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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

MASSACHUSETTS PUTS OUT THE WELCOME MAT FOR H-1B WORKERS

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by Chris Musillo

The State of Massachusetts has hit upon an ingenious plan to widen the path for H-1B workers and employers, as reported by CNN/Money. By using the H-1B “concurrent” employer program and coupling it with the H-1B “cap exemption” for Universities, Massachusetts will help foreign entrepreneurs obtain H-1B visas to work in Massachusetts.

The plan appears to work like this: the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will vet prospective H-1B entrepreneurs. When an innovative entrepreneur is identified, the Collaborative will find a Massachusetts University to sponsor the H-1B worker under the “cap exemption” rule. This rule says that an H-1B worker who is sponsored by a University is not subject to the H-1B lottery.

Because there is no set required number of hours that the H-1B worker must be employed at the University, the expectation is that the H-1B worker will only work 8-10 hours per week at the University.

Presumably, the H-1B start-up will then sponsor the H-1B worker for a “concurrent” H-1B visa. The H-1B employee will spend the rest of the work-week employed by the start-up.

Without the assistance of the University, the plan would not work because the start-up’s H-1B sponsorship would normally be subject to the H-1B lottery. The plan is an elegant and creative one to deal with an outdated H-1B cap.

There is no reason that Massachusetts has to limit this plan to entrepreneurs. It could also be used to help fill critically short healthcare occupations.

Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us onFacebook and follow us on Twitter.

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  1. Someone12's Avatar
    great...more BS loopholes to put more Americans out of work....of course, our hat is off to Massachusetts and the immigration attorneys who stand ready to rake in $4000 per H1B application...thanks guys...for selling out American jobs to people who are NOT Americans...
  2. Tiffany Baldwin's Avatar
    H-1B workers typically fill jobs in occupations with low unemployment rates.

    Let's see, the under 3% unemployment "club" includes the following professional occupations:
    zero unemployment
    Actuaries
    Agricultural engineers
    Mathematicians
    Nuclear technicians
    Optometrists
    Podiatrists
    Recreational therapists
    Statisticians
    Biomedical engineers 0.4%
    Petroleum engineers 0.6%
    Audiologists 0.8%
    Physicians 0.8%
    Nurse practitioners 0.9%
    Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents 1%
    Physician assistants 1.2%
    mathematical science occupations 1.3%
    Operations research analysts 1.3%
    Lawyers 1.4%
    Sociologists 1.4%
    Sales engineers 1.4
    Nuclear engineers 1.7%
    Computer hardware engineers 1.9%
    Physical therapists 2.0%
    Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians 2.1%
    Medical scientists 2.2%
    Financial analysts 2.3%
    Occupational therapists 2.3%
    Environmental scientists and geoscientists 2.6%
    Registered nurses 2.6%
    Chemical engineers 2.7%
    Environmental engineers 2.7%
    Industrial engineers, including health and safety 2.7%
    Software developers, applications and systems software 2.8%
    Medical and health services managers 2.9%
    Other healthcare practitioners and technical occupations 2.9%
  3. CMusillo's Avatar
    Thanks Tiffany. Totally correct.

    @Someone12:
    One bogeyman in the H-1B debate has always been that H-1B workers are only used to tamp down US wages and supplant American jobs. As I have explained many times in the past, there is little evidence that this is actually the case for at least two reasons.


    1. If the H-1B program was being used to reduce wages and displace American workers, we would see H-1B workers spread across many industries, instead of concentrated in just a few industries. But we don't see that. We see H-1B workers concentrated in just a few industries, as Tiffany points out.


    2. If the H-1B program was being used to reduce wages and displace American workers, we would see more consistent annual H-1B usage by US employers. The incentive to reduce workers’ salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less. However, when the economy was in its weakest state, there were many fewer H-1B visa petitions filed by US businesses. The H-1B cap would take months to be reached.


    Critics of the H-1B system should acknowledge that the H-1B system does what was designed to do. It provides needed workers in industries where workers are needed. It is not a macroeconomic policy, but a microeconomic one. The national unemployment rate has little relevance.
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