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Nursing higher studies or working in H4 visa

by SiniKuruvilla SiniKuruvilla (New) New

This is Sini. I'm a RN from India (B.Sc Nursing). Currently we are located in California, USA. I am here on H4 visa. Please let me know what is the best way to get a work permit or higher studies possibilities here in H4. I have total 5 years of experience. Does any state will allow to write RN exam in H4 visa. All helps appriciated.


Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

Welcome to allnurses.com

Thread moved to Nurse Registration forum for the best response.


Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

You have to figure out how to change your visa status first, as with H4 you absolutely cannot work and study in any reputable college or university. Technically, you can start evaluation of your credentials with H4, CGFNS has nothing to do with your visa status as long as you are in the USA legally. Taking NCLEX requires Social Security Number, and it is, AFAIK, not issued for H4 holders, but you may take this exam in India. But in order to apply for it, you have to contact California Board of Nursing, and CA is currently the pickiest state in terms of allowing foreign nurses to get licenses. There is very high chance that you will be required to take clinical courses in order to be licensed, and it will be impossible on H4.

I cannot tell which visa would be the best as I do not know your personal situation, but you need one which would let you legally stay, study and work in the USA. You may want to consult immigration lawyer. Good luck!

krisphat, BSN, RN

Specializes in UAS, Utilization Management. Has 6 years experience.

You might want to consider moving to a different state like New York. You need not have a SSN to sit for nclex.

But then you cannot work under H4. Unless you apply for EAD. Check USCIS website for H4 EAD. You have to meet the criteria to be eligible.

But you can definitely attend school.

Silverdragon102, BSN

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

Starting point would be sorting nurse registration out if wanting to work. For study you need to find a university and course then change status over to student. I suggest contacting International student advisors at the universities. Not many employers in nursing go the H1b route and if born in India then green card generally has a waiting time of over a decade so many employers not willing to wait that long. If you are stuck with CA due to spousal visa then expect everything to be time consuming and long

krisphat, BSN, RN

Specializes in UAS, Utilization Management. Has 6 years experience.

I agree with the previous comments. Bottom line, you cannot sit for NCLEX with your H4 visa in CA.

And btw, here is the article from USCIS's website about obtaining EAD/SSN with your H4 visa.

And please if you find yourself eligible, get yourself an immigration lawyer to file for you.

This has just been passed this year. Thus, I am not surprised most are not aware that you can get an employment authorization while under H4.

See if you are eligible. Goodluck.

FAQs: Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses | USCIS