Visa Screen Certificate / CGFNS

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    Visa Screen Certificate is required by all foreign nurses wishing to obtain a green card to work in the US, as well as any type of temporary work permit, such as the Nafta TN Visa for those from Canada and Mexico.

    It requires that you pass either the NCLEX-RN or the CGFNS exam, as well as the series of English exams if you are not exempt from them.

    The CGFNS exam is only required now in about five states, and rumor is that one or two will be removed from that remaining list as well. Do not bother with that exam if you are not going to work in a state that does not require it, or you have no way to be able to take the NCLEX exam from where you are currently located.

    The application for the VSC is now only good for one year.........please do not apply for it until you have passed at least one of the required exams, or you may need to pay an additional fee.

    (This thread is replacing the original thread that was from more than 2 and 1/2 years ago, and has updated information.)
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Jul 22, '07
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    I'm a Ghanaian nurse currently in the U.K on holiday but i'd like to settle in the U.S in the near future. I've already written and passed the IELTS exam.

    May i please know which 5 states currently require the CGFNS exam? I had perception that the VSC could only be obtained after passing the CGFNS exam and completing the CP/CES --sort of pre-requisite -- since it a service offered by them[CGFNS/ICHP]. Can other services offered be accessed without writing the exam? I'd be glad if you could enlighten me on this.

    I'd also like to know if the state for which i'm writing a board exam will carry out a validation or some sort of certification programme [so i can decide if the CGFNS is absolutely irrelevant for me], THANKS
    Last edit by Phen on Dec 21, '06 : Reason: Had to ask one more question.
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    Hi Phen. I recommend reading Suzanne's 'Primer' above it will answer majority if your questions and it also have a collection of relevant links that foreign nurses need to know.

    Requirements for foreign grads, including whether they need a CGFNS service or not depends on the State Board of Nursing or Board of Registered Nursing you would want to apply. Much easier to pick a State where you would want to live and work and then go to their website and see their requirements.

    If your choice of State BON does not require a CGFNS Certification (includes CGFNS Exam) then you can go sit for the NCLEX-RN exam directly and use the proof of passing the NCLEX instead of the CGFNS Exam to fulfill the requirements for completion of the Visa Screen Certificate.

    And if you will read some more threads here in the Int'l you will know w/c State BON are 'popular' picks by foreign nurses.

    Let us know if you have follow-up questions after reading the 'stickies' and threads here.

    Goodluck.:spin:
    tinasmall and azrielhime like this.
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    Thanks a lot Lawrence, that was helpful. I'll also check out the links and threads as suggested. Merry X'mas too.
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    hi..im a registered nurse in the philippines and i have just passed the NCLEX (california) and the IELTS exams..im just wondering how can i apply for a visa screen certificate? where do i get the application? where should i apply? thanks so much.
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    Quote from euanmiquel
    hi..im a registered nurse in the philippines and i have just passed the NCLEX (california) and the IELTS exams..im just wondering how can i apply for a visa screen certificate? where do i get the application? where should i apply? thanks so much.
    here you go CGFNS International
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    hi!! your posts are REALLY informative and helpful.. im a graduating student and i would just would like to ask if i could take first the IELTS here in the Philippines and take the NCLEX in CAlifornia. We only have a tourist visa so is the time frame for me to get my Visa Screen Certificate enough? thanx in advance!!
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    If you are asking me what to do right now: there is a retrogression going on so even if you were to come to the US, not one thing could be done as far as a hospital petitioning you after you pass the exam, other than file the I-140 for you. That will not permit you to work in the US, nor will it adjust your status. You would be required to leave the US at the end of the visa period.

    Until this issue is resolved and more visas are created, there currently is about a five year wait for a visa to work in the US (green card). Definitely do not suggest coming to the US at this time.
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    Hello Suzanne! Ive been reading a few of ur posts and i must say, theyre all very informative and helpful especially for new nurses like me. I passed the IELTS last Sept 2005 and recently passed the NCLEX. I asked the agency that im applying if theyre going to shoulder for the visascreen but they said , i should have to pay for it. Nwei, im worried that if i dont apply now for visascreen, i would probably lose my IELTS since it will expire this Sept. How long will it take me to process for my visascreen? Can i apply online with only IELTS and NCLEX? How should i go about it? Thanks a lot. Do you have any idea when theyll lift the retrogression? My probable employer is offereing around 21$ per hour in the state of Louisiana. Is that reasonable? thanks again.
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    Quote from jahda_ph
    Hello Suzanne! Ive been reading a few of ur posts and i must say, theyre all very informative and helpful especially for new nurses like me. I passed the IELTS last Sept 2005 and recently passed the NCLEX. I asked the agency that im applying if theyre going to shoulder for the visascreen but they said , i should have to pay for it. Nwei, im worried that if i dont apply now for visascreen, i would probably lose my IELTS since it will expire this Sept. How long will it take me to process for my visascreen? Can i apply online with only IELTS and NCLEX? How should i go about it? Thanks a lot. Do you have any idea when theyll lift the retrogression? My probable employer is offereing around 21$ per hour in the state of Louisiana. Is that reasonable? thanks again.

    The Visa Screen Certificate usually takes about four months, if you have not gone thru any CGFNS application previously. You only need the IELTS and the NCLEX to apply for it, but I suggest that you do it by a paper application, since you are going to need to mail them things in the first place. Have sen too many issues with the on-line applications in the past.

    Go to www.cgfns.org and download the applciation for the Visa Screen Certificate.

    Bigger question is where in Louisiana? That rate is low for some areas there. Also check out the crime rate for the area that you are going to.


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