Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Schedule A: Fast Track for Nurses and Physical Therapists
Schedule A is a list of occupations for which the U.S. Department of Labor has determined that there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available. Inclusion on Schedule A also establishes that the employment of foreign workers in such occupations will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. The advantage of being on Schedule A is that the foreign worker can obtain a green card without first having to go through the entire labor certification process.
Currently, only two occupations are explicitly listed on Schedule A:
To qualify for Schedule A processing, a professional nurse must meet at least one of these two alternative requirements:
A "professional nurse'' is a person who applies the art and science
of nursing, including principles derived from the physical, biological,
and behavioral sciences. Professional nursing generally includes
making clinical judgments about the observation, care, and counsel of
persons requiring nursing care; administering medicines and treatments
prescribed by a physician; and participating in activities to promote
health and prevent illness in others. A study program for
professional nurses generally includes theory and practice in clinical
areas such as obstetrics, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and medicine.
A "physical therapist'' is defined as a person who applies the art and science of physical therapy to the treatment of patients with disabilities, disorders and injuries to relieve pain, develop or restore function, and maintain performance. The physical therapist uses physical means such as exercise, massage, heat, water, light, and electricity, as prescribed by a physician or surgeon.
To qualify for Schedule A processing, a physical therapist must possess all the qualifications necessary to take the physical therapist licensing examination in the state in which he or she proposes to practice physical therapy.
Physical therapists may also fall within the meaning of "foreign health care worker" and also require certification by an entity similar to the CGFNS. However, no such entity has been designated for physical therapists. The USCIS will apparently grant waivers of INA 212(a)(5)(C) until an appropriate certification body has been approved for each particular health care occupation.
Application for Permanent Residency Under Schedule A
Because "Schedule A" applications do not require the approval of a labor certification, the process for obtaining a green card for qualified nurses or physical therapists can be much quicker than for occupations that do require labor certification.
If you would like assistance preparing your green card application as
a nurse or physical therapist, please
contact Peng & Weber.