Everything You Need to Know About VisaScreen Certificates
VisaScreen, also known as the Visa Credentials Assessment Service, is a comprehensive screening service used for foreign healthcare professionals who are seeking occupational visas in order to work in the United States. Upon completion and approval of an applicant’s VisaScreen, they will receive an official ICHP Certificate, satisfying the U.S. Federal screening requirements that certain foreign healthcare workers must go through.
As stated in Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (the IIRIRA), specific foreign healthcare professionals are required to complete a screening program before they can receive either a permanent or temporary occupational visa, this includes Trade NAFTA status.
Regarding professions that need a VisaScreen, there are nine main healthcare professions that all require a VisaScreen certificate, those being:
- Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurses
- Physical Therapists
- Physician Assistants
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Clinical Laboratory Technicians/Medical Laboratory Technicians
- Clinical Laboratory Scientists/Medical Laboratory Technologists
VisaScreen is not designed to be used for specialty medical fields, including biology, microbiology, perfusion, chemistry, laboratory safety, cytology, blood banking, etc.
To apply for a VisaScreen, there are document, photo, and language requirements that the applicant must successfully complete in order to be considered for a VisaScreen Certificate. The applicant must upload a passport-style photograph to complete their application. The required documents to submit include:
- Secondary School Information
- Secondary school (high school) diploma or exam certificate
- All documents must be in English
- Requirement is waived if you completed secondary school 10+ years ago
- License/Registration/Diplomas Information
- All licenses, registrations, and diplomas that are currently held or held in the past by the applicant from all jurisdictions (foreign and domestic) must be validated
- Professional Education Information
- Complete academic records/transcripts from each educational institution attended for the applicant’s profession
- Documents must be in English
It is also a requirement of the VisaScreen for the applicant to show that they are proficient in English, both written and orally. This is based on passing English language tests, including:
- The test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) or
- The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (including IELTS or UKVI)
- Passing scores vary by profession
It is also important to note that there are some possible exemptions to parts of the VisaScreen application process. In some cases, an applicant may be exempt from taking an English language proficiency exam should the applicant’s entry-level professional education have occurred in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, or the U.S., AND English must have been the language of instruction. Applicants for VisaScreen renewal ONLY can be exempt from the English language proficiency exam if they were employed in the U.S. for 27 months, with 9 months employment prior to the date of renewal, must be employed in the profession in which they are seeking, and the U.S. employer must sign and submit an employment summary on a corporate letterhead.
A VisaScreen is a necessity for certain healthcare professionals to work in the U.S. We hope that this guide has given you all the necessary information to successfully apply for your VisaScreen. Be sure to subscribe to Berardi Immigration Law’s social media channels to stay up to date on all the latest immigration related news!