If you are a nurse and you're interested in working in the United States, you might wonder if H-1B visas are available for nurses. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to become a nurse that is qualified to enter the United States under a H-1B visa.
Why Nurses Have a Chance
An H-1B visa is intended for those who have special skills they can bring to the United States for an employer. The United States has a nursing shortage, so it would make sense for some hospital employers to want to hire foreign nurses.
Minimum Requirements for Nurses
First, you must possess a bachelor's degree or an equivalent. This is a four-year degree, which typically takes four-years to complete. However, under some circumstances, students may complete the degree more quickly or slowly. If you only have a two-year associate's degree, you are much more likely to be denied an H-1B visa.
Just any degree won't be enough. You'll need a degree that is useful in a field that you intend to work in. The job needs to be so complex that only someone possessing a bachelor's degree would be able to qualify. Fortunately, this is the case for nursing graduates. Another situation would be where the employer normally requires a degree for the particular position. However, there are several extra steps you can take to improve your chances.
Improving Your Odds By Advancing Your Career
An advanced practice registered nurse is much more likely to be accepted for an H1-B visa. Nurses that have these types of certifications include certified clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
If your main goal is to immigrate to the United States and you are currently working as a nurse, the best route would be to pursue a career in a senior role. You could work as a nurse manager, for example.
Why You Need an Attorney
H-1B visas are part of a lottery system and there is a cap regarding how many applicants may be approved, so there's no guarantee that you'll receive a visa even if you do everything right. You must also find an employer who is willing to pay the prevailing wage for your profession. The prevailing wage is based both on the occupation and the work location. However, while working with an immigration attorney, you are much more likely to receive an H1-B visa.