What Is H-1c Work Visa?

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The H-1C work visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to enter into the U.S. to perform temporary services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Note: The Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created this category for registered nurses where the nonimmigrant meets the requirements of section 212(m)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and will perform services at a facility (as defined in section 212(m)(6) of the Act) for which the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Attorney General that an unexpired attestation is on file and in effect under section 212(m)(2) of the Act.

On H-1C visa, you may

  • Enter into the U.S. and accept employment in a professional capacity for a temporary period
  • Not have to maintain a foreign residence
  • Travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. continuously for the term of the H-1C visa
  • Bring your dependents, spouse as well as unmarried children under 21, on
    H-4 visa
  • With your employer’s consent obtain permanent residence Green Card in the U.S

The limitations of H-1C visa are:

  • Only 500 H-1C visas will be issued each year during the four year period of the H-1C program (2000-2004)
  • There are also caps imposed on individual states. States with a population of less than nine million as of 1990 may have no more than 25 H-1C visas annually. States with more than nine million may have no more than 50 H-1C visas annually. If all available visas in a fiscal year quarter are not used, the visas may be issued to states regardless of population or the state cap during the last fiscal year quarter
  • A person who has been in the U.S. for three years on H-1C status may not return home for some period of time and later reapply. (H-1Cs who wish to remain longer in the U.S. should file for Lawful Permanent Residency through a streamlined process known as ‘Schedule A’ for nurses)
  • H-1C time counts whether you are in the U.S. or abroad
  • H-1C dependents may not work in the U.S.
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