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Health Care Professionals: VisaScreen Requirements

Current immigration law requires that certain health workers obtain a Visa­Screen prior to obtaining an employment based immigration benefit. Nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/­language pathologists and audiologists, medical technologists/­clinical laboratory scientists, and physician assistants are all required to obtain the Visa­Screen.

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), is authorized to issue the Visa­Screens for all of these occupations. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) is authorized to issue Visa­Screens for occupational therapists and the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) is authorized to issue Visa­Screens for physical therapists.

Obtaining the Visa­Screen requires that the organizations authorized to issue them review the applicant’s credentials. It also requires that the applicant take and pass English language tests.

In order to meet the English requirements, the applicant has four options and must achieve at least the scores listed below for the chosen option.

Option #1: TOEFLTest of English as a Foreign Language/TWETest of Written English/TSETest of Spoken English

  TOEFL TWE TSE
Registered Nurse (RN) 207 (540) 4.0 50
Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) 197 (530) 4.0 50
Physical Therapist 220 (560) 4.5 50
Occupational Therapist 220 (560) 4.5 50
Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist 207 (540) 4.0 50
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) 207 (540) 4.0 50
Clinical Laboratory Technician (Medical Technician) 197 (530) 4.0 50
Physician Assistant 207 (540) 4.0 50

Option #2: TOEICTest of English for International Communication/TWETest of Written English/TSETest of Spoken English

  TOEIC TWE TSE
Registered Nurse (RN) 725 4.0 50
Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) 700 4.0 50
Physical Therapist      
Occupational Therapist      
Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist 725 4.0 50
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) 725 4.0 50
Clinical Laboratory Technician (Medical Technician) 700 4.0 50
Physician Assistant 725 4.0 50

Option #3: IELTSInternational English Language Testing Service/IELTS Spoken BandInternational English Language Testing Service

  IELTS IELTS Spoken Band
Registered Nurse (RN) 6.5 (Academic) 7.0
Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) 6.0 (General) 7.0
Physical Therapist    
Occupational Therapist    
Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist 6.5 (Academic) 7.0
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) 6.5 (Academic) 7.0
Clinical Laboratory Technician (Medical Technician) 6.0 (General) 7.0
Physician Assistant 6.5 (Academic) 7.0

Option #4: TOEFLTest of English as a Foreign Language iBT Total & Speaking Section

  TOEFL iBT Tot. & Speaking Sec.
Registered Nurse (RN) 83 / 26
Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) 79 / 26
Physical Therapist 89 / 26
Occupational Therapist 89 / 26
Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist 83 / 26
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) 83 / 26
Clinical Laboratory Technician (Medical Technician) 79 / 26
Physician Assistant 83 / 26

It is important that you take these exam requirements seriously and begin preparations for them as early as possible. Some of the required scores are hard to achieve. If you do not pass, the USCIS will deny your Application for Adjustment of Status or the Department of State will deny your visa application. If you do not pass, you will not get the green card.

You must have the Visa­Screen at the time you file the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status. If you do not, USCIS will give you only 30 days to obtain it and submit it, or they will deny your Adjustment of Status. Thirty days is not enough time to obtain the Visa­Screen, even if you have already passed the required tests.

1   Individuals who graduated from programs in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States do not have to take the English exams, but must still obtain the Visa­Screen.