What is Schedule A?
Schedule A occupations—are a special “pre-certified” category of occupations that are exempted from the standard labor certification process. Schedule A consists of two groups: Group I, which includes professional nurses and physical therapists; and Group II, which includes aliens of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, and performing arts.
SCHEDULE A, GROUP I
Under PERM, a professional nurse is defined as “a person who applies the art and science of nursing which reflects comprehension of principles derived from the physical, biological and behavioral sciences.” Schedule A, Group I category include: Registered Nurses, Director of School of Nursing; Nurse Anesthetist; Nurse, Office; Nurse, School; Nurse, Supervisor; Nurse, Instructor; and Nurse Practitioner. Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs), and Nurse’s Aides do not qualify for Schedule A pre-certification and must file a labor certification application with DOL.
The other designated Group I shortage occupation is that of physical therapists. Under PERM, the foreign national must be “employed as a physical therapist,” defined as, “a person who applies the art and science of physical therapy to the treatment of patients with disabilities, disorders and injuries to relieve pain, develop or restore function, and maintain performance, using physical means, such as exercise, massage, heat, water, light, and electricity, as prescribed by a physician (or surgeon).”16 Physical therapist aides who provide physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist do not qualify for Schedule A precertification and must file a labor certification application.