Working as a Foreign-Educated Dental Hygienist in the U.S.

Embarking on a professional journey as a dental hygienist in the United States offers avenues for personal and career enrichment. This opportunity allows foreign-educated dental hygienists to explore job prospects in the U.S., requiring a thorough understanding of the intricate visa sponsorship process, associated costs, and essential prerequisites. Unraveling the complexities of pursuing a career as a foreign-educated dental hygienist in the U.S., the goal is to provide valuable insights to ease the transition.

What Is the Process for Working in the U.S. As a Foreign-Educated Dental Hygienist?

To work legally in the U.S., foreign-educated dental hygienists must secure a valid work visa. The most common visa categories for healthcare professionals include the H-1B and TN visas. However, dental hygienists typically fall under the H-1B visa category, which requires sponsorship from a U.S. employer. Employers must submit a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the candidate.

Steps in the Process:

  1. Job Offer: Securing a job offer from a U.S. employer willing to sponsor your H-1B visa is the initial step. Ensure the employer is aware of the specific visa requirements for dental hygienists.
  2. Labor Condition Application (LCA): Once the job offer is accepted, the employer files an LCA with the Department of Labor, outlining the terms and conditions of employment, including wages and work location.
  3. Form I-129 Petition: The employer submits Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to the USCIS. This petition details the employer's need for the dental hygienist's services and the candidate's qualifications.
  4. Consular Processing: Upon approval of the petition, candidates must apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. Consular officers will review the documentation and conduct interviews to assess eligibility.

How Much Does It Cost to Work as a Foreign-Educated Dental Hygienist in the U.S.?

Visa Application Fees: Candidates are responsible for paying the H-1B visa application fees, which typically range from $460 to $2,460, depending on various factors.

Legal and Filing Fees: Employers often bear the costs associated with preparing and filing the H-1B petition. However, candidates may encounter legal fees if they seek professional assistance in navigating the complex immigration process.

Relocation Expenses: Moving to the U.S. entails relocation expenses, including travel costs, accommodation, and initial living expenses. Candidates should plan accordingly to ensure a smooth transition.

How Long Does It Take To Work as a Foreign-Educated Dental Hygienist in the U.S.?

The duration of the job search varies, but once a job offer is secured, the process accelerates.

Visa Processing Time: USCIS processing times for H-1B petitions can range from a few weeks to several months. It is advisable to apply well in advance to accommodate potential delays.

Consular Processing: After USCIS approval, consular processing may take several weeks, including visa interview scheduling and document verification.

Relocation Planning: Candidates should factor in time for relocation logistics, such as securing housing, obtaining a social security number, and adjusting to the new work environment.

Are There Any Restrictions to Working as a Foreign-Educated Dental Hygienist in the U.S.?

State-Specific Licensing: Dental hygiene licensure requirements vary by state. Candidates must ensure compliance with the specific regulations of the state in which they intend to work. This may involve additional exams or educational equivalency assessments.

If you have any questions, please check the FAQ tab to find answers to the most common questions.
If you do not see the answer to your question, please contact the support team.

Still have questions?

Request a free consultation from our employment and legalization experts
Get a consultation