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The US Department of Labor has pre-certified that there is a shortage of Registered Nurses in the United States. It has therefore placed Registered Nurses on what is called “Schedule A.” What this means, is that petitions for Registered Nurses are not first filed with the Department of Labor, but rather, they skip that step and are filed directly with USCIS.

Schedule A occupations fall under the EB-3 Skilled Worker category for Immigrant Visas.

In order to qualify for an Immigrant Visa, the Registered Nurse must have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) examination, have received a Certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or hold a permanent, full and unrestricted license to practice in the state of intended employment.

In order to actually receive Permanent Residence (Green Card), the Registered Nurse must have received the Visa Screen CGFNS Certificate, and an Immigrant Visa in the EB-3 category must be available for the date on which the I-140 petition was filed.

In addition to the nursing requirements, The VisaScreen Certificate requires that the Nurse achieve passing scores on a battery of tests testing her/his knowledge of the English Language.1 In order to meet the English requirements, the nurse must achieve at least the following scores:

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 visa screen 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 Visa Screen, even if you have already passed the required tests.

1   Nurses who graduated from nursing 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 Visa Screen.