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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. Dinner Plans at AILA Annual?

    by , 06-17-2010 at 05:47 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    About 15 AILA lawyers who practice in healthcare will be meeting for dinner on Thursday July 1, 2010 at the AILA Annual Conference. The group makes up the core of the FNT listserv, which is a lawyers-only email listserv that I have hosted since early 2004.

    If you are an AILA Attorney who is attending the conference and would like to join us, or if you are an attorney who practices in healthcare immigration and would like to join the listserv, drop me an email.
    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  2. State of Immigration Legislation - Nurses

    by , 06-16-2010 at 06:39 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
    It appears unlikely at this time that CIR will be passed in 2010. The entire US House of Representatives is up for election in November, along with one-third of the Senators. The elections are expected to be as contentious as the last few election cycles.

    The only chance for positive immigration reform is through piecemeal (smaller) immigration legislation. Unfortunately the prospects for piecemeal legislation are also small, as there is little motivation in Washington DC to liberalize visa quotas given that the US' nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. In light of these real world factors, the odds of a Schedule A visa bill in 2010 are very low.

    Longer term, the odds are much better. While the nursing shortage temporarily has abated, economists predict that the US' nursing shortage is expected to grow dramatically in the next decade. This supply will be filled by internationally-trained nurses in the forthcoming years. Of course this is of little comfort to US businesses that have spent countless hours developing their international connections and international nurses who have met all licensure and Visa Screen rules, only to have the US visa quota system let them down.

    The one bright spot is that we're starting to see promotion of retrogressed dates. The DOS predicts that the Worldwide EB3 (including Philippines) should be well into 2004 by the end of the summer. If we see the same progression in FY2011 that we saw in FY2010, the Worldwide EB3 date should move through 2005 and into 2006 by the end of FY2011.

    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  3. July 2010 Visa Bulletin

    by , 06-11-2010 at 06:25 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    The Department of State has just released the July 2010 Visa Bulletin

    The relevant dates are:
    EB-1 - all current
    EB-2 - all current, except China (22 NOV 05) and India (01 OCT 05)
    EB-3 - all 15 AUG 03, except India (22 NOV 01) and Mexico (U)

    There was excellent progress in India EB2, which jumped 8 months from 01 FEB 05. There was also a one month progression in India EB3 and a 6 week progression in all EB3 (including Philippines).

    The Visa Bulletin also included a prediction section based off of expected demand:


    Based on current indications of demand, the best case scenarios for cut-off dates which will be reached by the end of FY-2010 are as follows:

    EB-1: Current
    EB-2: all current, China and India: March or April 2006
    EB-3: Worldwide: June through September 2004, China: October through December 2003, India: February 2002, Mexico: Unavailable, Philippines: June through September 2004.
    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  4. Neufeld Memo Lawsuit Filed

    by , 06-09-2010 at 07:31 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    The Techserve Alliance (formerly the NACCB), the American Staffing Association, and three private companies yesterday sued the USCIS alleging that the government illegally issued the Neufeld Memorandum. This issuance altered long-standing policy that had allowed staffing firms to obtain H-1B visas on the same basis as other companies.

    While the Complaint has yet to be made public, the allegations are expected to be similar to those raised in prior discussions with USCIS.

    In the Neufeld Memorandum, the USCIS decreed that many staffing relationships are barred from using the H-1B visa program because staffing companies are not "employers".

    But this is wrong. Existing law defines an "employer" as one who may "hire, pay, fire, supervise, or otherwise control the work of any such employee". Plainly, staffing companies meet these characteristics. Instead of applying the law as it was written, the Neufeld Memorandum allows the USCIS to pay lip-service to these five factors.

    The Memorandum has caused grave concerns for many companies that use the staffing model because of inconsistent adjudication and unlawful USCIS denials. The IT staffing industry has been particularly impacted. The Memorandum derisively referred to the IT staffing model as a "job shop". Healthcare staffing models recently have also come under fire; USCIS Officers have used the spirit of the Neufeld Memorandum to attack heretofore acceptable and approvable staffing models.
    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
  5. Fewest Intl NCLEX Test Takers on Record

    by , 06-08-2010 at 07:01 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    The latest NCLEX data paints a dire picture for healthcare officials who may be looking toward international workers to help alleviate the nursing shortage. The first quarter of 2010 saw the fewest number of international NCLEX test takers and test passers since 2006. The 3,120 international NCLEX test passers are just 55% of peak 2007 numbers.

    While the US nursing shortage certainly has eased in recent months, economists and government officials all agree that this is a temporary condition. The U.S. nursing shortage is projected to grow to between 260,000 and 500,000 registered nurses by next decade. If even the smallest estimates are correct, a shortage of this magnitude would be twice as large as any nursing shortage experienced in this country since the mid-1960s.

    Only 3,120 international test takers took and passed the NCLEX in the first quarter of 2010. That's the smallest number of international test takers since at least 2006, which is the earliest data on the NCSBN website.

    In 2006, about 20,907 internationally educated RNs passed the NCLEX exam for an average of 5,227 per quarter. In 2007, the volume jumped; 22,827 internationally educated nurses passed the NCLEX exam, or 5,707 per quarter. With the onset of retrogression, 2008 saw a decline; 18,905 internationally educated RNs passed the exam, or 4,726 per quarter. In 2009, the international NCLEX pass number shrunk to 13,799 per year (3,450 per quarter).

    It is obvious that reasonable visa opportunities for international nurses must happen or else the US is going to find that it has a massive nursing shortage and international nurses are no longer there to fill the gap.

    To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
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