Immigration Help

VisaScreen: Visa Credentials Assessment
US immigration law now requires that healthcare professionals, other than physicians, complete a screening program in order to qualify for certain occupational visas. VisaScreen: Visa Credentials Assessment, a program offered by a CGFNS' division the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP), enables healthcare professionals to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure compliance with the government's minimum eligibility standards.
Applicants who successfully complete VisaScreen receive a VisaScreen Certificate, which can be presented to a consular office.

Meeting Federal Requirements
Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 requires that certain non-US healthcare professionals successfully complete a screening program prior to receiving an occupational visa. Screening includes an assessment of an applicant's education to ensure that it is comparable to a US graduate in that same profession; verification that licenses are valid and unencumbered; English language proficiency; and, in the case of nurses, verification that the nurse has either earned a CGFNS Certificate or passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RNŽ examination).
The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) was named in the legislation as an organization qualified to offer this federal screening program. In response to this legislation, CGFNS created a new division, the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP), which administers VisaScreen.

Program Elements
The VisaScreen program is comprised of an educational analysis, licensure validation, English language proficiency assessment, and, in the case of nurses, an exam of nursing knowledge. Once the applicant has successfully completed all elements of the VisaScreen program, the applicant is awarded a VisaScreen Certificate, which can be presented to a consular office.

Educational Review
The educational review ensures that the applicant's education meets all applicable, statutory and regulatory requirements for the profession the applicant intends to practice, and is comparable to that of a US graduate seeking licensure.

In order to meet the educational requirements for the VisaScreen program, applicants must have:
Successfully completed a senior secondary school education that is separate from their professional education;
Graduated from a government-approved, professional healthcare program of at least two years in length; and
Successfully completed a minimum number of clock and/or credit hours in specific theoretical and clinical areas during their professional program.

Licensure Review
The licensure review evaluates initial and all current and past licenses. Validations provided directly to ICHP by the issuing/validating institution, affirm that the applicant has completed all practice requirements and that the registration/licensure has no encumbrances.

English Language Proficiency Assessment
The English language proficiency assessment confirms that the applicant has demonstrated the required competency in oral and written English by submitting passing scores on tests approved by the US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Currently, to fulfill this requirement, applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Test of Written English (TWE) and Test of Spoken English (TSE) or IELTS.

Predictive Examination for Nurses
Applicants who wish to obtain an occupational visa to practice as nurses in the United States must present a CGFNS Certificate and/or a passing score on the NCLEX-RNŽ examination to provide proof of their nursing knowledge.

In order to obtain a CGFNS Certificate, applicants must successfully complete CGFNS' Certification Program, a three-part program, comprised of a credentials review, a one-day Qualifying Exam of nursing knowledge and an English language proficiency exam. Upon successful completion of all three elements of the program, applicants are awarded a CGFNS Certificate. Most states require the CGFNS Certificate from nurses educated abroad before they can take the NCLEX-RNŽ examination.

Nurses have to present necessary documents including the following at the time of interview for permenant residence at the US Embassy/ Consulate:
Application for Immigrant Visa
Police Clearance
Birth Certificate
Marriage Certificate, if any
Divorce or Death Certificate of Spouse, if any
Valid Passport
Medical Examination
Photographs
Recent job offer letter or employment contract
Financial information regarding employer
Government filing fee
VisaScreen Certificate
For more information visit the site: http://www.ins.gov/graphics/index.htm