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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. H-1B Thoughts

    by , 05-20-2009 at 06:13 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    On May 15 the USCIS announced that it has received 45,500 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap; this is only 500 more than the April 27 figure. This implies that H-1B petitions continue to slow. It also implies that the idea that the H-1B is used to lower wages and replace US workers is wildly overblown. As I've previously said, if that was the case there shouldn't be any material drop in H-1B usage.
    The Masters cap has received the full subscription of 20,000 petitions. USCIS continues to accept Masters cases since their experience is that not all accepted cases will be approvable. As students graduate from university in late May and June, it is expected that there will be an uptick in H-1B usage. The degree of the uptick is unknown at this point. If the uptick is smaller than expected, there is a chance that the H-1B cap could remain open all summer and maybe even into the fall. On the other hand, the economy does show some flares of stability and so H-1B usage by May/June graduates could be notable.
    For the healthcare industry, the H-1B remains an option to fill employment gaps in occupational shortages. As a general rule if the position requires a Bachelors degree for licensure, then the position is appropriate for an H-1B visa. Of course, the proposed worker must hold the requisite degree.
    Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists remain viable for H-1B visas. Cases filed at the Vermont Service Center are being approved as they should be. However inconsistent results out of the California Service Center continue to frustrate employers.
    USCIS Chief of Service Center Operations has recently confirmed that "USCIS does not currently have a policy that employers filing H-1b petitions for physical and occupational therapists must require the minimum of a Masters Degree for such positions to qualify as specialty occupations." This pronouncement was made in early May, and so it remains to be seen whether or not the California Service Center will adhere to the statement from their superiors in Washington D.C.
    Some registered nursing positions are appropriate for H-1B visas as well. In broad strokes, the H-1B is appropriate for RN positions if either:
    1. 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 she holds the certification;
    2. The nurse will be working in an Administrative position ordinarily associated with a Bachelors degree, such as Charge Nurse or Nurse Manager;
    3. 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.
    The hospital must attest that these roles are only offered to those with Bachelors degrees.
    -Chris Musillo
  2. May BIM

    by , 05-17-2009 at 12:04 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    HLG has just published its Business Immigration Monthly for May.

    May 2009 Headlines:
    Feature Article: The New DOL iCert System
    June Visa Bulletin
    H-1 Cap News
    ...and more

  3. June VB Released

    by , 05-10-2009 at 02:11 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    The June Visa Bulletin has been released. As was the case with the May VB the EB3 category remained Unavailable. It is expected that the EB3 category will remain Unavailable until FY2010, which should be released in September 2009.

    Somewhat surprisingly was the retrogression of EB2 numbers for the Indian and Chinese categories.

    The Visa Bulletin contained two relevant notes:

    It has been necessary to retrogress the India Employment Second preference cut-off date for June to keep visa issuances within the annual category numerical limit. At this time, it is not possible to estimate whether or not this retrogression will apply throughout the remainder of the fiscal year.

    Applicant demand for numbers, primarily for adjustment of status cases at Citizenship and Immigration Services offices, has been extremely heavy throughout the year. As a result, visa availability during the final quarter could become limited as categories approach their annual numerical limits. Therefore, visa availability throughout the remainder of the year cannot be guaranteed, and the establishment of cut-off dates, or retrogression of existing cut-off dates, cannot be ruled out.
  4. National Nurses Week

    by , 05-07-2009 at 07:44 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    The Nursing and Allied Workers Immigration Blog is pleased to recognize this week as National Nurses Week. NNW is week-long celebration of the significant contributions that nurses have and continue to make to the American landscape. The American Nurses Association has a special page dedicated to highlighting facts about nurses.

    Many of these facts detail the nursing shortage, the projections for short supply in the next decade, and the consequences of such short supply, including:

    According to projections released in February 2004 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs top the list of the 10 occupations with the largest projected job growth in the years 2002-2012. Although RNs have listed among the top 10 growth occupations in the past, this is the first time in recent history that RNs have ranked first. These 10-year projections are widely used in career guidance, in planning education and training programs and in studying long-range employment trends. According to the BLS report, more than 2.9 million RNs will be employed in the year 2012, up 623,000 from the nearly 2.3 million RNs employed in 2002. However, the total job openings, which include both job growth and the net replacement of nurses, will be more than 1.1 million. This growth, coupled with current trends of nurses retiring or leaving the profession and fewer new nurses, could lead to a shortage of more than one million nurses by the end of this decade. (For details, see .)

    The nation's registered nurse (RN) workforce is aging significantly and the number of full-time equivalent RNs per capita is forecast to peak around the year 2007 and decline steadily thereafter, according to Peter Buerhaus of Vanderbilt University's nursing school. Buerhaus also predicted that the number of RNs would fall 20 percent below the demand by 2010. (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 14, 2000).

    Schools of nursing were forced to reject more than 147,000 qualified applications to nursing programs at all levels in 2005 - an increase of 18 percent over 2004, according to a report by the National League for Nursing (NLN). The NLN Blamed the problem in part on a continuing shortage of nursing educators. Meanwhile, nursing colleges and universities denied 32,617 qualified applicants in 2005, also resulting primarily from a shortage of nurse educators, according to survey data released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The AACN survey also reveals that enrollment in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs increased by 13.0 percent from 2004 to 2005. According to AACN, this is the fifth consecutive year of enrollment increases with 14.1, 16.6, 8.1 and 3.7 percent increases in 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively. Prior to the five-year upswing, baccalaureate nursing programs experienced six years of declining enrollments from 1995 through 2000.

    Even more interesting facts can be found at the ANA's special webpage dedicated to NNW facts.

  5. May MMM Published

    by , 05-05-2009 at 11:42 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    May 2009 Headlines:

    H-1B Cap Update
    What the Lack of H-1B Filings Really Means
    Demand for Nurses: Less During Downturn
    ...and more

    To subscribe to the MMM, go here.


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