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.


  1. Hi CHris
    Do you know that H1c can be helpful for my process .I am a nurse from IRan in eb3 category with priority date Oct 2006.
    thank you in advance of your helpful site and information

  2. Negaresh- The H-1C is not law. If it becomes law and you get a job offer from one of the 14 hospitals, then you can use it to enter the US.

    Nonetheless, if your PD is October 2006, you may be able to come to the US shortly.

  3. So what's the deal with these bills have they been put in the Presidents pigeon hole?

  4. i am a nurse aiready in usa my priority date is sep 2006.can i take my old file and get greencard.
    what can i do to work.my file is in nvc now.
    thank u

  5. Hi Chris,
    I'm a Physical Therapist and Currently working on H1B. If the bill get passed Can I apply for the Immigration Visa (Green Card) under this 20,000 cap. I haven't applied for the green card yet.
    Thanx alot.

  6. @Lanyu- No. They have not been set for a vote and I do not think that they will be.

  7. @Sanj- There is nothing to do unless these bills ultimately become law.

  8. @Sajatha- Yes! If this bill passes PTs will be able to use it. It will essentially make EB2 and EB3 green cards process at the same time!

  9. I just hope that these bills will be very helpful among foreign nurses. In case of some difficulties in applying immigration visa, it is essential to consult your lawyer to help you process everything. This will also ease the entire process. By the way, I hope that these bill become a law.

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  10. It is advisable for a foreigner to get legal advice from lawyers regarding the law of a certain country. This will resolve any issue regarding immigration visa.

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  12. I am a Registered Nurse certified for two states: South Carolina and Kansas. I am currently pusuing more nursing studies at Pittsburg State University and also working as an intern at Freeman Health System. However, the hospital is not willing to petition for me. Am I allowed to apply for a green card directly on my own? I have received my nursing training in the US

    Please advise


  13. I would agree with the previous comments, we're hoping that this law would help nurses in getting work and working visa in different countries. They also need a lawyer if in-case of legal matters.
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