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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. H-1 Cap Update: 27,300 used

    by , 08-06-2010 at 06:56 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
    The H-1B is the common employment-based nonimmigrant visa. The H-1B is a common visa for healthcare professionals such as Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, some nursing positions, and other professions ordinarily associated with a Bachelors degree or greater. The H-1B traditionally has been in great demand by the IT community.

    The US government can issue 65,000 cap-subject H-1Bs in any given year. An additional cap of 20,000 H-1Bs is set aside of graduates of US Masters Degrees programs (or greater programs, including Ph. Ds). For the middle part of this decade, the H-1B cap was fully subscribed on the first day that Petitions were allowed to be filed, April 1.

    This year has seen the smallest number of H-1B Petitions in many years. Through the end of July, just 27,300 cap-subject H-1Bs have been approved and 11,600 cap-subject Masters H-1Bs. Last year, we saw almost twice as many H-1Bs at this time and last year's cap-subject H-1B cap lasted until mid-December. This year's numbers indicate that the cap-subject H-1B quota should be available until at least early 2011.

    Generally speaking "new" H-1B petitions are subject to the H-1B cap. 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 here 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.

    With the economic conditions of the last two years, H-1B usage has slowed dramatically. As I have argued in the past, less H-1B usage in a shrinking economy is evidence of the lack of fraud in the H-1B program.

    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  2. Combating the FSBPT’s Discrimination Policy

    by , 08-03-2010 at 07:46 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    As we have previously posted, the FSBPT's July 12 policy barred graduates from universities in the Philippines, India, Egypt and Pakistan from sitting for the NPTE. Under the FSBPT's current policy, graduates from those four countries will be given their own separate but equal exam starting in the Fall of 2011.

    MU knows that several states have begun contacting the FSBPT to inquire if the FSBPT can speed up this process or rescind it. Some states may act in the next few days.

    Once the letter is issued, it will be incumbent on the FSBPT to reconsider alternatives to their separate but equal approach or run the risk of legal action. MU is also aware of several different parties and states that are consulting with attorneys to evaluate their legal options. Legal action is the least -desired course of action. If you have been denied an opportunity to take the NPTE and you are in the US and would like to help remedy the FSBPT's policy, please contact Cindy Unkenholt or Chris Musillo.
    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  3. California Dreaming

    by , 07-27-2010 at 06:30 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    On July 28, the California Board of Physical Therapy will hold its Quarterly Board Meeting in Sacramento, California. The agenda includes a Board discussion on the Actions Taken By the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to Suspend Testing for NPTE Exam Candidates from Specific Countries.

    The Meeting is open to the public. If you are in or around the Sacramento area, you should attend. If you do not attend, you should send an email to the Board explaining your position.

    If California is not convenient for you, perhaps New Jersey is. New Jersey's Board of Physical Therapy meets today. If not New Jersey, then which state's Board meeting can you attend to make your position known?

    I am in the process of gathering dates for all major states. Here is the list that I have so far:

    New Jersey - July 27, 2010
    Arizona - July 27, 2010
    California - July 28, 2010
    Florida - August 5, 2010
    Maryland - August 17, 2010
    Illinois - October 2010

    If you need model letter and/or talking points to help you frame your communications, please email me or Cindy. Also, if you know of other state's Board meeting dates, please let us know by commenting or emailing.

    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  4. Philippine Ambassador weighs in

    by , 07-23-2010 at 07:19 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    Willy C. Gaa, the Philippine Ambassador to the United States has written a strong letter to FSBPT Director William Hatherill condemning the FSBPT's recent testing ban on Philippine, India, Egyptian, and Pakistani graduates. In the letter Ambassador Gaa said that the testing ban was "arbitrary" and "a blanket indictment" on the credibility of all Philippine Physical Therapists. He calls for the FSBPT to revoke the testing ban and to work with the Philippine government to address the problem of review center abuses.

    Ambassador Gaa outlined efforts that the Philippine legislature has taken to ensure the integrity of standardized tests, including a fast-track bill to give broader authority to the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to regulate review centers.
    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  5. FSBPT "reaffirms" its decision

    by , 07-20-2010 at 06:59 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    A recent posting on the FSBPT website says that the FSBPT Board has "reaffirmed its prior decision" to suspend graduates of PT programs in the Philippines, India, Pakistan and Egypt. The website posting does not indicate why the decision was revisited, what criteria went into the decision, and whether the Board seriously considered revoking its prior decision.

    The posting does indicate that the FSBPT Board is directing its staff to quickly produce the FSBPT-YRLY, although it does not expect that the FSBPT_YRLY will be available earlier than the "latter part of 2011".
    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
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