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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. FCCPT Type II Suspended

    by , 09-09-2009 at 06:38 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
    On September 1, the FCCPT suspended the FCCPT Type II Visa Screen process. FCCPT has determined that the original purpose of the Type II had been accomplished. The idea behind the Type II was to streamline the process for applicants already in the US. The streamlined process under Type II did not include an educational credential review.

    Applicants with Type II Applications that are pending before FCCPT may complete the Type II service or they may change to the Type I service, prior to December 31, 2009. More information on the suspension of the Type II program is available at the FCCPT website.
  2. Must I pay Unlicensed H-1B Workers?

    by , 09-03-2009 at 07:44 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    A client of mine recently asked me an interesting question. This client recruits Physical Therapists, although the lesson applies to all licensed occupations. They are getting ready for their H-1B hires to enter the US in October. But they have a question about when they need to pay these workers, many of whom have not yet received their licenses.

    First a little background. The National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) is not offered overseas. Accordingly, all PTs must enter the US in order to sit for the licensing exam. The USCIS often approves unlicensed PTs for H-1B visa status, and there is ample Guidance to support these decisions.

    My client's approved PTs must then come into the US, sit for the NPTE, and then obtain their state license. Once they obtain the state license, they can begin their PT work.

    The problem is that this plan bumps up against the Department of Labor's rules on salaries to H-1B workers. 20 CFR 731(c)(6) and (7) say that H-1B workers must be paid their salaries within 30 days of entering the US. This may be problematic because it is rare that the worker enters the US, sits for the exam, and is granted the license in just 30 days.

    Subsections (c)(6) and (7) also says that worker must be paid once s/he "enters into employment," which includes "reporting for orientation" and "studying for licensing examinations".

    There are a few solutions to this dilemma, although none of them are ideal from the employer or employee's perspective (my experience is that the H-1B workers would be willing to sacrifice all or some of their pay while waiting for the results of their licensing exam):

    One solution that is in compliance with (6) and (7) is to make sure that the PT is fully ready to take the licensing exam when the PT enters the US so that you can use the full 30 day period before entering the employee into employment. If at all possible, training, and orientation should be done outside the US.

    Another solution is to bring the H-1B worker into the US to take the licensing exam, and then immediately cycled back out of the US while waiting for the remainder of the licensing process. H-1B workers who aren't in the US aren't subject to (6) and (7).

    A last strategy is initially to file the workers for part-time or hourly H-1B status. This doesn't obviate the need to pay the wages, but can reduce the salary obligation.
  3. AAIHR Annual Meeting

    by , 09-02-2009 at 08:06 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    The AAIHR is holding its Annual Meeting of Members September 16, 2009 in Washington DC. The agenda includes the election of the next term's Directors. On September 17, 2009 the AAIHR members will be walking the halls of Congress and will be promoting the ENSRA for inclusion in the CIR. Staffing companies and recruiters are invited to join via the AAIHR's webpage.
  4. H-1B for Nurses

    by , 08-27-2009 at 10:34 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
    I often am asked by employers and nurses, whether they can be sponsored for an H-1B visa.

    There are two key concepts:

    1. The nurse must hold at least a Bachelors degree in nursing (e.g. BSN); AND
    2. The position must normally require a Bachelors degree. MU has seen the most success in these scenarios:

    A. The hospital is offering the nurse a position as a Clinical nurse specialist (CNS), Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), Certified nurse-midwife (CNM), or a Certified nurse practitioner (APRN-certified) Critical care and the nurse holds the certification;

    B. If the nurse will be working in an Administrative position ordinarily associated with a Bachelors degree, such as Charge Nurse or Nurse Manager;

    C. If the nurse will be working in one of these specialties: peri-operative, school health, occupational health, rehabilitation nursing, emergency room nursing, critical care, operating room, oncology and pediatrics. And the hospital will attest that these roles are only offered to those with Bachelors degrees. Some magnet hospitals have the BSN as its standards, and these make great destination hospitals for H-1 RNs.
  5. Reform Minded?

    by , 08-24-2009 at 07:32 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
    Late last week Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hosted 130 immigration reform leaders at the White House. The purpose of the meeting was to tamp down the growing chorus that the administration was ignoring immigration reform. The President even dropped in. The plan may have worked. Many would-be critics of any CIR legislative delay went and released positive messages shortly after the meeting.

    For those interested in healthcare immigration reform, the next few months are critical. If you are interested in liberalizing needed visas for US healthcare workers, now is a good time to meet with your local Congressional delegation, as they are all in their home districts until early September.

    Meeting with Congressional representatives is surprisingly easy. All that one needs to do is to place a simple call to the Representative's office. These phone numbers are readily available on Representatives' webpage. Everyone who is interested in the US should take the time to contact their Congressional representatives and/or have their friends and family in the US do so.

    The message is a simple one:

    1. The Department of Labor predicts that the Registered Nurse occupation will grow faster than any other job in the next seven years. (Chart at Table 8 of link).
    2. There are not enough US nurse educators to train the next generation of nurses.
    3. There is an excellent piece of legislation that, if passed, will create a special immigrant visa category for nurses. The legislation is H.R.2536 - Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act and is sponsored by Rep. Wexler (D-FL) and Rep. Sensenbrenner (R- WI).
    4. The legislation calls for 20,000 nurses per year, for three years. An additional $1,500 is added to visa fee. The $90 million that this legislation raises goes directly to US nursing schools who can use the funds to train the next generation of US nurses.

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