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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. H-1B Changes on the Horizon

    by , 06-16-2009 at 06:03 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

  2. Guidance Forthcoming

    by , 06-10-2009 at 11:44 AM (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
  3. At AILA

    by , 06-04-2009 at 06:13 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
  4. USCIS Will Accept Bachelors PT/OT

    by , 05-27-2009 at 07:41 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
  5. ENSRA Next Steps

    by , 05-26-2009 at 06:58 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    Last week Reps. Wexler (D-FL) and Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act (HR 2536). While this is but one step in the legislative process, it is a critical first step. The American system has many built in "checks and balances" designed to insure that legislation is aptly considered.

    The Bill will be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. That Committee may refer it to subcommittee(s). This process is at the complete discretion of the leaders of that committee.

    After the Committee has passed the bill, the bill can get offered for a vote to the House of Representatives, which is the lower American legislative body. Whether a vote is taken or not is subject to the Speaker of the House. If approved by the House, the Senate must then consider the legislation.

    Upon approval from both the House and the Senate, the bill is immediately offered to the President who will almost certainly sign the bill into law. From time to time, the President can veto bills that have been passed by the Senate and the House, but this is a controversial political move and not one likely to be used against the ENSRA.

    As you can tell the process is lengthy. For smaller legislation it is often difficult to clear all of the hurdles in one two-year Congressional term.

    However, there is a second "shortcut" process. A bill may be attached to a bigger piece of legislation. This is the process that was used in 2005 to get the Schedule A EX visa bill passed. The Schedule A EX visa bill was attached to the 2005 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act.

    The process of attaching a smaller bill to a larger one has a formal process of an amendment being offered and accepted. The formal process is, however, secondary to the informal process, which includes much behind the scene dialoging with powerful political leaders.

    To some degree, the informal process began three years ago when it became apparent that the retrogression would resurface. The efforts have continued.

    If you would like to aid in this process, and it is imperative that everyone who has a vested interest in the process does so. Please take the following steps:

    If you are a hospital, long term care facility, please email your Representative. Here is a link to the Representative list. Here is the template email that you can send.

    If you are a staffing company, please email your Representative. But use this template email.

    If you are an international nurse or Physical Therapist, then please contact your sponsoring hospital and/or staffing company and make sure that they are sending in these emails.

    If you are an US citizen who believes that increased funding for domestic nurse schooling funded by a short-term visa program for these healthcare workers, then please send in this email to your Representative.

    -Chris Musillo
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