Green Card & Associate Degree

  1. Hi,

    I've been looking at the US Immigration Laws & I was wondering....
    Does anyone know if the INS allows associate degree nurses (trained in the US) to get an Immigrant Visa (Green Card) or is a bachelor degree required? I'm asking because I need to choose between an associate degree training and a bachelor degree training because I would love to work as a nurse in the US, and getting an associate degree training is a lot cheaper.

    The immigration laws aren't very clear... all they mention is that i need to be a "professional nurse" and have an unrestricted license to practice nursing in the intended state of employment, I wonder what they mean by "professional" though :uhoh21: Someone with at least a Bachelor degree or an Associate's degree?

    Hope you guys can give me an answer 'cause I got no clue

    Thanks a lot!

    H
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  2. 83 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    If you train in the US, you would not be a foreign-trained nurse.
    Best bet is to contact the US Embassy where you are for their input.
    If you actually get your schooling in the US, then you do not need the English exams either.
    In the US, you can practice as a nurse with full responsibilities with either degree. In most other countries, you are restricted unless you have completed the four years. That is what is meant.

    Good luck.
  4. by   HaagenDaz
    thank you for replying! I know that I can work in the States with both degrees, i just hope that the INS will issue me a green card upon graduation (i mean a change of status, F1->Green Card). When I have a job I intend to advance to the Bachelor/Master level, i just hope Immigration will let me change my status to permanent resident so I can start with an associate's degree & work my way up.
    I wouldn't take the HB1 visa since that is only a temporary visa and I need a Bachelor degree for that anyway :-)

    I will contact the american embassy, though I'm afraid that once they know my name that they won't issue me an F1 student visa anymore (to study)because they will know that I intend to immigrate upon graduation, see my problem? :-) If there are other people on this forum who know the immigration rules very well I'd love if you would write something here

    Thanks!

    H
  5. by   suzanne4
    The immigration laws keep changing so what is in effect right now, may not be there when you finish, even in two years. Remember, that you will be graduating as a nurse trained in the US, not as a foreign nurse. Big difference. The H1B visa quota is completely full for this year, and chances are it won't be available for nurses next year either. Even so, you will still need the Englsih exams, etc. IF you did not train in the US. Every nurse should have the option to pick what state that they want to work in, and what city, not have to go someplace that they never would consider because of the H1B visa. For the nurses that are in the US right now on H1B visas, those are not being renewed so they will also have to switch status, and as a result, will be able to get a regular salary, etc.

    Good luck with your schooling.
  6. by   HaagenDaz
    I assume that you are talking about an H1-B visa while I'm waiting for my green card, although I believe that I'm not eligible for an H1-B visa since I will have an associate's degree, not a bachelor degree (requirement for H1B visa). I would use my 1 year of practical training after graduation to find a job and adjust my F1 status to permanent resident, but since i won't get the green card right away I'll have to rely on my 1 year of practical training & hope that i'll get it before my F1 visa expires. I hope that's possible, and if not I'll just take some other courses in school while my green card is pending, until i get it
    I've searched online to look for nurse immigration laws, and some lawyer firms tell me that i can get adjustment to permanent residency with an associate's degree (without the use of an H1B), but others tell me that i need a bachelor degree to get permanent residency status :uhoh21:
    Which one do i believe....

    I guess I'll have to go to the American Embassy and ask them, the financial risk is too big

    Thank you for replying!
    kind regards
    H
  7. by   suzanne4
    The law says "licensure as a professional nurse." In the US, IF you get your training in the US, we do not distinguish between an associate degree or a BSN in terms of who can get a license as an RN. I am not talking at all about an H1B visa, I have always even refused to have anyhting to do with them. When you work on an H1B visa, you are getting taken advantage of, especially by the recruiter. Plus it is no longer a viable option for any nurse. If you don't want to speak to the Embassy directly, look up the latest immigration laws on the computer from the US government website, not an immigration lawyer's website.. Remember you will be under different criteria, since you will have trained in the US. But you also need to remember that some states will be requiring a BSN for licensure in the next few years. Also, you will not be able to work with just an F-1 visa, that is a student visa only, and actually does not allow any work under it. I am not aware of any hospitals that can hire you with that, or that will hire with you that.

    Good luck.......................
  8. by   HaagenDaz
    oh ok thank you VERY much!!
  9. by   slickrick
    Quote from HaagenDaz
    oh ok thank you VERY much!!
    Just wondering if your question was answered well. from experience I got my associate degree did the Nclex ASAP and then usually once you graduate you can apply for optional practical training that is given to F1 students as they await to transfer to graduate schools. maenwhile you can apply for a work permit together with a green card. most hospitals will hire you with the OPT then the work permit takes 3 months to come and expires after 1year. meanwhile it will be time to get your green card to come. If your work permit expires with your greencard pending you can renew it. all you need is a hospital that will agree to sponsor you trust me alot of them will definately !
  10. by   suzanne4
    Big problem with your suggestion is that there are no longer any "work permits" available for nurses in the US. Only the green card is currently available. You must also get a Visa Screen Certificate before you can even apply for the green card.
  11. by   slickrick
    Quote from suzanne4
    Big problem with your suggestion is that there are no longer any "work permits" available for nurses in the US. Only the green card is currently available. You must also get a Visa Screen Certificate before you can even apply for the green card.

    Hey suzanne, you are allowed to file form I765 work permit and form I 485 application for adjustment of status together provided you have a hospital sponsoring you and filing an I 140. you can go to www.usbcis.gov the immigration website for more info .
  12. by   suzanne4
    Yes, but beginning this July new laws go into effect. You must have completed the Visa Screen process to be allowed to work in any health care area as a provider, if you are from another country. This is my point. What you did, when you did it, was completely legal, but the rules have changed.
    Also, she hasn't even started training in the US so things may weven be getting tighter.
    And for the I140, you need to have the Visa Screen Certificate in hand.
    New rules!
  13. by   showye
    Quote from slickrick
    Just wondering if your question was answered well. from experience I got my associate degree did the Nclex ASAP and then usually once you graduate you can apply for optional practical training that is given to F1 students as they await to transfer to graduate schools. maenwhile you can apply for a work permit together with a green card. most hospitals will hire you with the OPT then the work permit takes 3 months to come and expires after 1year. meanwhile it will be time to get your green card to come. If your work permit expires with your greencard pending you can renew it. all you need is a hospital that will agree to sponsor you trust me alot of them will definately !

    I am considering transfer from another major to nursing. Currently I am holding a F1 visa. Some of the nursing school are very competitive. So as the thread starter mentioned associate degree will be much easier to attend in terms of admission. I searched lots of info about the nursing career in several years, and the results always show that how much shortage will be then.The major reason I intend to transfer from a Ph.D program (not promising placement) to nursing just because of the awareness of the promising job opportunity. Do you guys have any idea regarding the future of nursing jobs, say to year 2008?
    How long does it take after you started working?
    Any reply will be greatly appreciated.
  14. by   suzanne4
    There will definitely be needs for nurses in 2008 and well beyond............
    As soon as you have your license you can begin working, provided that you have a legal permit to work..............No long wait or anything.....

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