Our clients have always found it odd that a profession as important as nursing cannot qualify for an H-1B visa. H-1B visas are issued to specialty occupations, and indeed nursing is a specialized field. However, the legal definition of "Specialty Occupation" according to the Federal Regulations is a job position that requires the minimum of a 4 year bachelors degree. Educational requirements for registered nurses according to the U.S. Department of Labor Standards is a 2 year degree or diploma. And historically, this has caused the problem.
Our law firm, however, has successfully qualified nurses who hold a 4 year bachelors to qualify for H-1B visas. There are indeed some nursing positions which are very specialized in the industry. The burden of proof is on the employer to prove that the nursing position they seek to fill meets the minimum standards of a 4 year degree.
See below a list of registered nursing positions which may qualify for an H-1B visa:
•Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
•Nurse Case Manager
•Critical care Nurses
•Emergency room nurses
•Peri-Operative (Operating Room) nurses
In addition to a bachelors degree, a registered nurse position must also demonstrate the following:
•The nature of the duties must be so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties of the position is the norm associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree.
•The Degree is common in the industry and for the employer.
It is important that an attorney, who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA), be consulted to determine if a registered nurse with a bachelors degree may qualify for an H-1B visa based on the type of position he or she is being offered by the U.S. Employer.
MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS' ASSOCIATION (AILA)
Vassell & LeeRC Law Group