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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. Sanders amendment and the ENSRA

    by , 06-18-2009 at 08:02 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    In my last post I wrote of the threat that there would be a Sanders amendment to the Travel Promotion Act.  The amendment would have increased the fees that H-1B Petitioners are charged for that process.  This would have greatly impacted healthcare immigration focused businesses and beneficiaries.   The H-1B has been a bigger part of every company's immigration strategy since the 2007 retrogression of Schedule A workers.
    It appears that this threat to H-1B petitioners has been avoided.  Yesterday word circled through the business immigration that Sen. Sanders has agreed to withhold offering the amendment.  Many leading House and Senate members personally reached out to Sen. Sanders.

    The crux of their argument to Sen. Sanders was that if Comprehensive Immigration Reform is going to take root this fall, then piecemeal legislation such as H-1B fee increase would be counterproductive. 

    Unfortunately, this means that efforts to pass the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act (HR 2536) are not likely to be successful this spring/summer.  Representatives and Senators seem to be of the opinion that the ENSRA and other piecemeal legislation can be taken up in a comprehensive package this autumn.  Nevertheless efforts to pass it sooner than the autumn remain underway.
    -Chris Musillo
  2. H-1B Changes on the Horizon

    by , 06-16-2009 at 07:03 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    The Senate shortly is expected to consider the Travel Promotion Act (S. 1023).  Rumors are flying that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is considering adding that substantially will increase H-1B fees.  Senators such as Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will surely join Sen. Sanders.

    Organizations such as Compete America have already begun to work against these fee increases, arguing that an increase in fees will continue to make America less competitive, as talented international workers find options like Europe more accommodating and visa friendly.

    I've already explained why arguments that the H-1B is used to "steal" US jobs is a fallacy.  Likewise, most prominent economists contend that in modern economies jobs are created when talented workers are imported to supply shortage occupations.  At some point I hope that Congressional leaders listen to economists when creating economic policy.  To do otherwise is to open themselves up to xenophobic criticism.
    -Chris Musillo

  3. Guidance Forthcoming

    by , 06-10-2009 at 12:44 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    The USCIS will be issuing Guidance for all PT/OT cases that were denied as a result of the misapplication of a Masters Degree standard in PT and OT cases. The Guidance should be issued shortly and will provide the process for having those cases Reopen and approved in an expeditious manner.

    -Chris Musillo
  4. At AILA

    by , 06-04-2009 at 07:13 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    I am at the AILA annual conference this week and so I may not post this week unless something major happens. I will post a summary of interesting notes after I return.

    I did have dinner last night with my fellow bloggers and also met up with the President of For those of who don't know, my blog is reproduced in real time at on this page. remains the premier information source on the internet. For immigration lawyers who follow my blog and want to learn more about, ILW has a room on the third floor of the conference center at the Venetian. ILW has an extensive library of resources.

    -Chris Musillo
  5. USCIS Will Accept Bachelors PT/OT

    by , 05-27-2009 at 08:41 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    I am pleased to report that we have been successful in the goal of or PT/OT lawsuit! As you can see from this Memorandum, going forward the USCIS will approve all PT/OTs provided that the beneficiary holds at least a Bachelors degree.

    Later today or tomorrow, the USCIS is going to formally release this Memorandum. (UPDATE: It has been posted). An advance copy was sent to us last night by the DHS' lawyer in our lawsuit. The Memorandum says exactly what we hoped it would: if a PT/OT (or any healthcare worker) holds a valid unrestricted license, then the USCIS adjudicating officer should not look past the license and "the beneficiary will be considered to meet the qualifications to perform services in a specialty occupation."

    The Memorandum also clarifies what happens if the worker is not in possession of a state license. The USCIS adjudicating officer must first determine the state requirements. Then if the only thing prohibiting the worker from obtaining the license is a SSN or valid immigration status and/or being physically present in the US, then the USCIS should approve the case for one years' time.

    We knew the law was on our side and so it is good to see the USCIS make the proper determination. All cap-subject H-1 cases should be approved, as we'd hoped when we started this.

    -Chris Musillo
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