The foreign Registered Nurse must posses the following documents from his/her foreign country in order to start the Permanent Residence process:

1.      Diploma from a nursing school in his/her country;

2.      Registered Nurse License in his/her country;


In order for a foreign Registered Nurse to immigrate to the United States he/she requires to undergo Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certification Program.  The Certification Program is a three-part program designed specifically for first-level, general nurses educated outside of the United States.  This program includes credentials review, qualifying exam of nursing knowledge, and English language proficiency examination.

Following are the steps to be taken in order to obtain the U.S. Registered Nurse license:

  1. Complete and submit Application for the CGFNS Certification Program to CGFNS.
  2. Complete and submit Nursing Education Form to the nursing education institution in his/her native country.  The educational institution will then forward this form directly to CGFNS.
  3. Complete and submit Request for Validation of Registration/License Form to a licensing authority in his/her country of nursing education and to a licensing authority where he/she is currently registered/licensed. The licensing authority will then forward this form directly to CGFNS.
  4. CGFNS will review his/her eligibility after all necessary documents are submitted.  CGFNS will notify all eligible and ineligible applicants.
  5. Register for an English Language Proficiency Examination (TOEFL).

If he/she qualifies, he/she should prepare and take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and TOEFL.

CGFNS will send you Certification Program results.


Important: VISA SCREEN CERTIFICATE! – Visa Screen Certificate is required for all Registered Nurses wishing to immigrate to the United States.  This Certificate is issued by CGFNS.  We strongly recommend applying for Visa Screen Certificate at the same time you submit an Application for the CGFNS Certification Program.


 As soon as he/she obtains the U.S. RN License, an employer can submit an Immigrant Visa Petition to the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) along with all required documentation.  When Petition is approved the CIS sends notification to the National Visa Center (NVC).  The NVC forwards a packet to the nurse or his/her attorney containing biographical information forms and list of necessary documents to be presented at the interview.  Signed and completed forms must be submitted to the U.S. Consulate where the nurse will have his/her interview for permanent residency.  The U.S. Consulate will notify the applicant about the interview date.

In the nurse is in the United States, he/she may file Petition for Permanent Residency in the U.S. or choose to do a consulate processing.