Friday, May 1, 2020

HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE RESILIENCE ACT PROVIDES NEEDED NURSES FOR US PATIENTS


Musillo Unkenholt is pleased to report that the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act will be introduced into Congress next week.  The HWRA is smart, positive legislation that will increase the supply of nurses and doctors into the US.  These two occupations are among the shortest supplied occupations by US workers.  Musillo Unkenholt and the AAIHR have been working closely with these offices for the last two months, assisting congressional staffers draft this legislation.

If the HWRA becomes law, all nurses and doctors whose visa applications are currently retrogressed immediately become current.  Likewise, any nurse or doctor whose I-140 is filed anytime before 90 days after President Trump’s Emergency Declaration on COVID-19 is also expected to have a retrogression-free visa, although there is an overall quota of 25,000 visas for RNs and 15,000 visas for MDs.  The legislation contains language asking the USCIS and Embassies and Consulates to expedite these petitions.  The HWRA admirably contains US worker protections, guaranteeing that no US worker is displaced.

The HWRA has a strong set of original co-sponsors in the Senate: Sens. Perdue (R-GA), Young (R-IN), Durbin (D-IL), and Coons (D-DE).  This is an impressive bipartisan set of Senators with decades of experience leading legislative initiatives. 

In sum, the HWRA, with respect to nurses, does the following:

-Allows all fully-qualified foreign-educated nurses to have their visas granted, if they are currently in the retrogression queue or file their I-140s within ninety days of the President’s Emergency Declaration; and

-Instructs DHS and DOS to prioritize these visa appointments so that these fully-qualified nurses can enter the US as fast as their visa appointments can be scheduled.

61 comments:

  1. How about the other Schedule A HCW like PTs? They aren't included?

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  2. What are the chances of August 28th,2009 -EB2 India being current in the next 3 months due to spillover from Family Based immigration and EB ROW

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    1. Hard to say. The VB is not tracking with our internal estimates.

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  3. Hi Sir, how about the unused immigrant visa because of the travel ban and flight restrictions? Thanks!

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    1. There is no travel ban for US healthcare workers. Flights are also available, although rare.

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    2. Thanks for your response. But for those nurses in UK and Ireland where travel ban to US hasnt been lifted, aren't we exempted from travelling? Thanks

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  4. Atty good day. How about those I-140 that they are about to file this month of May ?

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    1. They would all get retrogression-free visas

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  5. Will the VB next month move?

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    1. Hard to say. The VB is not tracking with our internal estimates.

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  6. Atty. Will the VB next month has the possibility to become Current? Thank you

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    1. Hard to say. The VB is not tracking with our internal estimates.

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  7. What happens to people with approved I140 but currently in their 4th year of NIW. Will we be approved or have to wait to complete the 5 year mark

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    1. This bill only eliminates retrogression. You still have to meet all other standards.

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    2. What was your estimate of physicians in backlog for the 15,000 number? I am expected to complete my NIW waiver in July 2021. Do you think there would be numbers left by then?

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  8. Will my greencard be locked in and be counted in the 15,000 as my I140 priority date is in 2019.. or it won’t be locked in till I complete my 5 years

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    1. I-140 priority date is what locks in your retrogression-free visa.

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  9. How do i know if im apart of that retrogression que? I received my nvc letter saying im placed in a que awaiting embassy date. My PD is june 2019.

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    1. If you have a PD you are part of the queue

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  10. Good day atty, my pd is March 2019. Will I be included in the retrogression visa if ever that law would be implemented? I'm already documentary qualified just waiting to be current. Thank you.

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    1. yes - you would get one of these visas.

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  11. Thank you for all you have done. Thank you for the information. I am a doctor and We have an approved I140 with priority date of September 2015. But I have changed employer since then and the approved I140 is through previous employer. Would I qualify? Do I need to file for new I140? What if the new I140 does not arrive before the 90 day period? Would I lose my spot?

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    1. You will need a valid and approved I-140.

      The 90 day period only applies to the establishment of the PD, not the issuance of the visa.

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  12. atty chris,good day. i want to clarify something,even i watched your video many times,tho it was very clear.i just want to clarify about i140,what if my pd dec 2019 is not yet approved until early next year jan 2021 but the 90 days ended DEC 2020 also, meaning may pd filing date is within the bracket of the timeline however it is not approved yet,am i included to retro visa free? nebraska center is taking too long to approved petition,and premium process is under suspension right.thank you atty for big help esp in lefora,praying for your good health.TIA hope to hear from you soon

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    1. Hi , where can I watched his videos ? Thanks

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    2. If your I-140 gets approved, you will be fine

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  13. Does this mean that nurses from philippines can come to usa in the next next months ? Thanks atty.

