On May 5, 2020 a group of six U.S. senators introduced a bill called The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act to enhance the healthcare workforce in the U.S. by recapturing 40,000 unused green cards for doctors and nurses. Shortly thereafter, a companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.
The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act offers a temporary reprieve to green card backlogs for physicians and nurses. This proposed legislation would recapture unused immigrant visas from previous years for doctors and nurses and exempt these visas from the ordinary per-country caps on available visas.
Physicians and nurses who are the beneficiaries of approved I-140 immigrant visa petitions would be able to file for one of these 40,000 recaptured visas for up to 90 days following the termination of President Trump’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.
This bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by the American Hospital Association, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Support for this legislation continues to grow stronger each day. In the Senate, the bill has 31 co-sponsors and in the House, the bill has 46 co-sponsors.
Under this bill, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would “recapture” up to 25,000 unused immigrant visas from prior years’ allocations for nurses. USCIS would be required to process these immigrant visas for nurses in an expedited manner without the imposition of a premium processing fee.
This proposed legislation would be of particular benefit to Indian nurses, who are currently subject to lengthy backlogs in the employment-based green card categories. A nurse from India currently has to wait 10-12 years to secure a green card to work as an RN in the U.S. If this bill were to pass, nurses from India could arrive and start working in the U.S. within 9-12 months to help with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
We at Global Nurse Force are closely monitoring the progress of this proposed legislation and will provide updates as they are made available. Please contact our team if you have questions about this legislation or want to learn how GNF can help you fulfill your dreams of living and working as a Registered Nurse in the United States of America!
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