Path to a U.S. Employment Visa: Schedule A Occupations

Foreign nationals working in certain occupations have a much easier time getting a U.S. work visa.

Schedule A is a list of occupations, set forth at 20 CFR 656.15, for which the Department has determined there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available. In addition, Schedule A establishes that the employment of aliens in such occupations will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

The useful thing about working in a Schedule A occupation is that they are pre-certified by the Department of Labor, therefore your employer/petitioner can skip the Labor Certification process and proceed straight ahead to filing a visa petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Schedule A Occupations

The occupations listed under Schedule A include:

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists who possess all the qualifications necessary to take the physical therapist licensing examination in the state in which they propose to practice physical therapy.


The alien (i) has a Commission on Graduates Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certificate, (ii) the alien has passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX—RN) exam, or (iii) the alien holds a full and unrestricted (permanent) license to practice nursing in the state of intended employment.

Scientists or Artists (Except Performing Arts)

Aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences or arts (except the performing arts)   including college and university teachers of exceptional ability who have been practicing their science or art during the year prior to application and who intend to practice the same science or art in the United States. For purposes of this group, the term "science or art" means any field of knowledge and/or skill with respect to which colleges and universities commonly offer specialized courses leading to a degree in the knowledge and/or skill. An alien, however, need not have studied at a college or university in order to qualify.

Performing Artists

Aliens of exceptional ability in the performing arts, whose work during the past 12 months did require, and whose intended work in the United States will require, exceptional ability.

Getting an Employment Visa and Work Authorization

For information on the steps involved, see AllLaw's section on Working in the U.S. In order to qualify and petition for an employment visa and work authorization document, talk to a local immigration lawyer about the process and best strategy for success.

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