H-1C Visa

H-1C visa is a visa issued to registered nurses who come to the United States from the outside countries in a temporary capacity to perform the duties and services in the ‘Health Professional Shortage Area’. This visa and its underlying conditions/rules are determined by DOL or the Department of Labor. It was mainly introduced in the year 1999 to tackle the issue of shortage of nurses in the U.S. Health Department. In this type of visa, the hospital has to petition to the USCIS. However, it is necessary that the hospital is located in the ‘Health Professional Shortage Area’.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nurses must possess a valid complete and unrestricted license in their country of nursing education in the U.S. if they studied in the U.S.
  • An authorization must be provided by U.S. State Board of Nursing to work in that state.
  • The nurses must have cleared the CGFNS examination (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) or must have a valid and unrestricted license to practice in the capacity of a nurse in the state where he/she will practice.
  • They must be eligible to work in the intended state as a nurse upon obtaining admission to the United States.

Eligibility Criteria for Employer

  • The hospital must be certified by the DOL.
  • It must have no less than 35% of the Medicare population and no less than 28% of the Medicaid population.
  • The hospital must have at least 190 acute care beds.
  • It must be under ‘health professional shortage area’.
  • Under the Social Security Act, it must be a ‘subpart D’ hospital.

Application Process

The hospital must obtain a notice from the Department of Labor which states the acceptance of attestation for H-1C Nonimmigrant nurses. Once this has been obtained, the hospital can submit the Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

Documentation and Application

The following documents are required to be submitted along with the Form I-129.

  • ETA 9081 for the Attestation for H-1c Nonimmigrant Nurses
  • Statement from hospital facility which mentions about laws and restrictions on the nurses
  • Evidence from State Board of Nursing of Authorization to work in the United States and evidence about authorization to work at the hospital
  • Evidence which shows that the nurse has the full and unrestricted license to practice nursing in the country of education or in the intended state of practice in the United States.
  • Evidence that shows the nurse is fully qualified and eligible to practice in the place of intended employment upon obtaining admission to the United States.

On the day of visa application, following documents and forms are required:

  • Valid passport for travel to the United States. It must have the validity 6 months beyond the stay of the nurse in the U.S.
  • One 2″X2″ photograph
  • Form I-797
  • Form DS-156, Filled and Signed
  • Form DS-157 which is called as Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa application which is required for all male applicants in the age group of 16 to 45 irrespective of their nationality and intended state of employment.


The spouse and children (below 21 years) of the H-1C visa holder are applicable to apply for H-4 dependent visa.

Source of Information: www.uscis.gov