- U.S. hospitals seek foreign nurses amid visa windfall. Since the pandemic, American hospitals have been facing a shortage of nurses, leading many hospitals looking abroad for healthcare workers. The U.S. has an unusually high number of green cards available this year for foreign professionals, including nurses. The burnout from working during the pandemic has led many U.S. nurses to retire or leave their jobs. The high number of covid-19 cases has also placed tremendous pressure on the healthcare system. USCIS said it would quicken the renewal of work permits for health care workers, which could help keep some foreign citizens in the U.S. on the job. Last year, the State Department told consulates to prioritize applications for workers at facilities that respond to the pandemic.
As a Foreign Nurse, Can I Work in the U.S. Temporarily?
If you are a foreign nurse and want to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis (without receiving a U.S. green card), you might be able to obtain an H-1B visa. An H-1B is a popular temporary work visa for foreign nationals who have a job offer from a U.S. employer to work in a “specialty occupation.”
Can I Obtain a U.S. Green Card as a Foreign Nurse?
Your U.S. employer might also be willing to sponsor you for a green card. The employer must first offer you a full-time, permanent nurse position. Second, your employer must complete a process known as “labor certification” on your behalf (more commonly referred to as PERM). Now, you might have heard a lot about the PERM/labor certification process, with all its advertising requirements, but this process is completely different (and easier) for nurse positions.
A nurse position is classified as a “Schedule A” position. Schedule A positions are ones that the U.S. government has recognized the U.S. needs more workers to fill. Therefore, employers are not required to post advertisements for Schedule A positions (a usual PERM requirement), because the U.S. government already knows there is a shortage of workers in these positions.
For additional information on how to obtain a Foreign Nurse Visa, call Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC at (212)258-0713.