VS Experts 101: Complete Visa Screen Application Guide for Foreign Healthcare Professionals
You're probably aware that healthcare professionals who wish to work in the United States must get a permanent or occupational visa first. They'd also have to go through a thorough screening process. The International Commission on Healthcare Professions or ICHP, a subsidiary of CGFNS, offers Visa Screen for this goal. Visa Screen helps healthcare professionals achieve the screening requirement by confirming and analyzing their credentials, ensuring that they match the minimum eligibility standards the US government sets.
But before you process your Visa Screen, you should know a few things. Let's go first with the basics.
Visa Screen: Visa Credentials Assessment Service is a comprehensive screening service for healthcare professionals. Specific healthcare professionals must pass a screening program before receiving either a permanent or occupational visa, including Trade NAFTA status. Once all elements of the assessment are successfully completed, you will receive a Visa Screen certificate. The service includes an educational review, licensure review, English language proficiency assessment, and the passing of one of two approved examinations for registered nurses (the CGFNS Qualifying Exam or NCLEX RN).
There are three types of applications for the Visa Screen Service:
- The application for the standard service.
- Reprocessing an expired order.
- Renewing an expired Visa Screen certificate.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has approved CGFNS International (the institution that manages the visa screen process) to confirm the credentials of the following nine foreign healthcare professions for occupational visas:
- Registered nurses.
- Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurses
- Physical therapists
- Physician Assistants
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Clinical Laboratory Technicians / Medical Laboratory Technicians
- Clinical Laboratory Scientists / Medical Laboratory Technologists
What is the Purpose of Visa Screen, and what can a candidate get for completing the Visa Screen program?
Specific healthcare workers must complete a screening procedure before receiving a permanent or temporary occupational visa, according to Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (the IIRIRA) of 1996.
Completed Visa Screen recipients will be issued an ICHP VisaScreen certificate, which can be presented to a consular officer or, in the case of visa status adjustment and other US Federal screening requirements.
Requirements for the Visa Screen include the following:
The credentialing agency will need education, license, and identity information. The candidate must also demonstrate proficiency in the English language.
What is the screening program included in Visa Screen?
- An assessment of an applicant's educational background to see if it is comparable to that of a US graduate in the same profession.
- A verification that an applicant's professional health care licenses are indeed valid and without restriction.
- An English language proficiency examination
- For registered nurses only, a verification that the nurse has passed either the CGFNS Qualifying Exam, NCLEX RN, or its predecessor, the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE)
How long is the validity of the Visa Screen certificate?
Applicants who complete the Visa Screen successfully obtain an official ICHP Certificate for the Visa Screen: Visa Credentials Assessment Service, which meets US Federal screening criteria. A Visa Screen Certificate is valid for five years from the date that it is issued.
Healthcare professionals who do not have a permanent visa or have not become citizens of the United States must reapply for a new certificate before it expires.
Healthcare professionals seeking a career in the United States must undergo the VisaScreen process. Visa Screen or Visa Credentials Assessment Service is a comprehensive screening service for healthcare professionals seeking an occupational visa to work in the United States for immigrant and nonimmigrant healthcare workers.
The Visa Screen application caters to a variety of healthcare professions, which means that each healthcare profession has its own set of Visa Screen application requirements, qualifications, and fees.
As a result, a candidate must be careful in verifying the different requirements to execute their Visa Screen application, and one which to consider is the English Exam.
In this article, we'll name the different types of English proficiency exams acceptable for the Visa Screen Application, which will help you narrow down your options when selecting your chosen English exam for your Visa Screen Application.
Let's start with the fundamentals. As required by federal law, applicants planning to take the Visa Screen must demonstrate oral and written English language competency.
There are seven approved and standard English proficiency exams for the Visa Screen application:
#1: IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
#2: TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test)
#3: Cambridge English (B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency exams)
#4: MET (Michigan English Test)
#5: OET (Occupational English Test)
#6: Pearson PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic
#7: TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, a standardized English language competence test for non-native English speakers. IELTS was one of the first four-skill English language tests, and it continues to be the gold standard for English language assessment today.
What are the different types of IELTS tests?
Academic and General Training are the two types of IELTS. Both tests assess your English listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities. The Listening and Speaking examinations will be the same for all IELTS test-takers, but the Reading and Writing tests will differ. As a result, you must prepare for the appropriate IELTS test.
More than 10,000 institutions, universities, and agencies in over 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, accept the TOEFL, or Test of English for Foreign Language. The test consists entirely of academic questions and assignments. It is often regarded as the most acceptable test for use in admissions decisions by several universities.
What are the different types of TOEFL tests?
The test is available in three types: paper (PBT - Paper-based Test), computer (CBT - Computer-based Test), and an online version (iBT - Internet-based Test). Only the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL PBT exams are currently recognized by the CGFNS as meeting the English proficiency exam requirement for the Visa Screen Application.
Cambridge English is widely accepted by over 25,000 universities, employers, and governments worldwide. This is one of the acceptable English Language exams to prove your level of English when applying for your Visa Screen Application.
What Cambridge English tests are accepted for the visa screening application?
The three Cambridge English examinations that are acceptable for the visa screening application are  B2 First, formerly known as Cambridge English: First (FCE),  Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), now known as C1 Advanced, and  C2 Proficiency exams or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE).
The Michigan English Test (MET) is a multilevel type of English proficiency exam. High-stakes decisions are made in educational and professional contexts using its certification. The MET is available as a digital 4-skill exam or a shortened 2-skill exam on paper or digitally.
The Occupational English Test language test assesses healthcare professionals' language and communication skills when seeking to register and practice in an English-speaking environment. It provides a valid and reliable assessment of all four language skills – listening, reading, writing, and speaking – emphasizing communication in medical and health professional settings. OET is recognized and trusted by healthcare boards and councils in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US.
The Pearson Test of English Academic is the English test trusted by universities, colleges, and governments worldwide. You can use the test to prove your English ability for university and college admissions or as part of a visa application. PTE caters English proficiency exams to all medical professions accepted by the Visa Screen except for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists.
An international standard test of English language ability for non-native speakers is called the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC). It is specifically intended to assess the English language proficiency of those working in a global setting, such as the US. The TOEIC consists of two tests: one that evaluates receptive English proficiency (reading and listening) and the other that assesses productive English proficiency (speaking and writing).
Your Visa Screen order will expire if it is not completed within a 12-month period. You can reprocess your expired order, which will allow you another year to submit the necessary documentation to obtain certification.
Important Note: Renewal of Visa Screen certification should not be mistaken with reprocessing an expired visa screen order.
Eligibility for Visa Screen Reprocessing orders
Until the order status changes to expired, you are unable to apply for a reprocess of your expired Visa Screen order. You have 12 months from the order’s expiration date to buy the reprocessing service. A single reprocessing of an order is permitted. In order to keep using the service after your order has expired a second time, you must place a new order at full price.
And there you have it, we hope this information has made the Visa Screening process easier for you and inspires you to take the last step toward fulfilling your USRN dream.
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