Canadian nurse, educated in U.S do I need a Visa Screen?

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    Good morning, I am a Canadian nurse that has been educated in the U.S and I have passed my state NCLEX. When I went to the border to get my TN visa they instructed me that I need my VISA screen. Is this true? Since I did not attend university in Canada I find it hard to believe. Also, I am scheduled to start orientation in 2 weeks; if there is any advice you can give me on what papers to bring to the border to show that I do not need a Visa screen, or if I need one is there a way to get it within 2 weeks? I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance for you input
  2. 12 Comments so far...

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    Even if you aren't educated in Canada, you can't just walk into a business in the US and get a job... your student Visa wouldn't allow you to work. Chances are the people who work at the border would be the experts here, but you could contact their Visa authority yourself and ask. Chances are they are correct.
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    Last edit by dishes on Jan 7, '12 : Reason: correction
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    I've moved this thread to the International Forum. Most Canadian nurses have very little knowledge of the ins and outs of immigration issues. It's hard to tell from your thread if you're crossing from Canada to the US or vice versa. But when it comes to visas, it really doesn't matter where you were educated. All they care about is your citizenship.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Did you do research before you went to the border? All of the info you are looking for is available online.

    TN Visas: Professionals under NAFTA | Embassy of the United States Ottawa, Canada

    Visas for Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Workers

    CGFNS International
    Fiona59 and dishes like this.
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    Agree wiith looking at the websites juli provided and on the US customs and border protection website, it is clearly written that RNs require a visascreen U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel
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    I doubt you can get VSC in 2 weeks, a lot will depend on how quickly documentation is sent to CGFNS but look at 1-2 months. For reference usually trained in the US 1-2 months outside the US you are looking at 4-6 months but a lot will depend on stuff reaching CGFNS
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    I am also a Canadian nurse educated in the U.S. and I also have a TN. You DO have to get a visa screen. Mine was ~$500 and took almost 2 months to get. I have renewed my TN 4 times and 2/4 immigration officers asked for it. But if they ask and you don't have it, they will deny your TN because the immigration policy is that any foreign nurse regardless of where you were educated needs a visa screen. The ONLY thing Canadians can opt out of is the TOEFL exam.

    It's a dumb rule because the Visa Screen just states that your education is EQUIVALENT to a U.S. education. Really really really DUMB when you go to school in the U.S.
    Abbachri likes this.
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    Quote from g!RN
    I am also a Canadian nurse educated in the U.S. and I also have a TN. You DO have to get a visa screen. Mine was ~$500 and took almost 2 months to get. I have renewed my TN 4 times and 2/4 immigration officers asked for it. But if they ask and you don't have it, they will deny your TN because the immigration policy is that any foreign nurse regardless of where you were educated needs a visa screen. The ONLY thing Canadians can opt out of is the TOEFL exam.

    It's a dumb rule because the Visa Screen just states that your education is EQUIVALENT to a U.S. education. Really really really DUMB when you go to school in the U.S.

    How long did it take from the time all your documents were received to the time they issued your certificate if you don't mind me asking?
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    Hey fellow Canadians!! I was glad to see an active thread with nurses with TN experience.
    I'm going to graduate from my ADN program in Oakland this may. I'm expecting to do the OPT thing and the TN visa eventually.

    My big question is where and how did you find facilities that agree to do the extra work hiring you? I was thinking I will have to apply at basically desperate hospitals, and started looking into some really deep rural areas.

    Also, do you have to have a job offer waiting for you by graduation/nlclex when using OPT? Lastly.. when I'm applying around from now till May should I tell them about my visa up front or let an offer firm up and tell them after?

    Any advice from people that have been through it would be GREAT.


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