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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. H-1B Cap at 53,800

    by , 11-03-2009 at 01:01 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    The H-1B Petition is still a valid option for many healthcare workers including PTs, OTs, SLPs, Pharmacists and some nurses. Seven months into this term's fiscal year quota, the H-1B cap has not been reached. But that may not be the case for long.

    The USCIS has reported a jump in cap-subject approvals in October. As of October 30, 2009, approximately 53,800 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 20,000 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption have been filed. The Masters quota cap effectively has been reached, although a few "extra" numbers may be released if the USCIS denies some pending Masters cap-subject cases.

    Going forward, any H1-B petitions filed on behalf of an alien with an advanced degree will now count toward the general H1-B cap of 65,000. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

    Also, the USCIS just has announced that it will continue to accept the old Form G-28.
  2. U.S. Jobs Outlook (Finally) Improving

    by , 10-29-2009 at 06:16 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    Post written by Cindy Unkenholt

    According to an article earlier this week that was featured on, the National Association for Business Economics is reporting that for the first time in nearly two years more employers are planning to hire, rather than cut, staff. Similarly, it was noted that more companies increased their capital spending than the number that cut spending. Unemployment is still at historically high levels, but this report is one of many signals that the worst may be over.

    While this is clearly good news -- demand for Physical Therapy, Registered Nursing, Occupation Therapist, Speech Langauge Pathologists and other healthcare occupations still expect to be in great demand -- a word of caution may also be in order. An improving job market in the U.S. will likely eventually be reflected in an increase in H-1B petitions filed with the USCIS. Among the top twenty occupations predicted for significant growth were several in IT and healthcare, including: Systems Engineers, Physical Therapists, Computer/Network Security Consultants, Software Developers, and Occupational Therapists. These occupations have been common users of the H-1B program in the United States. Physical Therapists, for example, have long been designated by the U.S. Department of Labor as a national shortage occupation and recruited from abroad.

    The USCIS last updated the 2010 H-1B "Cap Count" on September 25, 2009. At that time, there had been approximately 46,700 H-1B petitions filed towards the annual quota of 65,000. Most casual observers see that this is only a few thousand more than were filed as of April 1, 2009, the first day employers were able to file H-1B petitions for the current fiscal year. However, insiders believe that while the economy has significantly reduced the number of H-1B petitions being filed. There has also been a large increase in denials which has impacted the overall number of petitions counted against the quota.

    As the U.S. economy and job market continue to improve, the number of H-1B filings may begin to steadily increase. In the short term, there appears to be no cause for alarm. However, if you anticipate any key hires or significant staffing increases, it may be prudent to keep your eye on the cap count in the first quarter of 2010.

  3. FCCPT News

    by , 10-26-2009 at 09:45 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo
    The Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) is one of the two US government-approved organizations that are authorized to evaluate the educational credentials of internationally-trained Physical Therapists. FCCPT has just launched a new website which is easier to use than their prior website. The new site allows for electronic tracking and reporting.

    In other FCCPT news, FCCPT recently discontinued use of the Type II Certification. Now all applicants to FCCPT must obtain the Type I Certificate. FCCPT has also announced the implementation of the most current Coursework Evaluation Tool-5, for use as of July 1, 2009. Any evaluations for current standards begun after July 1, 2009 will reflect the requirements on the new tool CWT-5.
  4. MU at ASHHRA

    by , 10-22-2009 at 06:59 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris MusilloMU's Chris Musillo has been selected as a Speaker at the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration's (ASHHRA) 45th Annual Conference in Chicago. ASHHRA is the US' premier organization exclusively dedicated to meeting the professional needs of human resources leaders in health care. More than 3,350 human resources professionals across the US are members.

    The Annual Conference takes place in Chicago and runs from November 1-3, 2009. Chris' session is Monday at 4:45 and is one of the Learning Sessions.

    Chris' talk will be on Strategic Healthcare Immigration. He will demonstrate the best practices in recruiting foreign trained RNs, PTs and other allied professionals. The session will highlight pitfalls in the process, and advise human resource professionals on how to avoid such pitfalls.

    If you are attending the conference, please contact Chris if there are any specific items that you would like him to address.
  5. The pieces are being put on the chessboard

    by , 10-19-2009 at 05:36 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    Sometime in the next few months, the US is going to revisit its ongoing discussion on immigration reform. The leading plan seems to be for Congress to address the issue via a Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) package.   CIR is expected to address many issues, including hot-button issues such as undocumented workers.

    The big question is how Congress will remedy its immigration policy for healthcare workers. For some occupations, the current program is unworkable. For instance, it presently takes about 7 years for a fully qualified nurse to enter the US.

    These RNs are fully qualified. They have graduated from international schools and had their education validated by US states' Boards of Nursing. They have taken and passed the US NCLEX licensure exam, and met all other individual state requirements for licensure, including passing English fluency exams. Every single RN in the queue has been offered a job by a US employer.

    There is no debate that these RNs are needed in the US, in spite of the current employment condition in the US. The predictions for US nursing supply over the next decade are disastrous.
    The IT community recognizes a similar set of fundamentals in their industry. Recently, the Semiconductor Industry of America (SIA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) co-authored a letter to the ranking members of the Congressional Subcommittee on Immigration. The letter calls for sensible immigration reform, including reforming quotas to match the needs of all interested parties. One of the aims is to reduce the enormous visa wait times for green cards for qualified workers. These reforms will also help healthcare workers, such as RNs. The healthcare industry continues to work the issue as well.

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