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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

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  1. CGFNS Prices Increase

    by , 12-28-2009 at 08:12 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

     
    by Chris Musillo
     
    CGFNS announced a new pricing structure for its core services and several ancillary services effective January 1, 2010.

    The new fee structure includes increases to almost all programs. Included in the price increase are Applications for the Certification Program, the Credentials Evaluation Service, the Visa Credentials Assessment program, the Credential Verification Service for New York State and other ancillary services.

    The standard Visa Screen price increases to $540, from $498. The renewal Certificate price is increasing from $250 to $275.

  2. H-1 Cap Has Been Reached

    by , 12-22-2009 at 09:28 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
     
    by Chris Musillo
     
    The H-1 cap has been reached. As of December 21, 2009, USCIS has received sufficient petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY2010. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2010 that are received after December 21, 2009 USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on December 21, 2009.
     



    The H-1 cap has been reached. As of December 21, 2009, USCIS has received sufficient petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY2010. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2010 that are received after December 21, 2009. USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on December 21, 2009.



    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.
  3. Holiday Reading

    by , 12-21-2009 at 06:34 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    CIR ASAP (HR 4321) has been published. I have uploaded a copy of it to my docstoc page. Please feel free to download, share, print out, or otherwise distribute. At 640+ pages, it is lengthy.

    The Library of Congress' Thomas database has a hyperlinked version that is better to use if you're just trying to focus on any one section. The important sections for Healthcare immigration are Chapter I, Title III.

    Sec. 301 - Recaptures past unused visa numbers
    Sec. 302 - Exempts LPR dependents from the IV quotas.
    Sec. 303 - Slightly increases the per country quotas.
    Sec. 320 - Provides IV cap exemptions for certain STEM and shortage occupations
    Sec. 321 - Allows those with pending IVs to file Adjustment of Status even if their priority date is not current.

    Happy Holiday reading!
  4. Summary of CIR ASAP

    by , 12-15-2009 at 10:54 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
     
    Both Reform For America and the Immigration Policy Center have summarized the Bill. According to the IPC summary, the ENSRA has been included in CIR ASAP. This means that nursing petitions will be exempt from the Immigrant Visa numbers, which is the legislation that groups such as the AAIHR have been pushing all along.



    Here are the other highlights for Healthcare workers and Employers:

    - Recapture of all Immigrant Visas (Family & Employment) from 1998-2008. Unfortunately this does not include the largest numbers from the 1990s; (UPDATE- The IPC summary says that the recapture is 1992-2008, which makes more sense and is better)
    - STEM occupations exempt from the Immigrant Visa numbers.
    - Immediate relatives exempt from Immigrant Visas quotas (this could be enormous and would be responsible for slicing the immigrant visa retrogression backlogs);

    - Increases the per country visa cap, thus ameliorating the Indian, Chinese, and Mexican retrogressions;

    - Spouses and Children of LPRs are Immediate Relatives and therefore IV quota-free;

    - Employers have affirmative obligation to report recruiters working on their behalf and can be held liable for the crimes of the recruiter;

    - Before an employer can hire an H-1B worker, the employer must meet strict requirements for the recruitment of American workers. This would also likely help Healthcare Petitions since the Healthcare staffing shortages are well-documented.
     
    Updated from a prior post.
  5. The CIR Battle Begins

    by , 12-14-2009 at 06:37 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
     
    On Tuesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez will unveil his version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which he calls CIR ASAP (Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009). CIR ASAP immediately has 10+ co-sponsors.

    Rep. Gutierrez has long been a pro-immigration stalwart. The initial version of CIR ASAP is likely more liberal than any future bill. The initial list of co-sponsors does not include any Republican members of Congress.

    It will be interesting to see if the Obama Administration comments on CIR ASAP or whether they wait for the Senate version of the bill to weigh in. It is assumed that Sen. Schumer's office has been working on a tamer version of CIR.

    Once CIR ASAP is published, I will review it for impact on Healthcare occupations. CIR ASAP comes on the heels of an impressive study by the Immigration Policy Center that highlights the critical role immigrants play on US healthcare.
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