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How To Sponsor a Work Visa for Nurses

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on December 22, 2021

Registered Nurses (RNs) who want to work and live in the U.S. may be able to enroll in a nurse sponsorship program with staffing services. Some staffing companies may petition or sponsor foreign RNs who are either living abroad or in the U.S., enabling them to gain full-time and permanent employment at American hospitals.

How an RN Sponsorship Program Works

Foreign RNs may be able to obtain an immigrant work visa if a staffing agency petitions them. This typically entails a couple of key steps.

First, the staffing agency¬†would file Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If USCIS approves this document and the RN’s visa priority date is current, the RN can then apply for the work visa through the National Visa Center (NVC) with the American Embassy located in the RN’s current country of residence.¬†

If an RN is currently in the U.S. and wants to adjust to permanent resident status or obtain a green card, a staffing agency may petition to achieve either of these objectives. The agency would first file I-140 with USCIS. If the RN’s visa priority date is current, the agency may then simultaneously apply to adjust the RN’s status by filing Form I-1485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Requirements for Nurse Work Visa Sponsorships

Before the staffing agency can file I-140, foreign RNs require at least one of the following:

  • A U.S. State Registered Nurse License
  • A Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certificate
  • An NCLEX Pass Result Letter or NCLEX Pass Report

The RN must also submit additional documentation to help prepare I-140 for filing with USCIS. The staffing agency will inform the RN of these required documents after agreeing to sponsor him or her.

Assistance with Preparing Documents and Navigating the Petition Process

Staffing agencies should provide plenty of guidance if they choose to petition an RN. They’ll detail the documents required and help prepare forms to submit them to USCIS and other organizations as needed.

For additional help with understanding the petition process, or if issues occur, RNs can speak with a nurse visa lawyer to discuss their needs. 

By taking the right steps and enrolling in a sponsorship program, foreign RNs may have the chance to work and live in the U.S.