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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

Oddly Timed H-1C Regulations

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The Department of Labor has just released final H-1C regulations. The timing of the release is odd in light of the fact that the H-1C program expired on December 20, 2009.

The purpose of the late publication of the regulations is "to ensure worker protections are in place for those nurses currently employed in H-1C status, whose stays may extend beyond December 20, 2009." Some H-1C nurses are still authorized to work in the US, although that number is shrinking with each day; extensions are no longer approvable with the H-1C program's expiration.

The Background Information to the regulation includes a lengthy history of the H-1C program. Originally, the H-1C program was conceived as nonimmigrant solution to the nursing shortage. The usual nonimmigrant professional program, the H-1B, has only limited application for registered nurses. But the limits on the H-1C program rendered it inert for all but fourteen hospitals in the US.

There does not seem to be a groundswell of support for a reenactment of the H-1C program, since the nursing shortages have lessened with the onset of the recession. Nevertheless, the H-1C program has been extended several times in the past. It remains to be seen whether the H-1C will rematerialize when the inevitable nursing staffing shortages reemerge.

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  1. Virgilio J. Katigbak's Avatar
    On the contrary, the release of the final H1C regulations by the Department of Labor is not oddly timed since the DOL has inside information that the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act (H1C Visa Law) would be reauthorized shortly. Only a couple of senators are needed to affix their signature on the passage of the bill via a unanimous consent.Its release is actually in anticipation of the extension of H1C Visa Law for another three years.This information could be cross checked and verified with Washington lobbyists and members of Congress.
  2. rajani's Avatar
    Hi Chris,

    Could you kindly elaborate how the EB3 visa back log move forward. I read in an article (statistics provided by USCIS) that only 27,000 EB 3 skilled workers (I believe RNs come under this category) are pending with NVC. Assuming that NVC gives about 8,000 visas to Indian EB3 applicants dont you think that applications pending from 2005 to 2007 should become current by 2011 or 2012 even if a nurse bill is not passed. Is there any chance the statistics provided by NVC is wrong? All of us will appreciate if you could through some lights and give a blog on how the EB3 caterogry is expected to move forward for Philipines, India and ROW. There are very few applicantions pending from ROW and a candidate who is born in Kuwait or UAE when is her priority date of 2007 or 2008 going to become current.
  3. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    @Virgilio- I hope youre right. It wouldn't surprise me. I just haven't heard anything since the H-1C has such a narrow application.
  4. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    I will do a longer blog posting, but the NVC numbers are only for Consular Processing cases. The rule of thumb is that there are NINE adjustment of status cases for every CP case.

    And so I think that India EB3 will remain to be in an 8 year retrogression.
  5. Chepita's Avatar
    I am currently in F1 status. I am an RN with an ADN working on my BSN. I used OPT after the ADN and will do the same after the completion of my BSN. My priority date for approved
    I-140is April 8, 2009. I plan to continue with my Masters Degree after OPT. Do I stand a chance for a visa prior to completing my Maters degree or am I hopeless?
  6. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    It seems unlikley that the visa number would be approved. That having been said, it sounds like you will not recive your MS until approx. June 2011, and that is a long time from now. What is your country of birth?
  7. Chepita's Avatar
    My country of birth is Guatemala in Central America. I will complete my BSN in December 2011. Then I will do one year of OPT at the hospital that is sponsoring me. After completion of OPT for the BSN I will pursue my MS and after MS, another OPT. Sounds crazy?
  8. Chepita's Avatar
    @ Chris,
    What concerns me is that I have been in the US since 2002. My husband and children came with me as B1/B2, then we extended our stay for 6 months, then we changed status to F1 for me and F2 for my family. My son changed status to F1 after high school and is now married and has a son. He is in the process of his permanent residence. He graduates from college in May 2010. My daughters are 18 and 20. The one that is 20 will turn 21 in Nov. She has been accepted in a local college and we are about to submit her change of status application. Same process will apply for the 18 year old. Will being here for so long hinder the change of status for my daughters? I am really nervous because if they do not approve it, they would have to go back home when they turn 21 right? That would be devastating.
  9. Chris Musillo's Avatar

    You should definitely get an attorney involved. Your case sounds like there a few relevant issues. Be sure to have the attorney consider the CSPA, as it could be important in your children's matters. The CSPA allows some of those over 21 to adjust by recapturing some of their pre-21 time.
  10. chepita's Avatar
    Thanks Chris. I have an attorney for my case. I will mention the CSPA. Will my country of birth have any impact on my priority date other than being qualified under ROW? Do you think that adjusting status for my daughters from F2 to F1 after being in the US for so long might be a problem? I am doing this adjustments from F2 to F1 by myself and with the help of the university.
  11. cigarette electronique's Avatar
    Your indeed right with this writing!
  12. yocash's Avatar
    What a frankly joy of a blog!!!
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