H-1C Registered Nurses in Disadvantaged Areas

This category replaces and repeals the H-1A category established by the Immigration Nursing Relief Act of 1989 (INRA). The new nonimmigrant classification for nurses, H-1C, was established by section 2 of the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 (NRDAA). The purpose of this provision is to make foreign nurses available for work in medical facilities located in areas currently underserved by registered nurses. It limits H-1C nurses to a three-year stay with no extension and sets a cap of five-hundred (500) new H-1C nurses per year with a limit of 25-50 visas per state depending on population. This category will sunset four (4) years from the promulgation of regulations. Although this category is modeled after the old H-1A category, its extreme limitations (500 cap, 25-50 per state cap, a limited list of hospitals that can petition and a four-year sunset) make its application very impractical.