HR Bill Proposed - Relief for Nurse Shortage
Immigration Solutions

Immigration Solutions Announces
HR Bill Proposed - Relief for Nurse Shortage

May 1, 2008 -
A bi-partisan Bill, HR 5924, was proposed in the House last night by Congressman Wexler (D/FL), co-sponsored by Congressman Sensenbrennar (R/WI).  Coming out of the House that was totally preoccupied with enforcement last year - this is a very positive sign of progress being made.

The points:

  1. Lifting of Retrogression for Schedule A workers:  All immigrant visa quotas will be waived for all applications filed for Schedule A Shortage Occupations (Nurses and, Physical Therapists) where the I-140 Petition was filed prior to September 30, 2011.

  2. 20,000 Primary Beneficiary Quota:  Consulates are not to approve more than 20,000 primary beneficiary visas in any one year.  Please note, however, that there is no quota for the immediate family members and this does not effect dependents from accompanying the principal applicant to the USA.

  3. USCIS Expedited Review: The USCIS must review and approve or issue a request for additional evidence, on all Schedule A I-140 cases within 30 days of submission.

  4. New Grant Fee:  All primary beneficiary nursing visas issued under this pending legislation must pay a $1,500 fee.  Fee waivers will be available for Katrina-effected and HPSA employers.

  5. Grant Program:  The grant fees are to be utilized to fund a Grant Program where nursing schools can draw on the funds based upon the student population.  The fees are meant to attract, retain and train nursing faculty, purchase educational resources and fund/expand infrastructure.

  6. US Citizenship for Healthcare Workers: Time spent out of the USA by legal permanent resident healthcare workers in a developing country will not be penalized when filing for US citizenship.

  7. Applicant Attestation: Applicants for immigrant visas will be required to attest that they do not owe their country of residence or origin a financial obligation  (where financial assistance was provided), that was extended to them to cover the costs of education in consideration of a commitment to continue to work in that country.

Immigration Solutions will be watching the progress of this Bill very closely.  Sensenbrenner is tough on immigration.  His co-sponsorship of the Bill lends a high degree of credibility to it, coupled with the fact that it's a bi-partisan effort.  Our healthcare attorney will provide further information and commentary on this legislation in our May newsletter that will be available later today.

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