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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

State of Immigration Legislation - Nurses

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It appears unlikely at this time that CIR will be passed in 2010. The entire US House of Representatives is up for election in November, along with one-third of the Senators. The elections are expected to be as contentious as the last few election cycles.

The only chance for positive immigration reform is through piecemeal (smaller) immigration legislation. Unfortunately the prospects for piecemeal legislation are also small, as there is little motivation in Washington DC to liberalize visa quotas given that the US' nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. In light of these real world factors, the odds of a Schedule A visa bill in 2010 are very low.

Longer term, the odds are much better. While the nursing shortage temporarily has abated, economists predict that the US' nursing shortage is expected to grow dramatically in the next decade. This supply will be filled by internationally-trained nurses in the forthcoming years. Of course this is of little comfort to US businesses that have spent countless hours developing their international connections and international nurses who have met all licensure and Visa Screen rules, only to have the US visa quota system let them down.

The one bright spot is that we're starting to see promotion of retrogressed dates. The DOS predicts that the Worldwide EB3 (including Philippines) should be well into 2004 by the end of the summer. If we see the same progression in FY2011 that we saw in FY2010, the Worldwide EB3 date should move through 2005 and into 2006 by the end of FY2011.

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  1. SG's Avatar
    This is just fantastic news. " While the nursing shortage temporarily has abated, economists predict that the US' nursing shortage is expected to grow dramatically in the next decade."
    All international nurses and therapists, please come back after 10 years. This is really really sad.
    There is so much effort to give amnesty to undocumented workers, but no one is taking the lead to make life a bit easier for people, who are qualified, playing by the rules and waiting for years for their priority dates.

  2. Adi's Avatar
    All I can say is WOW. As soon as economy picks up, nurse salaries will put heavy burden on costs of delievering healthcare. Due to shortage, travel nurses will have to be paid huge amounts of money to cover up for services. People have put off elective surgeries and treatments for quite long but will not be able to hold it for very long. Healthcare demand of nurses will logically increase in very near future.

    As other western countries age, they will need more nurses as well. There will be intense competition for these international nurses and US might not have an edge at the time when its needed. We all remember just two yrs back when shortage was getting severe, patient to nurse was increasing to dangerous levels. It was 20 patients to 1 nurse at some workplaces.

    I cannot believe that congress will put health of its own citizens in harm's way, just because of immigration policies. I miss Bush now. Democrats control this congress since 2006 and nothing has been done.
  3. SG's Avatar
    We need to push for Schedule-A visa this year. I believe this should get bipartisan support from the senate. HR-2536 (Nurse Relief Act) should be pushed along with the DREAM act and the AgJobs Bill.
    Chris, what is your opinion on this?
  4. Rala's Avatar
    This Nov elections the Democrats should be kicked out including the leader. They have not done anything +ly.
  5. Rajani's Avatar
    Hi Chris,

    PD for Indians are still 2002. If the Indian Nurses have to wait for the PD to become current, does it not mean that there is no chance for Indian nurses for next 5-7 years or so or they can forget about USA unless a legislation granting special visa is passed for Schedule A category.
  6. SG's Avatar
    I would say yes to your question, but Chris will be in a better position to confirm it, and not give us any false hopes. It is high time to look at other avenues. Can't wait any longer than this.
  7. SG's Avatar
    Piecemeal legislation a possibility??

    Can Healthcare advocates advocate for Nurse Relief bill if Piecemeal legislation does move forward??
  8. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    @Rajani: Unfortunately that is a correct assessment.
  9. eric's Avatar
    I am a US educated RN-BSN. after my OPT expired i became out of status. i cannot work. the hospital that i was working for is dying for nurses. The hospital filled the paperwork for me get green card or to extend my work permit but because of broken immigration law i couldnt do it. ( i am in the process of going to Canada under skilled immigrant. US had educated me but Canada will get the benefit.
  10. Adi's Avatar
    "US had educated me but Canada will get the benefit."

    Same here buddy. US educated RN, will be working in other countries.
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