Monday, November 28, 2022


We often receive questions about the role of CGFNS in nurse immigration.  CGFNS has a number of different product lines which overlap and add to the confusion.

Here are three of the most common uses of CGFNS within the US visa processing system.  It is best to think of these three product lines as independent:

CGFNS credentials evaluation (CES) – Many US state licensing bodies call on CGFNS to review and evaluate foreign nurse’s credentials in advance of qualifying the nurses to sit for the NCLEX exam.  CES is the process by which applicants can have their nursing education evaluated by CGFNS for clearance to sit for the state’s nursing exam (NCLEX).

CGFNS Predictor (Qualifying) Exam – This is an older, legacy exam that is now rarely used to assess a foreign nurse’s competence in nursing.  It was more widespread before the expansion of international NCLEX testing centers. 

CGFNS Visa Screen – This is the Healthcare Worker Certificate (HWC) that is needed by RNs at the very end of their immigration process, at their consular interview.  CGFNS’ HWC is branded the Visa Screen.  All nurses and allied healthcare workers must have:

·        Passed the US licensing exam;

·        Graduated from a university that is equivalent to a US school in the same profession;

·        Passed an English fluency examination; and

·        Hold a spotless overseas professional license. 

In recent years USCIS approved a second issuer of HWCs, Josef Silney. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022


The Department of State has recently issued the December 2022 Visa Bulletin.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.  The FY 2023 employment-based immigrant visa limit is 197,000, as compared with 281,507 in FY 2022.  These quotas are greater than the usual 140,000 employment-based limit because of spillovers of unused family-based immigrant visas in the prior fiscal year.  Slowdowns related to COVID caused the allocation of family-based visas to be short of the limit.

Visa Bulletin

Table A:  Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.






















Other workers





Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS is using the Table B Dates of Filing chart for I-485 employment-based filings. See: USCIS Visa Bulletin Dates

MU Law Analysis

As expected, there was a retrogression in India EB2 in the coming months due to high demand.  All categories of EB-2 retrogression, which reflects a smaller allocation of employment based immigrant numbers than in the past two years. 

On the other hand, India EB-3 progressed two months, which was unexpected good news. 

The WW and Philippine EB-3 remain current. We expect these categories to be current through much of the current fiscal year. 

EB-3 Other Workers, which is the category for occupations such as Nurse Aides, remains retrogressed but held steady to June 2020 for Philippines and ROW.  We do not expect further retrogression in these two categories.  We would not be surprised to see some progression in these categories throughout this fiscal year.

China EB-3 advanced by six weeks, but a note at the end of the Visa Bulletin said that EB-1 China and India should expect a retrogression in the in the coming months.

Friday, November 4, 2022

ACICS No Longer Recognized by Dept. of Education: Impact on Immigration-Related Student Programs

As of August 19, 2022, the US Department of Education no longer recognizes the accreditation of institutions by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

On November 1, 2022, the USCIS explained in a News Alert how this loss of recognition will affect the following immigration-related student programs:

  •  24-Month STEM OPT Extension Program
    • USCIS will issue a denial to any F-1 student filing a Form I-765 STEM OPT extension if:
      • The STEM degree that is the basis for the STEM OPT extension was obtained from a college or university that was accredited by ACICS; and
      • The student’s DSO recommendation for a STEM OPT extension, as indicated on Form I-20, is dated on or after August 19, 2022 (the date when ACICS ceased to be recognized as an accrediting agency).
    • STEM-OPT students whose Forms I-20 have a DSO recommendation date prior to August 19, 2022 are not affected.
  • H-1B Master’s CAP Eligibility and I-140 Advanced Degree/Professional Eligibility
    • Students who obtain their degree after August 19, 2022 from an institution that is solely accredited by ACICS may NOT use that degree to qualify for the H-1B Master’s CAP or to qualify for an I-140 petition filed under the advanced degree and professional classifications.
    • If a student’s degree was conferred prior to August 19, 2022 from an ACICS-accredited school, that degree may still be used to qualify for the H-1B Master’s CAP or to qualify for an I-140 petition filed under the advanced degree and professional classifications, as long as all other requirements are met.
  •  H-1B CAP Exemption/ACWIA Fee Exemption
    • An institution accredited solely by ACICS no longer qualifies for an exemption from the H-1B cap or the ACWIA fee, unless the institution is exempt on another basis.

 ACICS’s website provides a list of institutions currently accredited by ACICS.