VisaScreen T - Visa Credentials Assessment
Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996 requires that certain non-U.S. healthcare professionals successfully complete a screening program prior to receiving an occupational visa, such as the H-1B, H-2B, TN status and permanent (green card) visas.
VisaScreen T: Visa Credentials Assessment, is a program offered by the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) - a division of CGFNS - enabling healthcare professionals to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure that they meet the government minimum requirements.
In 2003, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published final rules required under section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996. Under these final rules, internationally-educated healthcare professionals, such as:
- physical therapists
- occupational therapists
- physician assistants
- medical technicians
- medical laboratory technologists
- speech language pathologists
who are seeking temporary or permanent occupational visas as well as those who are seeking Trade NAFTA (TN) status, are required to first obtain a CGFNS/ICHP VisaScreen T certificate as part of the visa process.
The VisaScreen T program is comprised of:
- educational analysis - ensures that the applicant's education meets all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for the profession the applicant intends to practice, and is comparable to the education of a U.S. graduate seeking licensure
- licensure validation - evaluates initial and all current and past licenses to assure they are valid and unencumbered
- English language proficiency assessment - confirms that the applicant has demonstrated the required competency in oral and written English by submitting scores on tests from either of the following:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), plus the Test of Written English (TWE) and Test of Spoken English (TSE);
- Test for International Communications (TOEIC), plus TSE and TWE;
- International English Language Testing Service (IELTS);
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT (Internet Based Testing).
- and in the case of nurses, an exam of nursing knowledge - Registered nurse applicants who wish to obtain an occupational visa to practice as nurses in the United States must present a CGFNS Certification Program Certificate or a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Once the applicant has successfully completed all elements of the VisaScreen T program, the applicant is awarded a VisaScreen T Certificate, which can be presented to a consular office or, in the case of adjustment status, the attorney general as part of a visa application.