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Question: I am a registered Nurse in the Philippines and I have passed the CGFNS. I have heard that there are new regulations for health care workers. Is that true?

Answer: Yes, new regulations were just implemented. These new regulations apply to temporary health care workers as well as the health care workers applying for lawful permanent residency. The new rules become effective September 23, 2003.

There are several new regulations for firms to be able to apply to be able to submit the necessary application to issue the certificates needed for these health care professionals.

Question: Do these new regulations apply to every type of health care professional?

Answer: No. They do not apply to Physicians and non-clinical positions such as researches or administrative positions. Also, people coming into the U.S. on training related visas do not need the certificate. The types of medical fields covered are Licensed Practical Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, and Registered Nurses; Occupational Therapists; Physical Therapists; Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists; Medical Technologists; Physician Assistants and Medical Technicians.

Question: When does the certificate have to be presented and who issues this certificate?

Answer: For the nonimmigrant, he or she will have to show the certificate to the embassy or consulate and to the Department of Homeland Security each and every time they enter the United States. The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nurses (CGFNS) can issue the certificate for nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and audiologists, medical technicians and physician assistants.

Question: What does one have to do to get this certificate?

Answer: The person must show that his/her education, training, license, and experience are comparable with that required for an American health care worker of the same type; That the education, training, license, and experience are authentic and, in the case of a license, unencumbered; That the education, training, license, and experience meet all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for admission into the United States. Also, you must either pass an examination showing it is likely you will pass the actual licensing examination in the U.S., or you must pass the actual licensing examination itself.

Finally, you must show that you have passed the English language requirements.

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New Regulations for Health Care Workers