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The H-1C nonimmigrant temporary worker classification is for foreign nurses coming to the United States temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL).

The H-1C nonimmigrant category was introduced in 1999 specifically to address the shortage of nurses in the United States.  Applying for an H-1C nonimmigrant visa is a multi-step process that involves coordination from DOL and USCIS.  Prior to filing a petition with USCIS for an H-1C visa, DOL must provide an attestation to petitioning hospitals certifying that they meet the qualifications as required by regulation.  Among the qualifications, hospitals are required to be located in a “health professional shortage area.”

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an H-1C visa you must:
  • Have a full and unrestricted nursing license in the country where your nursing education was obtained, or have received a nursing education and license in the United States
  • Be authorized by the appropriate U.S. State Board of Nursing to practice within the state
  • Have passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or have a full and unrestricted license to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work, or have a full and unrestricted Registered Nurse’s license in any state and have received temporary authorization to practice as an Registered Nurse in the state where you will work. For more information, please see the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) link to the right
  • Have been fully qualified and eligible under the state laws of the state of intended employment to practice as a Registered Nurse immediately upon admission to the United States
The employer must meet edibility criteria in order to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, under the H-1C Program. To qualify, the U.S. employer must:
  • Be a “subpart D” hospital under the Social Security Act
  • Be located in a “Health Professional Shortage Area”
  • Have at least 190 acute care beds
  • Have a Medicare population of no less than 35%
  • Have a Medicaid population of no less than 28%
  • Be certified by the Department of Labor
If you are in the process of filing for or appealing the decision of a waiver of this type, you will need qualified legal help on your side. We represent clients nationwide. For experienced employment visa advice, contact us today (toll free) at 1-888-678-5724 for a free consultation with an immigration attorney. We look forward to protecting your rights and serving your immigration needs.