The opinions expressed in this column are not intended to substitute a legal advice given after all relevant facts are considered. Readers who wish more detailed and specific answers to their questions are requested to provide all details to their problems. Questions may be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to United Staffing Registry, Inc.
In the Matter of Applications:
- I am a Nursing graduate and a Registered Nurse. How do I apply and qualify for a job in the United States?
- How long will it take for you to process my application assuming I have complied with all your requirements?
- What is the averaged salary range of nurses in the United States?
- Do you give “Cash Advances” to applicants to defray their expenses?
- How about financial assistance for plane fare?
- What are the terms of payment for all loans, or cash advances or financial assistance received from the company?
- What is the term or period of employment with your company?
- When we arrive in the United States, where will we stay?
In the Matter of Immigration Issues: (by Manuel B. Quintal, Ph.D.)
- What is a health care certificate/visa screen?
- What is the period of validity of a healthcare certificate/visa screen?
- When do I need to present the health care certificate/visa screen?
- The immigrant petition filed by my prospective employer is already approved but I do not have a health care certificate/visa screen yet. Will the consulate give me a visa?
- Do you think the USA will continue to need foreign registered nurses?
- What is the meaning of “adjustment of status”?
- What does “change of status” mean?
- I am a nurse. My prospective employer filed the I-140 petition for me in December 31, 2003. How will the retrogression (backlog) in visa availability affect me?
- Is there any way to expedite issuance of our immigrant visas?
- Can my petitioner prospective employer expedite processing of the immigrant (I-140) petition?
- Are there any pending bills in the US Congress intended to remedy the nursing shortage?
- What occupations are covered by the health care certificate/visa screen requirement?
- Given the retrogression of 2 years in visa availability, when should a nurse take the English proficiency test?
Q. I am a Nursing graduate and a Registered Nurse. How do I apply and qualify for a job in the United States?
A. A simple letter of application to apply for a job as a Nurse indicating your e-mail address/mailing address/phone numbers will suffice. We shall send you a list of requirements for you to furnish us.
Q. Do you give “Cash Advances” to applicants to defray their expenses?
A. Strictly speaking, “No” However, United Home Care has a “Financial Assistance Program,” applicable on a case-to-case basis or on the merits of each case.
Q. What are the terms of payment for all loans, or cash advances or financial assistance received from the company?
A. Payment is made under the very easiest of terms, payable weekly, and deductible from your salary.
Q. What is a health care certificate/visa screen?
A. It is a requirement created under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) for non-immigrant and immigrant health workers. Any health care worker seeking entry into the USA primarily to work in such field shall be inadmissible without such certificate/visa screen.
Q. When do I need to present the health care certificate/visa screen?
A. At the time you appear before the consul for your visa interview. If you are already in the US, at the time you file your adjustment of status application.
Q. Do you think the USA will continue to need foreign registered nurses?
A. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor has projected that there will be shortage of one million nurses by 2010.
Q. What is the meaning of “adjustment of status”?
A. It refers to a process by which an alien who is in the United States “adjusts” hi/her non-immigrant status (i.e. B12, L1, etc.) to permanent resident status (“green card” status). As a general rule, only aliens with a legal immigration status are eligible for “adjustment of status”.
Q. What does “change of status” mean?
A. It refers to a process by which an alien who is in the United States on a non-immigrant status (i.e. F1) applies to “change” to another non-immigrant category status (i.e. B2). Unless a delay in filing is excused, only aliens in valid non-immigrant status can change status.
Q. I am a nurse. My prospective employer filed the I-140 petition for me in December 31, 2003. How will the retrogression (backlog) in visa availability affect me?
A. It will delay the issuance of immigrant visa to you. As of January 2005, employment-based immigrant visas are available to those I-140 (Petition for Immigrant Worker) petitions filed before January 1, 2002.
Q. Are there any pending bills in the US Congress intended to remedy the nursing shortage?
A. There are no bills that reach the floor of either house of Congress. Nursing associations are very active in lobbying for programs that are intended to solve the nursing shortage. On January 6, 2005, a bill known as the Rural and Urban Health Care Act of 2005 was introduced in the House of Representatives. It is intended to change the requirements for H-1C non-immigrant requirements by, among others, (1) substantially increasing the total number of available H-1C visas and (2) increasing the type of qualifying employer facilities. This bill is in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. Note that the Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002 was signed by President Bush in August 2, 2002. It was a response to the national nursing shortage. It was designed to encourage people to enter and remain in nursing careers. The law establishes nursing scholarships, loan repayments, geriatric training grants, and loan cancellation for nursing faculty. Proposals for increasing the H-1B quota are, of course, very much in the agenda of the AJLA and other health care organizations. State governments have proposed ways to alleviate nursing shortage in its own jurisdictions.
- Registered Nurses (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
- Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN)
- Occupational Therapists (OT)
- Physical Therapists (PT)
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Medical Technologists
- Physician Assistants
- Medical Technicians
Q. Given the retrogression of 2 years in visa availability, when should a nurse take the English proficiency test?
A. A visa screen is valid for five (5) years. Ideally, take it a year before the priority date becomes current. As noted in a prior column, you will need the visa screen at the time of interview before the American Consul. However, any nurse intending to settle and work in the United States should be ready to accept the possibility of any additional expenses because the visa is not yet forthcoming. It is not really possible to accurately predict when the visa will be available.