F-1 Visa International Nursing Opportunities

Student F-1 visas present international nursing opportunities. These visas allow people to study nursing in the United States. Those on an F-1 visa can apply to stay in the country for a year after completing their academic program for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in their field of study.  

“With an F-1 visa, you have a path to a Green Card,” said Lilia O., manager of immigration, nurse staffing solutions, at O'Grady Peyton International, an AMN Healthcare company.

What is an F-1 visa?

An F-1 visa refers to a student visa needed to study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program-approved college or university in the United States. F-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas.

Once nurses with an F-1 visa graduate, they have a 12-month OPT (Optional Practical Training) opportunity, during which they can work in the United States. To obtain OPT, nursing students on an F-1 visa must maintain that status and apply for OPT up to 90 days before or 30 days after completing their nursing program. A designated school official can assist with the application.

“We are recruiting students who are already here on an F-1 and studying nursing,” Lilia says.

New graduate program with O'Grady Peyton International

Graduates must be eligible for OPT to secure a position with O'Grady Peyton International and take advantage of international nursing opportunities. Also, students having completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, must pass the NCLEX exam, and pass an English proficiency test if the degree was earned outside of the United States.

O'Grady Peyton International personnel will assist graduates in obtaining licensure. The nurses also must not have used 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Nurses in the O'Grady Peyton International new graduate program gain experience in an acute-care setting during their OPT, working as a nurse with an F-1 visa. All nurses participating in the program receive an in-depth orientation.

“OPT provides a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience and make connections within the healthcare industry,” Lilia said.

O'Grady Peyton International assists with immigration and visa sponsorship. All international nurses working as a nurse with an F-1 visa for the company receive competitive pay and benefits, including health, vision and dental insurance, and retirement savings options.

Opportunities for current students and recent graduates

Current and recent nursing students can apply for OPT and begin working with O'Grady Peyton International, planning ahead for where they might like to practice as a nurse.

In both cases, once a nurse starts working under OPT, the team at O'Grady Peyton International will apply for an Immigrant Petition for Workers. Its approval will include a priority date, which is the nurse’s place in line to apply for an Adjustment of Status (an I-485 application). The nurse will receive Employment Authorization, valid for two years approximately six months after the Adjustment of Status is filed.

International nurses can reapply for the Employment Authorization, if needed. Before obtaining a Green Card, the applicant must complete an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Right now, with retrogression, a type of waiting list, the United States is only issuing visas to applicants with priority dates before December 1, 2021.

“Due to visa number limitations, nurses from certain countries may experience waiting periods before they can file their I-485 applications,” Lilia said. “It's crucial to stay updated on Visa Bulletin updates.”

As an alternative, candidates with OPT close to expiring or that have already used their full CPT can file for a consular process, which allows them to go back to their country and process their immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate overseas.

Additional resources

For more information, visit the following websites.

Ready to get started?

O'Grady Peyton International has facilities ready to hire nursing graduates on an OPT program. F-1 visas present international nursing opportunities. Working as a nurse with an F-1 visa, allows the nurse to gain experience practicing in the U.S. healthcare system and to continue learning and developing professionally.

“For international nursing students on F-1 visas, the journey from studying in the U.S. to obtaining a Green Card is achievable through a combination of Optional Practical Training and the Adjustment of Status process,” Lilia said. “While it may require effort and patience, the reward of permanent residency and the opportunity to build a career in the U.S. can be well worth it.”

Contact O'Grady Peyton International and apply today to start the process of working as an international nurse in America. 

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