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    1. Maybe - the bill needs to become law; you need to have an approved I-140; and you need to get an appointment at the embassy.

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  14. I have an approved PD, October 9, 2019 in the Philippines. Do you think the PD will make it to the cut off by the bill?

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    1. yes- you should qualify for one of the visas

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  15. according to atty explanation definitely yes.

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  16. Is there a possibility that PT s /OT would be added to this bill ? PTs are Schedule A workers and are intergal part of rehabilitation process for patients during and after Covid. To ensure return home and free up beds at hospitals , Acute rehab , SNF etc.. therapists should definately be part of this bill . As this will give them some flexibility to work and assist places that are shirt staffed , without having to worry about H1B status

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  17. Good day atty!

    My PD is june 2019, and i have visascreen already. but not yet on DQ stage. Am i included in this retrogression free visa? thank you.

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    1. yes - you would get one of these visas.

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  19. How about spouses and children below 21 that are accompanying the nurse who is already in the US? Will they be included in the retrogression free?

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    1. yes- spouse and under-21 kids also get the visas

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  20. Does this mean atty that there will be high rate of approval for I-140 this coming months?

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    1. The bill does not change the approvability of the I-140

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  21. What about those who still do not have a priority date but about to file this month of May? Will they be included? Thank you

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    1. Yes- if you have a priority date before the end of the Emergency Declaration (plus 90 days), you should get a visa, provided that the 40,000 are not exhausted, which they probably will not be.

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  22. Assuming atty that I-140 would be filed this month of May or Jun and will get approval. Is the 25,000 visas enough to grant all the petitions or you think there are already 25,000 nurses who are currently retrogress, so they dont need anymore to approve petitions just to meet the quota? Praying that they will still get on of those visa because mine will be filed thi May. I hope to get feedback thanks

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    1. If you have a priority date before the end of the Emergency Declaration (plus 90 days), you should get a visa. It is not expected that the 40,000 visas will be exhausted.

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  23. Why aren't PT and OTs included. PTs have been listed as a NIW, schedule A job for several years before the covid crisis. Patients recovering from Covid19 require extensive rehabilitation in acute rehab facilities, nursing homes or home health setting. Wondering why it wasn't considered necessary to include some visa for the therapist.

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    1. Unfortunately the Congressional sponsors wanted to limit the visas to the occupations that they believe to be in greatest need during the Covid-19 crisis. Also, PTs and OTs have H-1B options, which RNs do not have.

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  24. As the bill only mentions that people who would qualify are ones with a priority date and approved or file I-140. There are many of us who meet both criteria who are doctors like for example one with approved i-140 and priority day in aug2019 but has one year left on national interest waiver, the bill does not clarify whether such people qualify. Also if they do, would they be counted by their priority date or they have to wait to finish they waiver to be counted in the 15 k quota. I completely understand that one has to complete their obligations of waiver. Would they have to wait to complete their waiver to be counted ( hence may lose out)or will their place be locked in according to priority date but issued after their completion ? Different attorneys are interpreting this differently and hard to know as the bill doesn’t specify. If yuh can shed some light and even request it the bill can specify?

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    1. Bhavana-- Good news. You get the visa based on priority date. The priority date reserves the visa, not the waiver completion date.

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  25. Good day atty.
    Is the proposed bill will have a high approval rate ? I hope it will get approved . This is really helpful to all nurses around the world.

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  26. Hi, atty. My concern is, for example, if a nurse apply right at the moment if the bill passed, which could be one or 2 months later, then the entire process of new EB-3 application from prevailing wage steps to receiving a Perm PD could last another 3 months or longer, right? Then I am a bit concerned it will pass the 90 days deadline after clear of national emergency. But on the other hand, without the bill passing, it is very difficult to ask a new employer to fill a petition for a nurse without H-1B working for them right now. What do you think?

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  27. hello Atty. what about nurse on h4 dependent visa ? my wife is Registered nurse on H4 dependent visa and currently working in hospital on EAD permit. she doesn’t have her own i-140 field yet. do you think she would be eligible.?.
    thanks

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    1. I think the bill will only apply to nurses with an approved I-140.

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  28. Does priority date with august 2014 have chances?

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    1. Yes- you will almost surely get a visa. You need to make sure that the employer is still willing to hire you though.

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  29. Physician here - my approved I140 PD is march 2018, changing employer in may 2020, heard NEW PERM + I140 will take 4-6 months, will i lose out the GC due to perm taking time or 90 days emergency ends before that time ?

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    1. You should not lose out provided that your lawyer recaptures your 2019 PD.

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  31. Hi ,I have my PD feb 2014,currently doing fellowship with a different employer ,expected to finish fellowship July 2021; don’t have a PERM but I140 through old employer.will I lose the spot if I don’t have perm

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