In 1999, former President Clinton signed the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 (NRDAA), creating the "H-1C" temporary visa for RN's. This program allows foreign-born Registered Nurses to work in hospitals for up to three years. The hospitals must be located in Health Professional Shortage Areas*. The program excludes clinics and other facilities from hiring an H-1C nurse. Under the current interim regulation from the Department of Labor for this program, effective September 2000, the number of visas issued is limited to 500 per year and 25 per state.
In order to qualify for a H-1C visa, the RN must:
- Be properly educated to perform nursing duties by:
- having a full and unrestricted license to practice in the country where the RN completed nursing education
- having received a nursing education in the U.S.
- Be properly credentialed to practice in the U.S. by:
- having passed the examination given by the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS*);
- having a full and unrestricted license to practice as an RN in the state where the RN will work;
- having a full and unrestricted RN's license in any state and have received temporary authorization to practice as an RN in the state where you will work;
- Be fully qualified and eligible under the laws governing the place where the RN will work to practice as an RN immediately upon admission to the U.S., and be authorized under such laws to be employed by the hospital.
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