this chat has been a lot of fun for me. Now that the
AFL-CIO has called for a general amnesty for illegal immigrants, and an end to employer
sanctions, and a repeal of most of the 1996 law, I look forward to our March 6th chat on
Jennifer Wipf:Good night, Carl :)
Remember to follow-up with these popular and informative articles:
Immigration Advocacy compiled by your immigration guides at Born Abroad
Daily Immigration Headlines at Born Abroad
and Nursing at
Born Abroad, the most comprehensive web site on nursing.
� Peter and Jennifer Wipf 1999-2002. All rights reserved. No duplication without explicit written permission.
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