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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. August VB released

    by , 07-11-2009 at 12:26 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    The Department of State has released the August Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin is the listing of processing dates for immigrant visas (Green cards). As expected there are no changes in the August Bulletin, as all visas has been exhausted for the usual categories (EB3) for RNs, PTs, OTs and other allied positions.

    The EB2 category remains "current" for natives of most countries. Cases filed under EB2 are eligible for immediate processing and should expect approval in the near future. The two major EB2 exceptions are China and India. Chinese and Indian cases are only being processed for those with priority dates before October 1, 2003.

    The September Visa Bulletin will be released in mid-August. The September VB will likely have the same dates as the August Visa Bulletin, at least with respect to the categories discussed in this post.

    The next major Visa Bulletin will be the October VB, which should be published in mid-September. The US fiscal year runs from October 1 - September 30, and so the 2010 US fiscal year begins October 1, 2009. Preliminary expectations are that the DOS will start the dates off slowly, and then progress them in a systematic process throughout the year. My sense is that the EB3 dates will be in the 2003-05 time frame. Depending on demand in October and November, I could see those dates aggressively moving ahead.

    Predicting the progression of Visa Bulletin dates is a somewhat impossible exercise. No one knows just how many 2003-05 visas remain unused, and no one knows how many of those people no longer want their visas.
  2. Masters PT / OT H-1B Update

    by , 07-07-2009 at 11:35 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    Back in the spring, the USCIS routinely was denying PT and OT H-1B cases in instances in which the PT /OT did not hold a Masters Degree. This was wrong. Many clients filed appeals to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). Eventually, several staffing and recruiting clients bandied together and filed a lawsuit against the USCIS. Cindy and I were pleased to take a leading role in the direction of that lawsuit.

    In direct response to the lawsuit, USCIS' Service Center Operations Officer Barbara Velarde issued a May 22, 2009 Guidance Memorandum clarifying the point that there was no Masters Degree rule. Instead, the Guidance directs all USCIS officers to approve all H-1B cases for PT/OTs as long as the worker holds a license in the state of intended employment.

    Since that time all of MU's post-May 22 cases have been approved, save one unusual case. We are working directly with the California Service to have that one case overturned.

    At the AILA Annual Convention, the USCIS said that there would be a forthcoming Guidance explaining how to overturn previously denied H-1B cases. None has been published. That having been said, we have begun to see the USCIS, on its own volition, take some action. This week we received our first AAO approval; the case appears to have never actually been sent to the AAO, it was just approved by the California Service Center (CSC).

    I've also seen a communication in which the CSC confirmed to a House of Representatives' staffer, that "the California Service Center will commit to an answer in 30 to 60 days." Hopefully, we all can put an end to this unfortunate tale in the near future.
  3. Following the Blog

    by , 07-03-2009 at 06:02 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    There are several ways to follow the posts on this Blog.
    1.  Come right here to  As I have done for the past three and a half years, I expect to post 2-3 times a week with updates targeted to Healthcare Immigration, focusing on RNs, PTs, OTs, SLPs, and other allied occupations.
    2.  Visit the mirror site at
    3.  Get an email subscription of the Blog.  To do so, input your email id on the right hand column at
    4.  I'm now Tweeting!  Follow me on Twitter @ChrisMusillo.

  4. Musillo Unkenholt LLC

    by , 07-01-2009 at 01:49 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    I am pleased to announce the launch of MusilloUnkenholt Immigration Law!  Cindy Unkenholt and I combine decades of experience with a sincere passion for immigration law. I wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude that you have followed all of my Blog postings over the years.  I will no longer be posting to the previous Blog site.  I would also like to thank Sam and the for their continued production of this Blog, which focuses its postings on the intersection of nursing, allied healthcare and immigration.

    Cindy and I are pleased that we're being joined by our dedicated and knowledgeable staff.   The partners and staff of MusilloUnkenholt believe that the practice of immigration law is unlike any other!

    My new contact information is:

    Christopher T. Musillo, Esq.
    MusilloUnkenholt LLC
    3400 Carew Tower
    441 Vine Street
    Cincinnati, OH 45202
    voice: 513.744.4080
    main voice: 513.381.8472
    fax: 513.322.0045

  5. Remarking on CIR

    by , 06-25-2009 at 05:16 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    As I've mentioned a few times in recent posts, the conventional wisdom in Washington is that the best chance for the ENRSA is for the ENSRA to be written into the forthcoming CIR and then CIR to be passed.  

    Whether ENSRA eventually written into the CIR is an open question at this time and likely will not be decided until CIR looks like it will eventually be passed.  At this point, the best that we can do is monitor the progress of  CIR.  Recently several high ranking politicians, including the President, have ventured their guesses on the likelihood of CIR.

    On Wednesday Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is the Chair of Immigration Subcommittee and has always taken a leading role in immigration matters spoke to the 6th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference Migration Policy Institute.  In all, Schumer announced seven principles that he said would form the basis for the legislation he intends to introduce by the fall:

    1.  Illegal immigration is wrong, and a primary goal of comprehensive immigration reform must be to dramatically curtail future illegal immigration.

    2.  Operational control of our borders--through significant additional increases in infrastructure, technology, and border personnel--must be achieved within a year of enactment of legislation.

    3.  A biometric-based employer verification system--with tough enforcement and auditing--is necessary to significantly diminish the job magnet that attracts illegal aliens to the United States and to provide certainty and simplicity for employers.
    4.  All illegal aliens present in the United States on the date of enactment of our bill must quickly register their presence with the United States Government--and submit to a rigorous process of converting to legal status and earning a path to citizenship--or face imminent deportation.

    5.  Family reunification is a cornerstone value of our immigration system.  By dramatically reducing illegal immigration, we can create more room for both family immigration and employment-based immigration.

    6.  We must encourage the world's best and brightest individuals to come to the United States and create the new technologies and businesses that will employ countless American workers, but must discourage businesses from using our immigration laws as a means to obtain temporary and less-expensive foreign labor to replace capable American workers; and finally

    7.  We must create a system that converts the current flow of unskilled illegal immigrants into the United States into a more manageable and controlled flow of legal immigrants who can be absorbed by our economy.

    President Obama also held a meeting with leading Congress and Senatorial leaders.  The President's remarks tended to focus on an enhanced website by USCIS, although he reiterated that his office is "fully behind an effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.  I have asked my Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Janet Napolitano, to lead up a group that is going to be working with a leadership group from both the House and the Senate to start systematically working through these issues from the congressional leaders and those with the relevant jurisdiction.  What we've heard is through a process of regular order, they would like to work through these issues both in the House and in the Senate." 

    -Chris Musillo

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