Monday, September 8, 2014

AILA URGES USCIS TO CLARIFY AMBIGUOUS H-1B STANDARDS FOR NURSES

The USCIS issued a Memorandum in July 2014 aimed at clarifying their position on the adjudication of H-1Bs for Registered Nurses.  The Memorandum failed at this aim.  While it acknowledged that more and more employers are requiring Bachelor Degreed Registered Nurses, it failed to give any helpful guidance to USCIS officers. 

Now AILA hasweighed in on the discussion.  In contrast to the USCIS, AILA makes several important points.  Notably, AILA points out that the Occupational Outlook Handbook, “does not foreclose, but in fact lends credibility to the claim that an employer has such a requirement.”  This is true because the OOH recognizes the evolving nature of the position.

AILA also makes another clever factual argument. 

the O*Net database provides that 66% of employer respondents require an associate’s degree, while 23% require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree as an entry level credential for a registered nurse position. Therefore, 23% of employers should be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of USCIS that a nurse is a specialty occupation.

Adding to the problem, it appears that the link to the USCIS’ July Memorandum has disappeared.  Fortunately, we have preserved a copy on our DocStoc page.

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