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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

H-1B FOR NURSE EDUCATORS

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by Maria Schneider

To qualify for an H-1B, the position must require and the employee must hold a bachelor’s degree or greater. As a result, most nursing positions do not qualify for H-1B as a BSN is not typically required for a floor nurse position. Nurses who are eligible for an H-1B include: a nurse educators, nurse managers, or specialty nurses where the position requires a higher level of education.

Earlier in the year, MU Law received a denial in a case for a Nurse Educator position. The USCIS denied the petition, holding the position did not require a bachelor’s degree or greater – a requirement for H-1B status.

After the denial, we appealed the case to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), which is the body that reviews appealed USCIS Service Center decisions. We believed and argued that the evidence shows that the preferred credential for teaching in the academic setting is the doctoral degree. At a minimum, nurse educators at colleges and universities must hold a master’s degree in nursing and have additional training in the science of teaching.

We have recently received word that our appeal was successful. MU successfully argued that the position of Nurse Educator requires a master’s or doctoral degree and so therefore not only meets, but exceeds, the H-1B requirements. The appeal was sustained and the H-1B is now approved.

A nursing shortage in United States is expected to continue in the coming years, as the US economy continues to recover and older nurses begin retiring. This will only make the need for qualified nursing faculty more critical and the H-1B a viable option for schools looking to hire nursing faculty.


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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    A year or two ago, an H-1B petition which I filed for someone in a middle to high level nursing-related administrative position, above the level of supervisor, and second only to the department head, was denied on the grounds that nursing positions do not ordinarily require a bachelor degree.

    The position was purely administrative and did not involve performing any nursing duties. The denial decision left strong doubts about whether the examiner had read the job description at all, or the OOH extracts which make clear that middle or high level nursing related administrative positions normally require a related bachelor or higher degree.

    It was more likely that that the examiner just saw the word "nurse" and decided to issue a denial. For totally unrelated reasons, the decision was not appealed.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law.
    Updated 07-18-2014 at 11:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. CMusillo's Avatar
    Hi Roger- My sense is that is exactly what happened in our case. Fortunately the employer agreed that we should appeal the case and the AAO came to the right conclusion.
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