The H-1C non-immigrant category was introduced in 1999 specifically to address the shortage of nurses in the United States.
H-1C visas allow foreign national nurses to come to the United States temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in areas of the country with a shortage of health professionals, as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL).
To qualify for an H-1C visa, a foreign nurse must:
- Have a qualified nursing license in the country where the applicant’s nursing education was obtained, or have received a nursing education and license in the United States
- Be authorized to practice within the state
- Have passed the relevant exams or carry the relevant licenses, as determined by USCIS
- 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
In addition, 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
The permitted period of stay under H-1C classification is a total or 3 years and the immediate family members of H-1C holders are eligible for H-4 classification.
U.S immigration services issues a total of only 500 H-1C visas each fiscal year. There are also numerical limitations for each state based on the state’s population. The cap for states with populations in excess of 9 million is 50 per fiscal year. The cap for states with populations of 9 million or less is 25 per fiscal year.
Contact a Skilled Business Immigration Lawyer for More Information*
Gold Law Group assists clients with a wide variety of business-related immigration matters including H-1C visas. If you are a foreign nurse interested in applying for an H-1C visa, or if you are a U.S employer wishing to file a petition on behalf of a foreign nurse, visa please call 323.394.1281 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
*Please read important legal notice below