VisaScreen: Required Documents You Need to Know

July 07, 2020  |  Unistaff

VisaScreen Article Header

Healthcare professionals who are searching for opportunities to work in the United States need to go through the VisaScreen process. Gain a better understanding of what’s required at this stage and you’re on your way to a solid job application!


You already know by now that healthcare professionals who aspire to work in the US are required to have a permanent or occupational visa. They would also need to complete a comprehensive screening program. To this end, VisaScreen is offered by the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) - a division of CGFNS. VisaScreen enables healthcare professionals to fulfill the screening requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials, thus ensuring that they meet the US government’s minimum eligibility standards.

The screening process consists of the following:

  • Educational review
  • Licensure review
  • English language proficiency assessment
  • For nurses – Predictive examination

This means that nurses are required to successfully pass either the CGFNS Qualifying Exam or the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Once all the screening elements have been satisfied, you will receive a VisaScreen certificate. The VisaScreen certificate satisfies US Federal Screening requirements. 

VisaScreen certificate sample


What is VisaScreen?

VisaScreen logo


The Visa Credentials Assessment Service (VisaScreen) is a comprehensive screening service for healthcare professionals. Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996 states that any foreign national who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing labor as a health-care worker, other than a physician, is required to complete a screening program before they can receive their occupational visa. The Department of Homeland Security issued a regulation on July 25, 2003, which implemented a set of rules and procedures that authorized organizations must fulfill in order to properly evaluate the skills, qualifications and capabilities of immigrant and nonimmigrant healthcare workers. This became the VisaScreen certification process. Upon completion of the screening requirements, aspiring foreign US healthcare professionals can receive either a permanent or temporary employment visa.


Who needs or orders the VisaScreen?

Image of healthcare professionals


The VisaScreen is applicable for the following healthcare professionals:

  1. Registered nurses
  2. Licensed practical or vocation nurses
  3. Physical therapists
  4. Occupational therapists
  5. Physician assistants
  6. Audiologists
  7. Speech language pathologists
  8. Clinical laboratory technicians / Medical laboratory technicians
  9. Clinical laboratory scientists / Medical laboratory scientists


What are the Required Documents for the VisaScreen?

It is important to remember that the VisaScreen application requires the use of an active CGFNS account. Only then can you submit the requirements listed below.

VisaScreen requirements infographic


  1. Educational Information Review

This ensures that the applicant’s education meets all applicable, statutory and regulatory requirements for the profession the applicant intends to practice. The goal is to confirm that it is comparable to that of a US graduate seeking licensure.           

These documents must be in English and must be translated by an official registered translator. CGFNS can translate documents for an additional fee, should you choose to avail of this service from them.


  1. Licensure Information Review

This procedure evaluates initial and all current and past licenses. Validations provided directly to ICHP by the issuing or validating institution, affirm that the applicant has completed all practice requirements. And that there are no obstructions to the registration or licensure.

CGFNS validates all licenses, registrations, and diplomas obtained by an applicant for the VisaScreen: Visa Credentials Assessment Service.

The VisaScreen Report verifies the validity of all licenses, registrations, and diplomas. This includes licenses, registrations, and diplomas that are currently held or that have been held in the past by the applicant from all jurisdictions, including foreign and domestic.

Please note that licenses, registrations, and diplomas for professions unrelated to the profession for which an applicant is seeking a VisaScreen Service do NOT need to be submitted. 

Additionally, CGFNS and State Boards of Nursing require license validations to be current. Which means that the signature of the validation authority must be dated within the last three years.


  1. English Language Skills Assessment 

This assessment confirms that an applicant has shown the required competency in oral and written English by submitting passing scores on a test approved by the US Departments of Health and Human Services and Education.

Applicants for VisaScreen must demonstrate oral and written competency of the English language as mandated by federal law.

This is proven by achieving acceptable scores in one of two approved examinations, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test Sytem (IELTS).


The English proficiency requirement varies by profession as indicated below:

USRN required minimum english proficiency test scores


We’ve put together a detailed guide to help you learn more about the IELTS. We highly encourage you to check it out!


  1. Predictive Examination (for Nurses) 

Applicants who wish to obtain an occupational visa to practice as nurses in the United States must present a CGFNS Certificate or a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to provide proof of their nursing knowledge.


Technical Requirements

Applicants are required to submit a photograph with the following specifications:

    • File Type: JPG
    • File Size: Less than 5MB
    • Photo Dimensions: Square (51mm X 51mm)
    • In full color


Where to Seek Guidance for VisaScreen Processing?

DIY cs Licensing Partner


Organizing the multiple requirements listed above could become quite overwhelming. Especially for those who balance several priorities on a daily basis. Your schedule might be packed and managing a solid application requires careful thought and focused effort. If you choose to process all of these by yourself, there could be challenges that may cause delay in your application.


Read our article to know the pros and cons of undergoing a DIY process for your documents.


Universal Staffing Services Inc. (UNISTAFF) has worked with thousands of nurses over decades in the industry. And we have partnered up with recognized institutions who are verified experts in the VisaScreen Process. This partnership is borne out of the growing need to support healthcare professionals like yourself, to set up your application and make sure everything is right on track with specialized guidance.

IPASS Processing and NEAC Medical Exams Application Center are known for the excellent services they provide their clients. Together with UNISTAFF, they share the vision of helping health care professionals achieve their career goals in the most efficient way possible.


Through UNISTAFF’s program, the USCDP, our members and candidates have exclusive access to special discounts from our partner license processing companies. Learn about these exciting deals below:

iPass Spotlight


With USCDP, you'll get a 15% discount from IPASS Processing!

IPass - USCDP discounts


Ms. Rachelle Olivar, IPass's President & CEO has a personal message for all nurses.

Ipass processing letter to nurses for USA
Click on the image to enlarge



NEAC info


With USCDP, you'll get PHP 2,000.00 off from NEAC services!

NEAC - USCDP discounts



How long is the VisaScreen Validity Period?

VisaScreen Validity Period


VisaScreen certificates are valid for five years from the issue date.

Healthcare workers who have not obtained a permanent visa or have not become a US citizen must reapply to obtain a new certificate before its expiration date.

Another key detail to remember is that a certified statement may be issued to nurses educated outside of the United States who meet a specific set of qualifications. The IIRAIRA also permits a streamlined process for applicants born outside of the United States who have received entry-level professional education within the United States.

Renewal applicants are eligible for expedited review service, if they meet certain requirements. Additional services provided include document translation, as well as forwarding of academic records, transcripts, registration licenses and certifications.


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We hope this helps you gain a better understanding of the VisaScreen process.

To learn more, check out this insightful video by Ms. Rachelle Olivar of IPass Processing.


Interested to learn more about how our USCDP members have fast-tracked their applications with us? Join our online/live orientation to find out more. Subscribe today and we’ll let you know when our future orientations are!




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Unistaff Content Team

This article was put together by Unistaff's team of researchers, creative writers and content creators. We pride ourselves by publishing the most updated pieces of content in our blog section to enable you to make well informed decisions.

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