USCIS Issues Final Memo on H-1Bs for Nurses

Posted on: March 3rd, 2015
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By Elissa Taub

For many  years, USCIS has considered most registered nurses (RNs) to be ineligible for H-1B status because the position of RN is not a specialty occupation that requires a bachelor’s or higher degree. On February 18, 2015, USCIS published a final memo that clarifies and continues this treatment of most RNs. The final memo is identical to an interim memo that was issued originally in 2014. In the memo, USCIS acknowledges that some advanced practice RN (APRN) positions may qualify as specialty occupation positions. Such positions include, but are not limited to, Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In addition, USCIS notes that if states begin to require a bachelor’s degree for RNs to become licensed to practice, then USCIS would consider RN positions in such states to be specialty occupation positions, but to date, no state has such a requirement.