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7-Step Immigration Guide for Registered Nurses

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on July 20, 2021

In seven steps, qualifying registered nurses can obtain a work visa or green card to enter the U.S. Registered nurses who wish to become legal immigrants in the U.S. will need to:

1. Earn the Necessary Credentials

The very first step to take when qualifying for a work visa is to obtain a college degree in nursing. Once individuals have earned their degrees, they should get a license abroad as registered nurses. 

2. Pass an English Exam

Registered nurses will need to get a VisaScreen certificate. To qualify for a VisaScreen certificate, the first step will be to take and pass an English exam. These exams include the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 

3. Pass the NCLEX Exam

After passing an English exam, RNs will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This will determine if it’s safe for an RN to begin practice.

4. Receive a Job Offer from an Employer in the U.S.

There are many jobs for RNs to take in the U.S. if they search for work. Once they receive a job offer from a potential employer, they will need to get an RN license in the state where they plan to work.

5. Get VisaScreen Certification

With all of the qualifications met, RNs can get a VisaScreen certificate, which must come from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)-approved credentialing organization. RNs must submit this certificate when seeking entry into the U.S., applying for adjustment of status, or extending their stay in the U.S.

6. Get Approved for an I-140 Visa Petition

To qualify for entry as a skilled worker in the U.S., RNs will also need to apply for an I-140 visa petition for alien workers.

7. Obtain an Immigrant Visa or Apply for Adjustment of Status

Once the priority date is current, RNs can get an immigrant visa abroad. If they’re legally in the U.S. already, they should apply for adjustment of status. When the interview process takes place, the immigrant’s spouses and children will also be interviewed and approved for immigrant visas along with the RN.

Taking all of these steps can help registered nurses abroad both live and practice in the U.S. legally.