US Visa Options for Registered Nurses

Many foreign registered nurses are interested in working in the United States for several reason. The US healthcare field can pay extremely well compared to much of the world, and there are ample opportunities available for nurses throughout the country. Plus, with the healthcare industry only continuing to grow, these opportunities are projected to become even more widespread.

However, it can be difficult trying to understand which US visas can allow registered nurses to work in the USA. The following is a list of certain nonimmigrant visas that may provide an avenue for qualified registered nurses to work in the United States, along with an explanation of the basic relevant details.

H1B Visa for Registered Nurse

Obviously, the H1B visa is the first to come to mind for anyone who wants to move to the USA and work. However, in order for a nursing job to qualify for H1B visa sponsorship, it must meet USCIS requirements. As not all registered nursing jobs meet these requirements, the H1B visa is not always an option. However, for certain specialty nursing occupations that meet the mandates, the H1B can be an avenue for nurses to explore.

TN Visa for Nurses

The TN visa can be an excellent option for registered nurses to work in the United States, but only certain individuals qualify. First off, only Mexican and Canadian citizens can apply for a TN visa. Noncitizen residents of these countries do not qualify. In addition, the position must meet all regulations, and it must require a TN visa professional. But if you and the position do meet all the qualifications, you can work in the USA in a visa status that is similar to the H1B visa.

E3 Visa for Nursing Professions

The E3 visa is a specialty visa that is similar to the H1B, but is only available to Australian citizens. Noncitizen residents of Australia do not qualify for this visa. As with the H1B visa, the position must meet the USCIS definition of a specialty occupation requiring a certain level of education. This visa is initially valid for two years, but in many cases can be renewed indefinitely.

B1 Visa for a Nurse

Despite the fact that the B1 visa is a business visa, it is not a visa that allows you to work in the United States. The B1 visa is appropriate if you’re traveling to the US to attend a work conference, training or other permissible activities, but not to work for a US-based employer. To work as a registered nurse or in any other position, you would need the appropriate work visa.

Student and Exchange Visitor Visas for Registered Nurse

The F1 student visa and J1 exchange visitor visa are for studying and research at centers of higher learning in the United States. Those on an F1 visa can only remain in the US for duration of their academic program, which may be extended if they are approved for post-completion optional practical training. A J1 visa is designed for those taking part in an official J1 visa program. So, while you can apply to study or continue your education as a registered nurse in the USA, F1 and J1 visas are for expanding your knowledge. They are not work visas. However, they can provide paths that may lead to future employment in the United States.

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