Specialists in Medical Technology Not Subject to Visa Screen

USCIS has provided guidance regarding the visa screen requirement applicability to Medical Technologist specialists. The following is the relevant information excerpted from AILA Liaison/USCIS SCOPS (4/16/08), AILA Doc. No. 08042367.


AILA: Members are reporting conflicts that have arisen between the CGFNS and USCIS positions on the need for a Visa Screen for Medical Technologist specialist cases. CGFNS takes the position that specialists in medical technology (e.g., cytotechnologists) are not subject to the Visa Screen requirement, decline to issue Visa Screen certification, and instead, provide a letter explaining why they are declining to issue the Visa Screen. Since CGFNS has been mandated as the agency to decide Visa Screen issues, if CGFNS decides in a particular situation that a Visa Screen is not required, will USCIS adhere to the CGFNS decision?

ANSWER: USCIS agrees that a visa screen cannot be issued in this instance. Medical technologist specialists fall outside the regulations requiring visa screens. This issue has already been reviewed within the Service Center and USCIS requests that AILA notify them if these types of issues continue.

As provided in 8 CFR 212.15 (c), only the health care occupations listed are subject to the certification requirement:

“Paragraph (c) applies to any alien seeking admission to the United States to perform labor in one of the following health care occupations, regardless of where he or she received his or her education or training:

(1) Licensed Practical Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, and Registered Nurses.

(2) Occupational Therapists.

(3) Physical Therapists.

(4) Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

(5) Medical Technologists (Clinical Laboratory Scientists).

(6) Physician Assistants.

(7) Medical Technicians (Clinical Laboratory Technicians).”

CGFNS is an approved credentialing agency only for the above seven occupations. For USCIS purposes, medical technology specialists such as nuclear medical technologists and cytotechnologists do not fall within the technologist category. These occupations fall outside the purview of the certification requirement; professions not specifically mentioned in the regulation are not subject to the provisions of the regulation.


Note that while USCIS states that these specialists are not subject to the visa screen requirement, it implies that medical technology specialists do not fall within the TN category for general Medical Technologists. In fact, an informational bulletin released by USCIS specifically states that nuclear medical technicians do not fall under the Medical Technologists TN category.