The H-1C category applies to an alien coming temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the United States Department of Labor. Only 500 nurses can be granted H-1C status in a fiscal year nationally. 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 on states with populations of 9 million or less is 25 per fiscal year.
Supporting documentation to be filed with an H-1C petition
The petition (Form I-129) should be filed by the facility with:
A current copy of the Department Labor’s acceptance of the filing of an attestation on Form ETA 9081;
A statement from the facility describing any limitation which the laws of the state or jurisdiction of intended employment place on the alien’s services;
Evidence that the alien(s) named on the petition is a person who is or will be authorized by a State Board of Nursing to engage in registered nurse practice in a state or U.S. territory or possession, and who is or will be practicing at a facility which provides health care services;
Evidence that the alien(s) named on the petition has passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or has obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license to practice as a registered nurse in the state of intended employment or has obtained a full and unrestricted (permanent) license in any state or territory of the United States and received temporary authorization to practice as a registered nurse in the state of intended employment;
Evidence that the alien(s) has obtained a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where the alien obtained nursing education or has received nursing education in the United States; and
Evidence that the alien(s) named on the petition is fully qualified and eligible under the laws (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements which authorize the nurse to be employed) governing the place of intended employment to practice as a registered nurse immediately upon admission to the United States, and is authorized under such laws to be employed by the employer.
Some terms and conditions of the H-1C classification:
Work authorization for H-1C nurses is employer-specific,i.e. limited to employment with the approved employer/petitioner.
A change of employer requires a new H-1C petition; new employment (any employment other than the originally approved employment) cannot begin until a petition for change of employment (Form I-129) is approved by the INS. If an H-1C nonimmigrant nurse will work for more than one employer, each employer must file its own H-1C petition on the alien’s behalf.
An H-1C alien is not precluded from applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence if the alien is otherwise eligible for adjustment of status.
More than one nurse may be included on an H-C petition.
Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of H-1C workers are entitled to H-4 status with the same restrictions as the principal. Dependents may not be employed under the H-4 classification.
Period of Admission
The maximum period of admission for an H-1C alien is three years. An alien may receive an extension of stay to complete the 3-year period of admission. However, an extension of stay may not be granted to extend the alien’s period of admission beyond the initial 3-year period of time.
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