On October 20, 2008, the DOS adopted a final rule regarding a change in visa requirements for foreign health care workers, other than physicians, who seek to enter the United States. This final rule adopts without change the Department’s interim rule of December 17, 2002. Certain foreign health care workers are inadmissible to the United States unless they present to the consular officer a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools or a certificate from an equivalent independent credentialing organization that has been approved by the DHS in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services.  

The certification must indicate that the alien’s education, training, license, and experience:  

  1.  meet all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for admission into the United States under the specified visa;
  2.  are comparable with those of an American health care worker of the same profession;
  3.  are authentic;  
  4.  for licenses, are not burdened or affected.

The certification must also indicate that the alien has a level of oral and written English language competency appropriate for their health care work profession, as set forth by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Education. Finally, in the case that the majority of the states licensing the alien’s health care work profession recognize a test predicting an applicant’s success on that profession’s licensing or certification exam, the alien’s certification must indicate that the alien has passed such a test, or has passed the licensing or certification exam.