What are the Requirements to Obtain a VisaScreen Certificate for Nurses?

As the pandemic swept across the entire globe, the demand for healthcare workers has rapidly grown. The need for more nurses in the United States has reached a new high and continues to rise. While working as a nurse in the States is enticing, especially for trained professionals from other developing countries, there are still stringent processes you have to go through. 

The path to working in the healthcare industry in the US as an immigrant nurse may not be easy, but there are certain steps you can take to make it a smoother experience. Here is a step-by-step guide to acquiring a VisaScreen Certificate to help you get started: 

CGFNS VisaScreen

The CGFNS VisaScreen is a crucial step in realizing your dreams of working as a nurse in the US. This screening process has to be completed by certain healthcare professionals to receive a permanent or temporary working visa in the US. Your VisaScreen Certificate will serve as proof that you have the necessary skills and proficiency to work side-by-side with locally trained nurses.  

Getting Started 

Before applying for the VisaScreen Certification, applicants must create an account on the CGFNS portal. This will be the main hub where requirements have to be submitted and where you will be able to communicate with them throughout the application process. 

Required Documents for VisaScreen

Secondary School Information 

This information helps with thoroughly examining an applicant’s educational background. It’s also needed to compare their curriculum with those from local institutions.  

  • This includes your secondary school diploma or certification that shows the highest level of secondary education you received. 
  • All documents should be in English. (Can be translated by the applicant or someone authorized by the applicant) 
  • If your secondary school education has been completed for more than ten years, this requirement will be waived. 

 Nursing Education Information 

  • This includes all academic records or transcripts from nursing-related educational institutions you attended. 
  • This should also include course descriptions. 
  • All documents should be in English or translated by an officially registered translator. CGFNS offers translating services for a fee. 

Licenses, Registrations, and Diploma Education 

These documents validate previous and current licenses that the applicant has obtained. This will verify the validity of licenses and determine the restrictions on them.  

  • Current and previous Nursing Licenses 
  • Nursing Registrations 
  • Nursing Degree Diploma  

English Proficiency Exam 

Obtaining a VisaScreen Certificate requires you to undergo an oral and written exam to determine your level of proficiency in the English language. Applicants will have to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS) for their language assessment. 

  • Reading Section. This will include 36-56 tasks based on provided reading materials that will test your reading comprehension level. 
  • Listening Section. Consists of 34-51 tasks based on lectures, discussions, and conversations you will be required to listen to. 
  • Speaking Section. Takes about 20 minutes to complete. You will be asked to answer six questions about various topics, short readings, lectures, and conversations. 
  • Writing Section. This part of the exam involves two writing tasks and will take about 20 minutes. First, you will be required to write a response to a short passage and a lecture. There is also an independent writing task that will ask you to write an essay about a personal experience or a response to a particular topic.

Applicants should have an overall score of 84 and a minimum speaking score of 26 to pass the exam. Your exam results will be valid for two years. 

International English Language Test System (IELTS) 

  • Listening Section. Includes listening to four recorded monologues or conversations. You will then have to answer 40 questions about the recordings. The test will take about 30 minutes to complete. 
  • Reading Section. Consists of 40 questions that will determine the level of your reading comprehension. This will test your ability to: 
  •  Identify main ideas 
  •  Understand logical arguments 
  •  Point out writers’ opinions, attitudes, and purpose. 
  • Writing Section. Includes two writing tasks. The first task will require you to describe some form of visual information like a diagram or chart in 150 words. The next task will ask you to write a 250-word essay discussing your reaction to a certain topic. 
  • Speaking Section. This section of the exam will be conducted face-to-face with the examiner. You will be asked to talk in length about a particular topic and answer a series of follow-up questions after. 

An overall score of 6.5 and a 7 in the speaking section are required to pass the exam. The exam results are valid for two years. 

NOTE: CGFNS does not accept the at-home versions of English Language Proficiency exams.  

VisaScreen Certificate 

Once you have submitted all the required documents and passed all required tests, you are set to acquire your VisaScreen Certificate. This will be valid for five years from the date it was issued.  

Now that you have completed your certification, you are one step closer to realizing your dreams of working as a nurse in the US. Your next move will be choosing which state where you will take the nursing licensure exam or NCLEX.   

Choosing Where to Work

Think thoroughly about which state would you like to work because obtaining a nursing license in the US does not mean that you can work in any state in the country. Nursing licenses have to be applied for one state at a time. Knowing which states offer more benefits and would provide better working conditions can be very helpful. 

For instance, while many foreign nurses apply to work in California, it is important to know that the state has many caveats that can make the for new applicants more difficult. Some of the underlying reasons are: 

  • Higher cost of initial application ($300-$570) 
  • Longer turnaround time for license verification (4-8 weeks) 
  • High cost per verification ($100) 
  • Not a member of Nursys (national database for nursing license verification) 
  • Cannot apply for a license without a Social Security Number (SSN) 

With this information, you can consider applying in states with more favorable conditions for the application process. Some states can help you fast-track your career by not requiring a Social Security Number (SSN) before applying for a license. The following states offer this opportunity: 

  • Alaska 
  • Arizona 
  • Arkansas 
  • Idaho 
  • Illinois 
  • Michigan 
  • South Dakota 
  • Texas   
  • West Virginia 

All the school’s requirements and processes will take time, effort, and funds, so it is important you work with professionals when undertaking this endeavor. Staffing firms specializing in the nursing industry will help you expedite and make this process as easy as possible. This is why you have to find one who truly cares for your well-being during the application process and even beyond. 


We at PRS Global will work with you to achieve your employment goals, starting you off with a fast and hassle-free way of obtaining your VisaScreen Certificate. Our team of experts will help you throughout the whole process of direct staffing from start to finish and beyond. Working with us will grant you access to the following benefits: 

  • ACCESS TO I-140 PREMIUM PROCESSING FOR FREE! Be ahead of the curve when you work with us with expedited processing on your visa application. 
  • Reimbursement on the Visa Screen process you already paid for. 
  • Our professional team provides hands-on assistance  in every step of your VisaScreen application. 
  • We are also partners with renowned review centers to help you get in tip-top shape for your English Language Testing System (IELTS) Exam. 

Your journey to obtaining your VisaScreen Certificate does not have to be an uphill battle. Contact PRS Global today and see what we can do for you!