Jump to content

Hospitals sponsoring RNs for a H1b visa - help!!!

BennyBear BennyBear (Member)

Hello everyone

Please can anyone help me. I am aware of all of the visa and retrogression issues that have been going on for several years now. However I am finding it very hard to accept that there are NO hospitals out there willing to employ overseas RNs via a H1b visa. I have passed the NCLEX, got my RN license (Texas, which is where I want to live and work but I would be willing to work elsewhere), have my VisaScreen certificate and am planning to take the CNOR (certified nurse operating room) exam in July. I hold a BSN. I am a perioperative (OR/PACU) nurse with 4 years experience in the UK. I have my eyes open and know the visa situation is extremely tough right now but surely there is a hospital somewhere in TX who employs foreign RNs who meet the criteria for the visa. I realise that there is more of a chance of being taken on by a rural hospital than a busy inner city one. I have applied for several positions and have not had any replies from ANYONE, not even 'thanks but no thanks' emails of acknowledgment. I was in TX last month and tried to make appointments to meet with HR/recruitment staff in several hospitals but was turned away and told to apply online, and every recruiter I have spoken to on the phone says 'sorry we do not employ non-USA nurses at this time.' UTMB Galveston have said 'maybe' with a BSN but they couldn't be sure that the application wouldn't be rejected as I don't have an MSN. Obtaining a masters' is not really an option for me as it would take too long and I am already at my wits end. Short of calling every single hospital in Texas I don't know what to do. Can anyone help me please? It has been our dream (my husband is an ER/A&E nurse) to live in Texas for so long, we absolutely love it there and desperately want to make it our home. Thanks!

Ginger's Mom, MSN, RN

Has 41 years experience.

Using other web sites that report approved H 1b visas, 31 applications, 6 were denied,all approved except for one

were nurse practioner ( which requires a msn) or nurse manager. To complicate the issue you need 2 h1bs!

The reason why no employer is responding is the fact this visa is expensive and no guarentee to obtain the visa. The visa is only issued once a year.

I think there is a simliar situation in the UK, budgets being cut, positions being eliminated and the competition for each position ,why would HR spend their limited resources assisting you.

Do you have a unique skill? Do you attend national and international conferences? Have you published any papers or done any presentations? That could be an avenue for a hospital to request you.


Specializes in Critical Care/NICU. Has 6 years experience.

Sent you pm

Thank you for your message, this site won't let me reply via pm as I haven't used it enough or some such nonsense. I am happy for you that you got the phone call at last that you havve been waiting for. As you say I will probably just have to bide my time, each year the visa situation gets more & more ridiculous it is very disheartening for those of us who genuinely love the States. I work with some Fillipino nurses who are also waiting for their green cards some of whom have never even been to America and just want to go there because there are lots of other Fillipinos over there! What the...? (Not tarring them all with the same brush tho, I hasten to add.) Whereas me and my husband are heartbroken that we may never get to live there because we adore Texas. *sigh.* I am not sure if the recruitment agencies are a viable option if all else fails, there is one called Premier Healthcare which I might look into. Anyhow thank you and good luck in your new job.

uRNmyway, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Yea, H1b is extremely difficult. Last I heard, waiting list was like, 4 years or some such.

You have to keep in mind the employment situation in the US right now. There are AMERICAN nurses galore who cannot find work. Why in the world would an employer spend all the time and money necessary to hire a foreign nurse when they can save all the trouble and cost by hiring their own?

I was told that part of the H1b application involved the employer needing to prove their TRIED to hire an American nurse, but no one qualified. With this economy and frantic, unemployed nurses, I don't think this is realistic.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

H1b doesn't have waiting lists but for most a certain amount of visas are allocated each year and once gone you have to wait for the following year for new ones to be released

One good news for this poster is that Texas has a great economy. I get emails from recruiters ALL the time from Texas. I would think with some persistence you may be able to get your wish if you come in contact with the right recruiter. I know that is hard though. Believe me I understand immigration very well. We came to the US from Canada but we were lucky to have the TN as an option. We are just pinching ourselves that we were finally able to get out green cards in May of this year. It was a long journey but we are very thankful!!! Keep plugging away. The international advisor told me when I went to nursing school he has never come across a foreign student as determined as I. I also went to nursing school in the US so we have been here for quite some time. Hang in there.... The next time I come across a recruiter from Texas I will try to find out if anyone will help foreigners get an H1B.

Thank you RNgrad 2006 that is so kind of you. I just passed the CNOR (certified nurse operating room) exam last week - hooray! - so I am hoping that will help me secure a position somewhere. It's a tough situation. I want to come to the States to contribute, not to take anything, and I have all the skills and qualifications that hospitals need...I was just born in the wrong place so I'm doomed to struggle. Hopefully though my years of endeavour won't have been for nothing.


