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Schedule A Nurses & Physical Therapists

The U.S. government recognizes a shortage of nurses and physical therapists in the United States and consequently allows for an expedited green card process for employees in these categories.

When an employer sponsors an employee for a green card the employer usually must go through the lengthy PERM process, which includes recruiting for an open position and certifying to the Department of Labor that no qualified American citizens or permanent residents applied for the position.

Under Schedule A, employers sponsoring nurses and physical therapists for green cards can skip the PERM process. Instead the application process goes through the following steps:

  • Employer files prevailing wage request with Department of Labor to determine the required wage for the offered position.
  • Employer posts an internal posting in its office advertising the position for at least 10 consecutive business days.
  • Employee gathers credentials demonstrating that he/she meets the requirements for the sponsored position, including diploma(s), Visa Screen, professional license(s), and letter(s) demonstrating experience in the position.
  • Employer files I-140 on behalf of employee.
  • Employee files I-485 petition when priority date is current.

Note: the VisaScreen is an independent screening program for health care professional who are not US citizens and did not earn professional credentials in the United States.  The CGFNS can be contacted here for information on procuring a VisaScreen.