Wednesday, March 30, 2011


As many MU friends and clients are aware, US Embassies have been denying PT applicants a B1/B2 visa, if the applicant has sought to come to the US to sit for the NPTE. The denials have been based on the Embassy mistakenly belief that taking the licensing exam is not a valid reason to enter the US on a B1/B2.

MU just has learned the Department of State's HQ office in Washington DC is in the process of issuing a revised Guidance to the US Embassies, including Manila. The Guidance should correct this mistaken policy.

Please keep in mind that all applicants will still need to prove non-immigrant intent, i.e. that the applicant maintains a non-US residency and intends to leave the US at the conclusion of their visit to the US.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The Department of State has told AILA that because of decreasing demand for EB-1 visa numbers, the EB-2 category will be given at least 12,000 additional visa numbers. The 12,000 numbers will largely be given to Indian EB-2 applicants. EB-2 Chinese natives may also be positively impacted by this news.

The May 2011 Visa Bulletin, which should be released in mid-April 2011, should reflect this news.

The EB-2 category is appropriate for positions that require a Masters Degree or a Bachelors Degree and five years of progressive experience and typically includes Doctors, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and other professions that require advanced degrees.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Sometime in 2011, Congress may wish to revisit the US’ immigration policy. MU has consistently called on Congress to raise the artificial limits on true shortage occupations, such as Registered Nursing. At present, it takes a fully-qualified foreign-trained Registered Nurse about six years to obtain an immigrant visa. These nurses pass identical licensing exams to US nurses. They also must pass English fluency exams.

The Department of Labor continues to point to nursing as one of the occupations in the shortest supply.

Now, comes a March 17, 2011 New England Journal of Medicine research paper confirming that Fewer Nurses Means a Higher Risk of Death. The study, authored by well known researchers such as Dr. Peter Buerhaus, cites hundreds of thousands of admissions and nurse work shifts. The researchers found that a patient’s risk of death increased by about two percent for each work shift that was what the researchers categorized as understaffed.

The study was also subject of a recent Scientific American podcast, which is freely available for download.

The US’ immigration policy is woeful on so many fronts, but liberalized nurse visa rules should be a simple one to fix because the benefits to Americans would be enormous.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

USCIS to show deference on Non-Profit Affiliation H-1B Rule

The USCIS has just announced that it will give deference to Petitioners who have previous approvals in all non-profit H-1B cap-exempt cases.

Non-profit entities that are related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education have long been approved as cap-exempt Petitioners. This has allowed these Petitioners to file H-1B Petitions regardless of whether the H-1B cap had been reached. In the recent past, however, the USCIS has taken a strict interpretation on the question of whether a non-profit was "related" to an institution of higher learning (e.g. a University).

The new USCIS policy will allow those Petitioners who previously have been granted approvals to file new H-1B cases confidently without fear of inconsistent adjudication. The burden will be on these Petitioners to prove that they have been approved for cap-exempt H-1Bs in the past.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

April 2011 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has just released the April 2011 Visa Bulletin. This Visa Bulletin had very small progress in several classifications.

March 2011 Visa Bulletin
All Other CountriesChina IndiaMexico
EB-2Current 22JUL0608MAY06Current

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FSBPT to have fixed testing for all applicants

The FSBPT has just announced that they will be using a fixed test date for all applicants regardless of country of education or nationality. The FSBPT’s web-page posting makes clear that this was in part in response to their unsuccessful defense of the NPTE-i program in Georgia. The fixed test dates for 2011 are:

· September 7, 2011 (Wednesday)

· October 20, 2011 (Thursday)

· December 5, 2011 (Monday)

In 2012, the FSBPT has committed to five testing days.

In February a Georgia judge ruled that the FSBPT's previous NPTE-i testing scheme violated Georgia law. The Georgia judge’s decision did not address whether or not the NPTE-i violated Georgia discrimination and due process Constitutional issues. Those issues may be addressed in an appeal, should the FSBPT chose to appeal the Georgia court’s decision.

To some degree an appeal would be moot in light of the FSBPT’s actions today. MU commends the FSBPT for producing a fair and equitable testing system.


Effective March 1, 2011 all Overseas Philippine Workers (OFW) who are exiting the Philippines via Ninoy Aquino International Airport must pass through the POEA’s Labor Assistance Center prior to boarding their airplane.

The purpose behind the procedure is to insure that all OFWs are properly documented and have their proper POEA clearance. The POEA’s press release says that priority exit lanes will be put into place for recruiting companies who are recipients of performance awards.