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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

Masters PT / OT H-1B Update

Rating: 4 votes, 4.00 average.

Back in the spring, the USCIS routinely was denying PT and OT H-1B cases in instances in which the PT /OT did not hold a Masters Degree. This was wrong. Many clients filed appeals to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). Eventually, several staffing and recruiting clients bandied together and filed a lawsuit against the USCIS. Cindy and I were pleased to take a leading role in the direction of that lawsuit.

In direct response to the lawsuit, USCIS' Service Center Operations Officer Barbara Velarde issued a May 22, 2009 Guidance Memorandum clarifying the point that there was no Masters Degree rule. Instead, the Guidance directs all USCIS officers to approve all H-1B cases for PT/OTs as long as the worker holds a license in the state of intended employment.

Since that time all of MU's post-May 22 cases have been approved, save one unusual case. We are working directly with the California Service to have that one case overturned.

At the AILA Annual Convention, the USCIS said that there would be a forthcoming Guidance explaining how to overturn previously denied H-1B cases. None has been published. That having been said, we have begun to see the USCIS, on its own volition, take some action. This week we received our first AAO approval; the case appears to have never actually been sent to the AAO, it was just approved by the California Service Center (CSC).

I've also seen a communication in which the CSC confirmed to a House of Representatives' staffer, that "the California Service Center will commit to an answer in 30 to 60 days." Hopefully, we all can put an end to this unfortunate tale in the near future.

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  1. kavitha's Avatar
    Hi chris,

    Piecemeal legislation on immigration have started moving. Any hope for Nurse Bill getting attached to current important bills being discussed in Senate or Health Reform Bill in the future.

    Or do you still feel that the only chance is the Nurse Bill getting attached to the CIR - which may be in 2011 or 2012?
  2. analytical's Avatar

    Hello Chris,

    Is it possible to attach Nurse relief bill as an ammendment to DHS appropriation bill(like E-vary fying,Coronad,EB-5 ammended in the senate) OR Healthcare reform bill??
    I think our lobyiest are not more active in this issue!!!
    "waiting for CIR for such emergency bill is very nonsence idea of Congress"

    CIR is basically platform for illegals,So first make plateform for legals waiting for decades!!
  3. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    Hi Everyone-

    There is virtually no chance of our bill being attached to the Healthcare Reform bill. I do think there is one on CIR.

    The lobbyists are absolutely still working on the bill. I was on a call with one of them this past week!

  4. kavitha's Avatar
    Thank you Chris for your comments.

    Our concern and guidance required from you is that if the CIR does not get passed for next one or two years what will happen to the Nurses who are documentarily qualified?

    There is no point in waiting for the visa number to be available which may take eight to ten years in normal circumstances.

    We know you are actively involved in pusing the bill. However, one fail to understand that the Schedule A category visas have to wait for legalisation of illegal immigrants.

    Could you kindly give us an idea as to when do you a expect a nurse bill to be passed whether through attchment to CIR or some other bills. What is the time estimate - 2010 or 2011?

    We are worried because the more the bill gets delayed our sponsors may close down their business. What will happen to our applications then.
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