Thursday, September 30, 2010


As expected, the FSBPT today announced that the NPTE-i (formerly the NPTE-YRLY) will be given twice in 2011, starting with the first NPTE-I exam on May 25, 2011 and the second in December. The exam will be given in all 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The NPTE-i expected to be substantially similar to the regular NPTE.

Here is the calendar of important dates for the first exam:

November 1, 2010 – Registration opens with FSBPT
November 8, 2010 – Scheduling opens with Prometric
February 22, 2011 – Registration closes
March 15, 2011 – Last date for jurisdictions to approve PT candidates for NPTE-i
April 1, 2011 – Last date for candidates to schedule with Prometric
May 25, 2011 – TEST DATE NPTE-i PT
June 8, 2011 – Scores reported to jurisdictions

It remains to be seen how the State Board of California reacts to this announcement, since the NPTE-i does not comply with the two alternatives that California outlined in its recent letter to the FSBPT.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Predicting This Week

MU doesn’t like to do too much crystal ball gazing unless we are confident of its information and the information is public. Two things will almost certainly happen this week:

1. The FSBPT is likely to formally announce its plan for the NPTE-YRLY exam. The plan will be slightly better than what they’ve published so far, but not much more. Check
their blog for the formal announcement, which should come Thursday.

2. It appears that Sen. Robert Menendez will formally introduce his immigration bill to Congress. Unfortunately the bill has virtually no chance of approval anytime soon, although some are holding out hope that the bill can get traction during the lame-duck session, in November and December.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is "propensity" and what is "widespread"?

The FSBPT’s September 22, 2010 update to their blog attempts to answer the question, “Why didn’t you stop testing for all candidates?” Their answer, however, should raise significant issues about the logic behind their policy and their standard of review.

The blog posting says that graduates from universities from the four restricted countries – India, Philippines, Pakistan, and Egypt -- have apparently shown a “propensity” toward “widespread” sharing of NPTE questions. The FSBPT has yet to define “propensity” and “widespread” in any dialogue with members of the public and state boards of Physical Therapy. Every time the FSBPT hides behind these vague words, it calls into serious question the FSBPT’s rationale and raises questions of this policy’s true intent.

The FSBPT also says that “the exam itself has not been compromised by any groups beyond the restricted groups". This of course, does not mean that it hasn't been compromised by any individuals within those groups. If compromised questions were exposed to the internet (and every indication is that they were), then individuals beyond the restricted groups have cheated. To say otherwise is disingenuous.

Moreover, since there are many more individuals in non-restricted groups, the standard of review for these groups should be greater because the damage would be far greater. For instance, if there are 1,500 restricted country test takers and 10 percent have cheated, then there are 150 restricted country cheaters.

On the other hand, if there are 15,000 non-restricted country test takers and just 1 percent has cheated, then there are 150 additional cheaters. American patients don’t care about the nationality of the cheaters; they just want all 300 cheaters to be banned from the test. The FSBPT’s program catches the first 150, but does nothing about the second 150.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FSBPT and State Action

by Chris Musillo and Cindy Unkenholt

As readers of the MU Healthcare Immigration Law Blog surely are aware, the FSBPT recently enacted a policy that bars graduates of Philippine, Egyptian, Indian, and Pakistani schools from sitting for and taking the National Physical Exam until 2011. This policy was enacted in July 12, 2010 and was formulated after analysis by the NPTE uncovered replication of actual test questions.

Ultimately the FSBPT is beholden to its stakeholders, the 50 State Boards of Physical Therapy. One such State Board, California, has just sent the FSBPT a strongly-worded letter, which sets an October 1 deadline for the FSBPT to rescind their discriminatory policy or suspend the NPTE for all test-takers. A copy of this letter is available on the MU website.

At the FSBPT's annual meeting in late October, it will more fully outline its plans for the future of the NPTE to their membership and to their stakeholders. This dialogue has already begun and may result in an amended policy in advance of the annual meeting.

The FSBPT's aims are valid. Test takers who cheat should be penalized before sitting for NPTE. In some instances, the penalty should be an outright prohibition against taking the exam.

While the FSBPT's aim is valid, their remedy is imperfect. MU lawyers Chris Musillo and Cindy Unkenholt have been working with employers, recruiters, physical therapists, immigration lawyers, and other industry leaders with the goal of remedying or modifying the policy, which we believe violates both federal and state discrimination laws.

In order to make sure that your State Board is part of this dialog, please urge your State Board to make their opinion known to the FSBPT.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

AAIHR Annual Meeting

The AAIHR is holding its Annual Meeting of Members September 20, 2009 in Chicago, IL. MU's Chris Musillo and Cindy Unkenholt will be attending. The AAIHR is the industry's premier advocacy organization. Staffing companies and recruiters are invited to join via the AAIHR’s webpage.

Monday, September 13, 2010


In June, MU co-sponsored the Philipine Nurses Association of America's 5K fun run at their Annual Convention. We were pleased to work with such an excellent organization. Visit our Facebook page for more photos of this event.

Friday, September 10, 2010

October 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has just released the October 2010 Visa Bulletin, which is the first Visa Bulletin for US Fiscal Year 2011. This Visa Bulletin had small progress in several classifications.

The present processing dates are:

EB-1 – all current
EB-2 – all current, except China (22 MAY 06) and India (08 MAY 06)
EB-3 – all 08 JAN 05, except China (08 NOV 03), India (15 JAN 02), and Mexico (22 APR 01)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NVC launches electronic processing

The National Visa Center is the clearinghouse for Consular Processed Immigrant Visa petitions. The NVC’s purpose is to collect the I-140 approval notice and other biographical information and relay these items to the Consulate of choice. The NVC also collects the NVC fee, which is presently $720 per applicant.

Last year, the NVC rolled out an on-line electronic payment system. MU has used this system. Our experience is that it has been a very efficient system. We like the speed and accuracy of the system.

Now the NVC is launching their on-line documentation and communication system. This program uses e-mail for communication and submission of all forms and documents to the NVC using the Portable Document Format (PDF).

Applicants who are applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan are required to process electronically.

Applicants who are applying for a visa at the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in the following visa categories are required to process electronically if the first three letters of their NVC Case Number are MEP:

CR1 Conditional Spouse of United States Citizen
CR2 Conditional Child of United States Citizen
IR1 Spouse of United States Citizen
IR2 Child of United States Citizen

The option to participate is initially limited to visa applicants who are applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassies in Guangzhou, China and Montreal, Canada.

If the pilot program is successful, it is expected that the program will expand to other Consulates and Embassies.