Can you sit for the NCLEX if you're an illegal immigrant?

  1. A classmate of mine told me she's a undocumented immigrant. My concern is this, what will happen after she gets her ADN? Will she be able to sit for the NCLEX ? Or will she even be able to get her degree?
    I just feel bad because she's gonna go through all that hard work in Nursing School and might not be able to get her license. I'm just wondering what would happen, or is she wasting her time going through Nursing school? Please let me know, I'd like to help her out and give her info that she might not be aware of.

    Thanks in advance
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   widi96
    With the fingerprinting and background checks they do - I'm sure they will know she's here illegally. I would think she wouldn't be able to take it, but I certainly do not know that for sure. I would think she would have to go through all the proper channels before they would give her an ATT. (Authorization to test). But this is not an area I am familiar with, so it may not be correct.
  4. by   elkpark
    Oh God, I hope not!!!!!
  5. by   RN1989
    How does this person think they are going to work? Has she heard of taxes and needing a SS number? Which makes me wonder how she got into school in the first place. She should take her degree and go back to her country to practice nursing until she can get back to the US legally. She is risking detention with INS and deportation - in which case the chances of her every getting back to the US legally are about nil.
  6. by   EmmaG
    I wonder too how she managed to get into school without proof of citizenship or as an eligible immigrant. Employers will demand proof as well. Boards of nursing can (and do) refuse licensure to those with a criminal history; and she IS breaking the law...

    I think your friend should seriously consider what she's doing here and contact the state BON.
  7. by   Katnip
    Quote from elkpark
    Oh God, I hope not!!!!!
    Me too, but I wouldn't be surprised. These days illegal aliens are allowed in-state tuition in a lot of state schools. Go figure.
    Last edit by Katnip on Oct 7, '07
  8. by   RNGrad2006
    Seems to me it would make sense to finish her education and then come into the country legally. As a Mexican citizen with a passport they qualify for a TN Work Visa.
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    There are a couple things I see here:
    Has she heard of taxes and needing a SS number?
    1) Perhaps she came here legally and overstayed the visa? Then she would still have a SSN.

    2) Did this person come here as a child with her parents? Then it was not by her choice that she is here, and this type of situation is the reason I support the provisions of the DREAM act. And, I do not personally see what the big deal is about giving them in-state tuition. At least they are wanting to get an education. I vote we let them.

    She should take her degree and go back to her country to practice nursing until she can get back to the US legally.
    That sounds really good in theory....except that if she came here as a child, then she is going to have next to no clue how to be a nurse in another country, where practice, technology, terminology, and a whole host of other things may be different.

    Immigration, especially if you are from the poorer, nonwhite countries in this world (OP did not specify the country of origin), is not as simplistic as the talking heads on TV would like you to believe. She may be here illegally, but she is trying to make something of herself, and I admire that.

    That said, I would still advise her to think very carefully about what she is doing before risking anything taking the NCLEX.
  10. by   ElvishDNP
    Quote from RNGrad2006
    Seems to me it would make sense to finish her education and then come into the country legally. As a Mexican citizen with a passport they qualify for a TN Work Visa.
    The problem is that under current immigration law, if a person has stayed more than 6mo here illegally, then if they leave the country, they are not allowed to re-enter for 10 years. So if this person has been here illegally, gotten her education here, then goes back to her country of origin, and states on her application that she's been here illegally before (and they do ask), then it will be automatically denied. Perhaps there is someone here who knows something I don't, but I'm in the middle of immigration with my own husband who came here illegally and he can't leave the country and come back legally for the same reason.
  11. by   preciousbaby621
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    I wonder too how she managed to get into school without proof of citizenship or as an eligible immigrant. Employers will demand proof as well. Boards of nursing can (and do) refuse licensure to those with a criminal history; and she IS breaking the law...

    I think your friend should seriously consider what she's doing here and contact the state BON.
    I go to Montgomery College in Maryland, and trust me..there's ALOT of illegals in my school. I wonder how they got in. Maybe the school ignores all that just to get money from students?
    Last edit by preciousbaby621 on Oct 7, '07 : Reason: typo
  12. by   suzanne4
    To clear up a few misconceptions:

    Schools do not always ask for proof of citizenship, especially if the person attended school for years in the US, that is all that they look for. And the better part is we see it happen more in NY, than other states; at least by the number that post here.

    The issue that she has, and I am going out on a limb and referring to this person as a her, sorry if I in incorrect; is as follows:

    In oder to sit for the NCLEX exam, you have to submit an application to the BON for the state that she wants licensing in. That requires a SSN# be submitted, and verification will be done of this person as well by either the police dept or the FBI. Yes, there are states that will issue a license to a foreign nurse that does not have a SSN#, but they must prove who they are with a legal passport, and if this person has been in the US long enough, they do not have the current passport to submit to the BON. NY will not even do anything without the passport copy being included, as well as current.

    There was just a nurse last year in Texas that graduated, got married, and bought a house with her spouse. Came here to the US before she started kindergarten. Her father gave her a SSN# when she was little, she never knew that it was one that could not be verified. Never knew that she had been in the US for years illegally, but ICE came knocking on her door and escorted her to the border. Luckily enough, she still has some family down there.

    Does not matter if they attended school here illegally, the issue is that they cannot work and to try and take the NCLEX exam opens them up to being deported. You cannot apply to adjust a status if it is not current, and the other fact is that there are no visas available for her to adjust to. Safest thing that she can do is to quietly leave the US, and then apply thru Consular Processing out of the US. To attempt to stay here, and get picked up, will make it so that she cannot return for at least ten years.

    The DREAM ACT did not get approved just now, and do not expect it to surface for sometime again. Next issue is how has she paid for her schooling and everything else? Working for cash or under the table? This also makes it harder for her to remain in the US.

    Without the DREAM ACT, and the fact that there is no proof that she is current anywhere more than likely does not help her at all.

    Moving this thread to the International Forum since it is specific to a nurse that does not have a visa to work in the US.
  13. by   ElvishDNP
    Quote from suzanne4
    The DREAM ACT did not get approved just now, and do not expect it to surface for sometime again. Next issue is how has she paid for her schooling and everything else? Working for cash or under the table? This also makes it harder for her to remain in the US.
    Oh I know it didn't get approved. I was just saying that I supported it, and continue to support the principles behind it.
  14. by   elkpark
    Quote from Arwen_U
    2) Did this person come here as a child with her parents? Then it was not by her choice that she is here, ...
    No, certainly not, but it is her choice NOW -- if s/he is old enough to go to college, s/he is old enough to be aware of her/his legal status, and to take responsibility for continuing to break the law by staying here illegally.

    I am not only vehemently opposed to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, I believe that people should have to show proof/documentation of legal resident status to be able to attend school here at all.

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