CGFNS Position on Medical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Covered under Health Care Certificate Requirement.

A foreign citizen who seeks admission to the United States for the primary purpose of performing labor as a health care worker, other than a physician, is inadmissible to the U.S. unless he or she presents a Health Care Worker certificate. There are seven health care occupations that are subject to the Health Care Worker certification requirements, but only four TN visa occupational categories may be subject to this requirement:

Since the implementation of the Health Care Worker certificate rule, there has been much confusion on which professions are covered under this rule for the Medical Technologists and Technicians occupational category. The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (“CGFNS”), an entity authorized to issue health care worker certificates, limits the Medical Technologists and Technicians category to cover only “medical laboratory generalists.” CGFNS has outlined two groups of professions that fall outside the scope of the “medical laboratory generalists” covered under the Health Care Worker certificate requirement

1. Unrelated and Uncovered Professions.

CGFNS considers the following professions as unrelated to Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians and, as result, do not require a Health Care Worker Certificate:

  • Medical Assistants
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Medical Records & Health Information Technicians
  • Medical Equipment Preparers
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Respiratory Therapy Technicians
  • Cardiovascular Technologist & Technicians
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists
  • Radiologic Technicians
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
  • Radiologic Technologists
  • Biological Technicians
  • Nuclear Monitoring Technicians
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Surgical Technologists

2. Related Specialist Occupations.

CGFNS considers the following professions related to medical laboratory technologists (clinical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians (clinical laboratory technicians). These professions do not require a Health Care Worker Certificate because they are specialists in clinical laboratory science, and not “medical laboratory generalists,” which Congress sought to cover under the Health Care Worker Certificate rule.

  • Clinical Laboratory Specialist in Cytogenetics [CLSp (CG)].
  • Certified Laboratory Specialist in Molecular Biology [CLSP (MB)].
  • Phlebotomy (CLPlb).
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist/Categoricals: Chemistry Urinalysis; Genatikigt; Immunohematology; Microbiology; Clinical Laboratory Director (CLdir); Clinical Laboratory Supervisor (CLsup).
  • Technicians: Histotechnician, HT (ASCP); Phlebotomy Technician, PBT (ASCP); Donor Phlebotomy Technician, DPT (ASCP); Aphaeresis Technician, AT (ASCP).
  • Technologists: Blood Banking, BB (ASCP); Chemistry, C (ASCP); Cytotechnologist, CT (ASCP); Hematology, H (ASCP); Histotechnologist, HTL (ASCP); Immunology, I (ASCP); Microbiology, M (ASCP); Molecular Pathology, MP (ASCP).
  • Specialists: Hemapheresis Practitioner, HP (ASCP); Blood Banking, SBB (ASCP); Chemistry, SC (ASCP); Hematology, SH (ASCP); Immunology, SI (ASCP); Microbiology, SM (ASCP); Cytotechnology, SCT (ASCP).

CGFNS considers the “Unrelated Professions” as different professions and therefore should not be covered by the Health Care Certificate Rule. Because the “Related Specialist” category does not involve the performance of general laboratory functions normally performed by a the Medical Technologists and Technicians, CGFNS also finds that Congress did not intend to require these specialist professions do obtain a Health Care Certificate.

Additional Information:


Revised Aug. 5, 2008.