Frequently Asked Questions
for US Hospital Sponsorship
1.) DO I NEED THE CGFNS CERTIFICATE?
Yes and No. To file an immigrant VISA
petition (Form I-140), a CGFNS certificate
or full unrestricted license to practice
in a State of intended employment (NCLEX)
is required according to "Federal Immigration
Regulations". However, under current
INS practice, NCLEX may substitute for the
CGFNS certificate if the nurse will be employed
in a state like California or Florida where
the State Nursing Board does not specifically
require a CGFNS certificate.
Please remember that the CGFNS exam result
is not sufficient. The CGFNS certificate
is needed. To obtain a CGFNS certificate,
the nurse must pass the test of English
as a foreign language (TOEFL).
2.) WHEN SHOULD I TAKE THE TOEFL?
You can take the TOEFL at the same time
you take the CGFNS exam if you think you
are prepared for it.
3.) WILL I PAY ANY PLACEMENT FEE FOR
HOSPITAL SPONSORSHIP IN THE U.S.?
No, we do not charge a placement fee.
4.) WHO PAYS FOR THE IMMIGRATION DOCUMENT
AND PROCESSING FEE?
Immigration documentation and all other
associated expenses are paid by Akamai Healthcare
as part of a package agreed to by Akamai
and the sponsoring healthcare facility.
However, the visa fee for the applicant's
spouse and children is the responsibility
of the applicant.
5.) CAN I GET A REFUND OF MY EXAMINATION
FEE IF I HAVE ALREADY PASSED THE NCLEX OR
We may reimburse your exam fees depending
on the work contract we negotiate with the
6.) I AM PRESENTLY WORKING UNDER CONTRACT
WITH THE HOSPITAL, HOW CAN I APPLY FOR HOSPITAL
SPONSORSHIP TO THE US?
If you are working for a local hospital,
simply visit our website and apply online.
7.) DO I HAVE TO TERMINATE MY PRESENT
CONTRACT TO APPLY FOR HOSPITAL SPONSORSHIP?
No, we encourage you to finish and honor
your contract with your present employer.
8.) WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF THE CONTRACT
WITH A U.S. HOSPITAL?
The contract will last 2-3 years and at
the end of the contract, you can stay permanently
in the US.
9.) DO I HAVE TO WORK FOR THE HOSPITAL
OR MEDICAL INSTITUTION THAT PETITIONED ME?
Yes, the EB3 program is designed to facilitate
the sponsorship of foreign national nurses
to work in the U.S. to alleviate the shortage
of qualified American nurses. When a nurse
with an EB3 visa comes to the U.S. with
no intention of fulfilling her contract
to work with the petitioning hospital though
a bonafied job offer exists, is a crime
called VISA FRAUD. This is against the law
and expect the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
Service to take steps towards enforcing
this law more strictly in the future. Currently,
the only time the INS enforces the law is
when the petitioning hospital complains
to the INS or at the time when the EB3 visa
holder applies for US citizenship. If the
INS records indicate that the individual
never worked for the petitioning EB3 employer,
then the INS can deny the application for
citizenship and may place the individual
10.) WHAT HAPPENS IF THE NURSE LEAVES
THE HOSPITAL SOON AFTER ARRIVAL?
The nurse is obligated by law to fulfill
the contract to work for the medical facility
for the agreed term of either 2-3 years
in return for immigrant visa sponsorship.
11.) CAN I CHOOSE THE STATE AND HOSPITAL
WHERE I WANT TO BE EMPLOYED?
You may state your preferences and we
will do our best to accommodate your wishes.
12.) HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN
Nurses come to the US on an immigrant
visa "Employment Based Third Preference"
and sponsored by a medical institution.
This process allows the nurse to bypass
the normal labor certification processing.
It would normally take about a year to obtain
an immigrant visa. However, due to changing
geopolitical condition, this process can
last up to 18 months.
13.) CAN I BRING MY FAMILY WITH ME?
