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H-1C Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


What is H-1C work visa?

The H-1C work visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to enter into the U.S. to perform temporary services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Note: The Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created this category for registered nurses where the nonimmigrant meets the requirements of section 212(m)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and will perform services at a facility (as defined in section 212(m)(6) of the Act) for which the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Attorney General that an unexpired attestation is on file and in effect under section 212(m)(2) of the Act.

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Who is eligible for R-1 visa?

The NRDAA imposed three requirements on a foreign national seeking H-1C nonimmigrant status:

  • First, the foreign national must have obtained a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where the foreign national obtained nursing education, or the foreign national must have received nursing education in the U.S.
  • Second, the foreign national must have passed an appropriate examination (recognized in regulations promulgated in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services) or have a full and unrestricted license under state law to practice professional nursing in the state of intended employment
  • Finally, the foreign national must be fully qualified and eligible under the laws (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements which authorize the nurse to be employed) governing the place of intended employment to engage in the practice of professional nursing as a registered nurse immediately upon admission to the U.S. and be authorized under such laws to be employed by the facility

Note: The NRDAA does not specifically designate any particular examination as an 'appropriate examination' for the purpose of meeting the eligibility requirements for the H-1C classification. At present, the only 'appropriate examination' available for a prospective H-1C foreign national is the examination offered by the Commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). However, the Service may eventually recognize additional examinations for this purpose.

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