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U.S. Visas for Healthcare Workers

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US Visa for Healthcare Workers

Though a nursing position seems to be a qualifying match for an H-1B visa, a general RN or LPN position does not qualify as a valid position in need of an H-1B for nurses. However, if a state requires at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing to obtain a nursing license, an RN position in that state would generally be considered a specialty occupation.


Standard Registered Nurse positions do not qualify as an H-1B specialty occupation because the minimum educational requirement for the nursing field in the U.S. is only a two-year Associate’s degree. 

Even if an individual working in a standard Registered Nurse position has a Bachelor’s degree, they will not be eligible for an H-1B work visa since the standard Registered Nurse occupation does not qualify as a specialty occupation.

Examples of Nursing Occupations Eligible for H-1B Work Visa

The following management and advanced practice nursing positions can qualify for an H-1B work visa because they do require at least a Bachelor’s degree (and sometimes a Master’s or Ph.D degree) as the minimum educational requirements for the occupation:

  • Nurse Manager
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Some Nurse Educator positions or nursing positions related to technology, such as Nursing Informatics positions, may also qualify for an H-1B work visa depending on the minimum educational requirements for the specific position.

To become a registered nurse, it is required a nursing diploma from an accredited RN program, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Asides from education, becoming an RN also requires the professional to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Once you have your bachelor’s degree in nursing, pass the national council licensure examination, you must get the nursing license in the state where you wish to practice.

Holding at least a bachelor’s degree does not automatically make a nurse eligible for the H-1B visa. Since all three types of education level programs qualify for entry-level RN positions, what qualifies some nursing jobs for H-1B visas is the educational requirement.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Advanced practice registered nurses are nurses who have met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements, and often provide services from primary and preventive care to mental health to birthing to anesthesia.

APRNs hold at least a Master’s degree, in addition to the initial nursing education, which increases their eligibility for the H-1B visa.

Some of the advanced practice occupations that will generally be H-1B equivalent if the position requires advanced practice certification:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist; and
  • Certified Nurse Midwife.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. More information about advanced practice registered nurses can be found here.

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