Registered nurses from other countries who intend to work in Georgia can potentially become permanent U.S. residents through sponsorship by a U.S. employer in the state. The application process differs, depending on whether the nurse is in the U.S. or outside of it at the time that the employer submits the petition.

If the nurses are already in the U.S., the application process is shorter. They can take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses in Georgia and submit their results. The intended employers will need to submit petitions to sponsor the registered nurses for permanent resident status. The petitions will need to be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The nurses will need to submit applications to adjust their status for themselves and their family members and obtain visa screen certificates. The process can be expected to last from five to six months.

Nurses who are not in the U.S. must have degrees from nursing schools in their home countries and have licensure. They will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and submit their scores or obtain a certification from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. The employers will need to submit the immigration petition, which is Form I-140. Once the USCIS adjudicates the petition, the nurses will be allowed to begin working as lawful permanent residents with their employers.

There is a large shortage of registered nurses in the U.S., which makes it easier for them to become lawful permanent residents. Employers who want to hire foreign nurses to fill positions in their medical offices or hospitals might want to get help from experienced immigration law attorneys. The lawyers might help the employers and the nurses through the application process and explain the qualifications for sponsoring the nurses for work visas.