There are times when parts of the United States have a significant shortage of nurses. H-1C visas were created to encourage registered nurses from around the world to temporarily perform services when and where they are needed most.
The H-1C nonimmigrant category was created in 1999 because at the time there was a shortage of nurses. The demand for registered nurses has fluctuated over the years. Now, only 500 H-1C visas are granted annually.
If you are pursuing a registered nurse visa, the legal team at Peek Toland & Castañeda PLLC knows how important your help can be to people in need. If you are pursuing a visa, do not wait to get in touch with our Texas H-1C visa lawyers by calling (512) 474-4445. The assistance we provide has helped countless clients pursue their dreams in the United States.
How to Qualify for H-1C
With such a limited number of H-1C visas available, only the most qualified applicants will be accepted. To qualify, you must:
- Obtain an unrestricted nursing license in the same country where you received your nursing degree or you must have a nursing license in the United States.
- Be authorized to practice in the United States by the appropriate U.S. State Board of Nursing.
- Have successfully passed an examination given by the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools, or have an unrestricted license in the state where you wish to work.
- Have been eligible to practice as a registered nurse under the state laws where you wish to work immediately upon admission to the United States.
If you meet all of these requirements, you will still encounter many different difficulties in your search for an H-1C visa. But the benefits are far greater than the degree of work that is needed to succeed.
Only certain facilities can accept registered nurses through the H-1C nursing program. To be eligible, a hospital must be located in a health professional shortage area, have at least 190 acute care beds, be certified by the Department of Labor, have a Medicare population of no less than 35 percent, and have a Medicaid population of no less than 28 percent.
H-4 Visas for Spouses and Children
H-1C visas are only valid for three years. That is a long time to be a way from family members. For registered nurses who wish to travel with their spouse or child, there are H-4 visas available. The spouse and dependent minor will not be allowed to accept employment while staying in the United States, but they will have the option to attend school. Their visa will last as long as the H-1C visa, but no longer.
Staying Longer than Planned
In general, an H-1C visa cannot be extended. This means that nurses must return to their home country after three years of work. It is possible, however, to obtain sponsorship from hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care organizations, which can allow nurses to obtain work visas and green card status.
Getting a Nurse Green Card
Because there are so few H-1C visas available, many nurses apply directly for a nurse green card. Registered nurses can obtain a visa if they have a diploma, have an RN license or a full unrestricted license to practice in the state of intended employment or show evidence that they passed a RN licensing examination. It is advisable to discuss all of the visa and employment opportunities available with an experienced Austin H-1C attorney before making any decisions regarding working in the United States.
Skilled H-1C Visa Attorneys Ready to Help You
Through the help of the skilled Austin visa attorneys at Peek Toland & Castañeda PLLC, you can better understand how to pursue your rights and which legal option to pursue. Call (512) 474-4445 for a consultation on your rights and insight into how an H-1C visa can help your career.