Has 3 years experience.

Hi Benny Bear,

Congrats on passing the CNOR! I am also an OR nurse and am looking at applying for an E3 visa (very similar to the H1B but issued only for Australians). Would you by any chance know if passing the CNOR exam is absolutely required to be considered a 'specialized nurse' for the H1B visa?

Hi Candabeth, I don't know anything about the E3 visa so I can't really comment on which specific criteria you are obliged to meet before employers will consider sponsoring you. as for the H1b, certification is definitely a must. The main criteria are: a BSN (or equivalent), USA RN license, and the final clause is that you are either a nurse practitioner or clinical specialist (with certification), a nurse manager, OR work in what is deemed to be a 'specialised area' such as critical care, emergency room, or operating room WITH CERTIFICATION. When I passed the NCLEX back in Feb and was issued with my license I sent my resume out and made some telephone calls but got no responses, nobody was interested. I passed the CNOR last month, resent my resume and BOOM I got two interviews!!!! So you definitely need to get it. Hope that helps. Also if you read the posts above written in response to my original post, most of them are negative i.e. there are tons of American nurses who can't find a job nobody is willing to take on an overseas nurse so don't even bother, etc. there is one positive post from someone who says persisitence is the key and they are right. I have been persisitent and found two potential employers who are willing to sponsor me so don't give up!! x


Has 3 years experience.

Hi BennyBear,

Thanks sooo much for sharing your experience!!! Well, sounds like I definitely gotta get myself one of those certificates as well! I had a quick look on their website, I am probably not eligible to sit for the test right now... I quit my OR job in Australia a year ago and went over to the states on a J1 work/travel visa so I'm not currently employed in the field. They really did check all that info with you, didn't they?

Btw, have you got your CGFNS visa screen done as well? How long did that take you?

Hi BunnyBear, where did you do your RN training? I am also looking at moving to Texas as I also love it there. I have passed the NCLEX and just started the visa screen process through CGFNS. Everything I read at the moment is very negative towards immigrant nurses. I am a British trained nurse (9yrs) and midwife (6yrs). How are you getting on?

I believe you have a strong advantage being a nurse midwife. I don't know how far your UK credentials will carry you or whether or not they will require you to obtain some sort of American nurse-midwife certification too. Although- you must have a CES from CGFNS if you've already taken the NCLEX? It is very difficult, not to find jobs, there are thousands of posts, but to find a hospital willing to sponsor you for a visa once you meet the criteria. Go onto UCIS website to make sure you do meet the criteria for a H1b visa. Once you do you would be well advised to apply for positions in more rural areas as opposed to say Houston or Dallas as they are more likey to have more difficulty filling positions and will subsequently consider sponsoring overseas RNs. I wishI could tell you more but I am just at the interview stage so far, and as great as that is it's only half the battle as an offer of a job does not necessarily mean the visa application will be successful. So I am just keeping everything crossed. Good luck x

sylviamae, BSN

Specializes in Cardiac ICU & Nurse Entrepreneur.

Finish your visa screen and send your CV to all hospital employers and nursing agencies. Once you have a willing hospital to sponsor you for EB3 visa everything should be fine. You just have to wait when your priority will be unless you can convince them to apply for an EB2 which is current for UK nurses otherwise you have to wait. There are agencies that are happy to support you with EB2 as long as you have years of good experience here in UK primarily ITU, A&E or theatre nursing. The PD for UK born nurses is July 2010. Good luck!

I don't meet the criteria for a EB2/3 as I only have 4 years expereince not 5. So I am going through the H1b route. As I said in my original post I already have my CES repoort and VisaScreen certificate from CGFNS. But thanks for your reply anyway x


Has 3 years experience.

Hi BennyBear!

How long did it take you to get your VisaScreen certificate? Did you use the expedited service?

Thanks x

No I just used the normal service the quick service costs double the $$. It took a couple of months, they already had the documentation they required from the CES report. They mostly used the same information

HI BennyBear,

How did the interview go and did you eventually get hired and sponsored?

I just read your posts and all the comments. It does seem that the whole situation about foreign RNs seeking sponsorship does not look positive, but I am glad to see that you persevered and took the time to encourage others.

I got my BSN in the States, passed my NCLEX. Now I am searching for hospitals/clinics/homehealth CAP / NON CAP for sponsorship. Do you think I should proceed to get more certificates like your OR one? I am interested in L&D, do you think I should get the Fetal Monitor certificate, ALS, and other certificate to boost up my chances of being hired?

Also, if you don't mind, what are the names of the two hospitals that offered you the interviews? I am currently in California, might consider moving across the country to accomplish my goal.

Thanks!! Greatly appreciate it!