Yes. You can include your spouse and children
who are unmarried and less than 21 years
of age in the EB3 immigration paperwork
for an additional charge to cover the legal
services. We would, however, encourage the
nurse to travel alone and get settled before
bringing the family members just to ease
the transition to living and working in
America. The first few months living in
the U.S. can be stressful and emotionally
difficult. This is even more difficult if
other members of the family have to go through
this transition period.
Children under 21 years of age will receive
an immigrant's visa. Children who are married
do not qualify. However, you can sponsor
these married children and children over
21 years of age once you have obtained US
permanent residency. This process may take
years because of a waiting list or quotas.
Fortunately, under the new "V"
visa program, these children may enter the
US and work legally after the visa applications
have been in process for 3 years.
14.) I HAVE A TOURIST VISA. CAN I HAVE
IT CHANGED TO AN IMMIGRANT VISA?
If you come to the US on a tourist visa,
you have to wait 60 days before an adjustment
of status application and work authorization
request can be filed on your behalf. Both
of these applications would take about 90
days to complete which would mean, you have
to wait for 150 days before you can work
legally as a nurse.
15.) WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN LIVING ILLEGALLY
IN THE U.S.?
If you have entered the US without a visa
or if your period of lawful stay has expired,
we can still file an immigrant EB3 or H1B
petition on your behalf. However, you must
still go through the application process.
You may work in US hospitals while waiting
for your green card.
If you have lived in the US illegally
for less than 180 days, you probably will
not have a significant problem applying
for an immigration visa. However, if you
have lived illegally in the US for more
than 180 days, it is unlikely that you will
be granted an immigrant visa. There are
no hard and fast rules for the American
consular officers to follow.
If you are requesting an immigrant visa
and lived in the US illegally for 180 days
up to a year, then you must wait for 3 years
and live outside the US before the consul
may grant the immigrant visa. If you have
lived in the US illegally for more than
a year, then the 3 year penalty jumps to
16.) I AM A CANDIAN NURSE ENTERING THE
US ON A TN VISA; DO I STILL NEED A VISA
No. Certifications are not required for
healthcare workers entering the US on a
temporary or a non-immigrant visa including
TN visa. However, if you decide to adjust
your visa status and seek permanent residency,
you will need a visa screen.
17.) WHERE WILL I LIVE WHEN I ARRIVE
IN THE US?
The sponsoring hospital will provide free
2 months board and lodging to ease your
transition as soon as you arrive here in
18.) I AM A FOREIGN EDUCATED PARAMEDICAL
PROFESSIONAL IN A NON-CLINICAL OCCUPATION.
DO I NEED TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION UNDER
No. Healthcare professionals coming to
the United States to perform services in
a non-clinical setting that do not provide
patient care are not required to obtain
certification under Section 343. If you
are involved in patient care you must obtain
certification such as a visa screen certificate.
19.) MUST I SUBMIT MY ORIGINAL DOCUMENTATION
ICHP will only accept original verification
from issuing agencies. All validation of
registration and licenses and the applicant's
professional school transcript of record
must come directly from the issuing authority
to ICHP. ICHP in turn will validate all
these documents with the source.
20.) WHAT IF MY DOCUMENTS ARE NOT IN
A certified English translation with a
certificate of authenticity by the translator
must accompany any credential not in English.
ICHP will accept translation of documents
submitted by source agencies only from the
issuing authorities. Otherwise, ICHP can
provide an official translation for each
document for an additional fee.
21.) DO I NEED MY LICENSES VALIDATED
TO COMPLETE MY VISA SCREEN APPLICATION?
Yes. CGFNS requires all visa screen applicants
to provide validation of all licenses held
past and present and sent directly to CGFNS
from the issuing authorities.
22.) CAN I PROVIDE A PHOTOCOPY OF MY
LICENSE INSTEAD OF A VALIDATION?
No. CGFNS requires that official validations
of licenses must be completed and sent directly
from the issuing authorities.
23.) ONCE A VISA SCREEN IS ISSUED, WHERE
WILL THE CERTIFICATE BE FORWARDED TO?
The visa screen certificate is issued
directly to the applicant who then presents
it to the consular office to complete the