U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a designated pre-certified list that states workers in certain occupations will not be negatively harming the U.S. workers. This pre-certification is called Schedule A. Schedule A contains two groups. One group, conveniently called Group I, includes physical therapists as well as professional nurses. Group II, which is less commonly used, includes immigrants who have exceptional talents in the arts or in science. It also includes college professors.
To qualify, the foreign-born nurse has to possess a diploma in nursing who has a permanent nursing license from their home country. Nurses from foreign countries have to meet at least one of the following requirements dealing with licensing and certification: have a nursing license at the state he/she wants to work or complete the certification program at The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. The non-citizen physical therapist must have something similar to a master’s degree and have all the qualifications necessary to take the physical therapist licensing examination in the state in which he or she proposes to practice physical therapy.
One does not need the approval of a labor certification to apply for Schedule A. This allows processing of the application and obtaining a green card a quicker choice for nurses and therapists. Due to this exemption, nurses and therapists will be able to get their green card much quicker most of the time than those who have occupations that require labor certifications in order to apply for a green card.
In order to be eligible, you must be:
- a registered nurse with a job offer from a U.S. hospital or medical center
- a physical therapist with a job offer from a U.S. employer
In order to qualify, you must have the following requirements:
- A job offer
- I-140 petition filed by employer, supported by completed, but uncertified PERM labor certification petition
- Documented compliance with DOL notice posting rules
- Proof of licensing or certification qualifications as nurse or physical therapist
Obtaining Schedule A Visa can be a and long and complicated process, and it is important to work with an experienced immigration lawyer to help you through the process so you can obtain your green card as quickly as possible.