Wednesday, May 5, 2010

California BRN now requires SSN

On April 26, 2010, the California Board of Registered Nursing announced that it would no longer accept applications that do not have a Social Security Number. The California BRN reasons that since the Nursing Practice Act provides for automatic issuance of the license upon approval, the Social Security Number is a prerequisite to the filing of the application. This is problematic for overseas nurses who are ineligible for Social Security Numbers by virtue of not having US visas and work authorization.

If a nurse has passed the NCLEX and the only issue holding up the issuance of the license is the lack of a Social Security Number, the USCIS should still approve the visa petition. This process would be consistent with the USCIS’ long-standing procedure on petitions solely lacking Social Security Numbers.

For instance, a November 20, 2001 INS (predecessor to the USCIS) Memo directs USCIS officers to approve petitions when the sole missing item is the social security number. Similarly a May 20, 2009 USCIS Memo reiterates this position.


  1. Hmmm....... Its interesting that the USCIS will still take your money though. They should stop accepting I-40's till they have cleared the backlog.

    We can only hope the New law in Arizona will spark piece meal immigration reform, that will benefit RGN's

  2. Can the USCIS then contact SSA to help solve this SSN problem for CA applicants?

  3. @ Kerry: I agree. The only good thing out of the AZ law is that it may kick-start CIR.

  4. @ Schedule A: Unfortunately the USCIS is unlikley to do this.

  5. @Chris Musillo who can present this problem to SSA? In the SSN section of SSA, they mentioned that they can help those who are required by a state law/regulation to have SSN, provided that they submit the letter that the only barrier for a specific benefit is the SSN. Maybe the applicant should contact SSA individually? Or must we ask the CA board to contact the SSA?

    CA applicants are at a loss due to this regulation. I hope SSA or CA board can deal with this mess. Who is to blame for this CA rule? Congress? Senate? The board of nursing officials? The governor?

    Is it the fault of the applicant that he/she can't have the SSN? There is a catch-22 on this license and SSN thing.


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