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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

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  1. H-1B Count: 58,700

    by , 01-12-2011 at 06:15 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    The latest USCIS update says that 58,700 of the 65,000 regular H-1B numbers were used as of January 7, 2011. The demand for H-1B numbers historically has spiked as the H-1B number grows closer to 65,000. MU predicts that the H-1B cap will be reached by the end of the month. MU clients strongly are urged immediately to initiate and file any regular cap-subject H-1B cases.
    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.
  2. Prospects for Healthcare Immigration in 2011

    by , 01-07-2011 at 07:06 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    The last few years have seen a declining American economy, dramatically reduced hiring numbers, and a Congress that has proven incapable to lead the country on badly needed immigration reform. Still, thanks to declining demand for H-1B numbers from the IT community, there are some signs that the worst may be over for healthcare immigration. There may even be a chance for positive healthcare immigration for nurses, although not where it is most needed.
    Although the 112th Congress is divided and that usually means gridlocked legislation initiatives, a coalition of like-minded Senators and Congressman may be able pass long-needed legislation aimed at solving one obvious staffing shortage in the healthcare industry - nursing.
    Nursing is the largest professional occupation in healthcare. While the nursing shortage has abated in many areas in the US, most economists predict the reemergence of the nursing shortage in the near term. Thursday's jobs' news was mixed. The positive news was that the unemployment number fell to 9.4%, which is the lowest percentage in 18 months.
    Might the 112th Congress consider a nurse visa bill aimed at reducing the 5-6 year wait for an immigrant nurse to enter the US? Perhaps. But the better chance is that the Congress looks to restore the H-1C visa, which provides badly-needed visas for 14 of the direst healthcare facilities. Rep. Lamar Smith, who is the forthcoming Chair of the Judiciary Committee, represents South Texas, near where several of the 14 facilities are located. With some advocacy, it is possible that the H-1C could be slightly amended to liberalize a revived H-1C.
    For specialty occupation allied healthcare positions that require a bachelor degree for entry into the position, such as Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, the IT industry's minimal usage of H-1B numbers looks to continue in 2011. Coupled with increasing opportunities for EB-2 immigrant visas, and notably faster labor certification times, prospects remain bright for applicants in these occupations in 2011.
    While a revived H-1C and more opportunities for H-1Bs are not as desired an increase to the EB-3 retrogression-driven quota, these factors may make 2011 a better year for applicants and employers than the last few.
    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.
  3. H-1B Cap to be Reached

    by , 01-03-2011 at 10:17 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    With the H-1B cap nearly reached, MU clients strongly are urged immediately to initiate and file any regular cap-subject H-1B cases.  The H-1B cap likely will be reached in January 2011. 
    The latest USCIS update says that 53,900 of the 65,000 regular H-1B numbers were used as of December 17, 2010.  While demand typically levels off during the Christmas and New Years holidays, it is expected that the demand will rise again in the first weeks of January.  The demand for H-1B numbers historically has spiked as the H-1B number grows closer to 65,000.
    Employees that may need an H-1B visa include:

    International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school;
    International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case;
    Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1;- H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization; and
    Prospective international employees currently living abroad.

    International workers who are working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as "transfer" cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year.
    Additionally, the USCIS sets aside an additional 20,000 H-1B numbers for graduates of US Masters degree (or higher) programs.  As of December 17, 2010, 19,700 of the 20,000 have been received by USCIS.  While no official USCIS announcement has been issued, that cap effectively may have already been reached.
    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.
  4. Happy Holidays!

    by , 12-21-2010 at 06:11 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)


    MU wishes all of its clients and friends a joyous Holiday season and a healthy New Year.

  5. Dreaming

    by , 12-15-2010 at 06:39 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
     

    by Chris Musillo

    The only potential immigration bill that will come out of the American Congress this Lame Duck Session is the Dream Act. The Dream Act proposes to provide a "path" to legalization for illegal/undocumented immigrants who: (1) entered the US as minors (under 16), (2) have completed high school and either served in the US military for two years or completed at least two years of college, and (3) are of good moral character (e.g. no criminal convictions). The bill will only apply to those that have been in the US for five years or more on the day of enactment, so there is no risk of encouraging future illegal entrants. The bill has gone through a few different iterations, but these are the basic concepts.

    The "path" is not an easy one. The House's version of the Dream Act, which was passed earlier this month, says that applicants must spend a minimum of 11 years after becoming legalized, before they would eligible to even apply for US citizenship. In other words, if the Dream Act was passed tomorrow, the first applicants would not become US citizens until 2021. During that time period, applicants would have another batch of requirements, notably a continued "good moral character" requirement.

    The Senate bill is shortly supposed to come up for vote. The Senate vote will be a close one. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to be spending loads of time working his colleagues for votes.

    While the bill doesn't contain any provisions for healthcare workers, MU supports the bill and thinks you should too. For one, the bill appears to strike a proper balance the real-world concern of rewarding illegal entrants with the moral issues of penalizing children who have spent most of their lives in the US.

    For two, it has been ages since Congress has passed a sensible immigration bill. By passing a moderate and moral bill, the US public may again see immigrants as people like them who help build a wonderful and enriched society. In turn, the healthcare community may get the immigration legislation it needs.
     

    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.
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