Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Two recent bills have been introduced in the US Congress, both of which purport to ease the immigration process for healthcare professionals.

HR 1929 has been introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Rep. Sensenbrenner has long been harsh on legalization of the undocumented, but sensible on immigration for professionals. Rep. Sensenbrenner has submitted versions of HR 1929 in past Congressional sessions, although none have ultimately become law. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) is a co-sponsor of the bill.

HR 1929 calls for 20,000 immigrant visas to be issued to Registered Nurses. Nurse’s immediate families would also get immediate immigrant visas, but they would not count against the 20,000 quota. In order to use these special visas, employers would be charged an additional $1,500, which would go to funding US nursing programs. These visas also would be available for Physical Therapists. This bill is very similar to several prior bills, notably the Schedule EX visa in the mid-2000s that allowed a one-time visa quota of 50,000 visas for nurses and their families.

While MU applauds the introduction of HR 1929, we expect that the bill will not be enacted into law.

HR 1933 has been introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. Like Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Smith has long been harsh on legalization of the undocumented, but sensible on immigration for professionals. Rep. Smith’s bill calls for the revival of the H-1C program. The H-1C program had been around since the mid-1990s and allowed 14 special hospitals the opportunity to employ nurses. These 14 hospitals are mainly in Texas, which explain Rep. Smith’s sponsorship. The H-1C expired in December 2009 and was not reenacted.

MU is in favor of passage of HR 1933, but we are also skeptical that the bill can become law.

Monday, May 23, 2011


FSBPT has set the NPTE Exam test dates for 2012. FSBPT established a uniform testing policy after it found evidence of testing breaches. In response to testing breaches, FSBPT first sought to establish a separate but equal NPTE exam for graduates of Philippine, Egyptian, Indian, and Pakistani schools.

A Georgia court ruled that the FSBPT's plan was invalid under law and recently settled the lawsuit with the Georgia plaintiffs. The fixed-date testing program was the outcome of the lawsuit.

The 2012 testing dates are:

January 30, 2012

March 29, 2012

July 2, 2012

July 31, 2012

October 23, 2012

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Musillo Unkenholt LLC is proud to be a Gala sponsor at tonight’s First Anniversary Gala Celebration for the Indian American Chamber of Commerce – Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

In addition to Musillo Unkenholt, Gala sponsors include US Bank, University of Cincinnati Health, Fifth Third Bank, Anthem Health, PNC Bank, Cincinnati Children Hospital, and a dozen other local Cincinnati businesses.

The event features comedian Rajiv Satyal, as the Master of Ceremonies, traditional Indian dance groups, business leaders and other dignitaries.

Monday, May 16, 2011


The Department of State has just released the June 2011 Visa Bulletin. This Visa Bulletin had modest progress in several classifications, notably the EB-2 categories.

June 2011 Visa Bulletin
All Other CountriesChina IndiaMexico
EB-2Current 15OCT0615OCT06Current

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


On Tuesday President Obama is expected to make a major immigration speech at the US-Mexican border town of El Paso, Texas. That the speech is taking place in El Paso speaks volumes about the US’ immigration policy; the debate on the undocumented overwhelms any other immigration issues that this country has.

The need for healthcare workers in this country is about to explode. Both private and public economic forecasters predict that the jobs that grew in the 2000-10 decade will be the jobs where growth is seen in the 2011-20 decade. The Department of Labor says that these are largely healthcare jobs. It will be telling if the President tries to position legitimate immigration alongside his enforcement aims.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


This year a mere 9,200 cap-subject H-1B Petitions have been filed through April 29. In prior years we have seen many more H-1B cases accepted as slots were available; in the go-go years of the 2000s, the H-1B cap was reached on the first day.

This year's paucity of H-1B Petitions provides compelling evidence against the argument that internationally-trained workers are being used to displace American workers and lower US workers' salaries. That argument just does not jibe with what is actually happening.

If H-1B visa labor was being used primarily to lower US workers salaries, the H-1B filing numbers wouldn’t be impacted to any meaningful degree. Why? Because the incentive to reduce workers’ salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less. This logic is straightforward.

Yet, this year we’ve seen a dramatic downtick in H-1B visas filed in industries like Information Technology and Finance. Meanwhile industries with continued staffing shortages, such as healthcare and teaching, continued to file H-1B Petitions. If the H-1B program was being used to lower salaries, why aren’t the IT and financial industries continuing to file H-1B petitions? Are these industries not interested in cutting costs?

Critics of the H-1B system fail to acknowledge just how well the system actually works. In robust times, the H-1B system allows growing companies to attract more workers from overseas when they can't fill those jobs with US workers. In down times, when jobs are few, the market does what it is supposed to do and fewer H-1B job offers are made.

If Congress really wants to reform the H-1B process, it ought to eliminate the arbitrary quota and just let the market sort out the numbers question. Congress also ought to give non-bachelor degree occupations with well-documented staffing shortages, such as nursing, access to the H-1B program.