Yet Another Policy Revision for Registered Nurse and Physical Therapist Immigrant Petitions
October 15, 2005

Healthcare facilities seeking to commence immigrant visa processing on behalf of foreign registered nurses and physical therapists have lately faced numerous, often confusing, rule changes significantly impacting an already complicated procedure. The most recent change has to do with the exact language to be contained on the notices the facility is required to post in advance of filing immigration paperwork on behalf of a registered nurse or physical therapist.

The Notice of Filing, which is a part of most every employment based immigration filing, is to be posted in “conspicuous locations” at the workplace in question and essentially alerts workers that their employer is seeking to file immigration paperwork on behalf of a foreign worker. The notice is to include, among other details, terms of employment such as a job description, job prerequisites, work hours, and rate of pay.

For R.N. and P.T. petitions, multiple changes to the notice requirements have been implemented over the past few months, including the exact wording pertaining to where interested parties should direct complaints or inquiries. Up until the past year, the required language to be included in the notice directed interested parties to submit complaints or inquiries to a particular U.S. Department of Labor Regional Office. For facilities in the Chicago area and certain parts of the Midwest, it was the regional office in Chicago.

Earlier this year though, Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (CIS) headquarters in Washington D.C. released a policy memo containing a variety of changes to the paperwork requirements immigration petitions for R.N.’s and P.T.’s, including an amendment to the language on the Notice of Filing, whereby interested parties would now direct their complaints and inquiries to the CIS office where the immigration petition in question was being filed. For facilities in the Chicago area, that would the CIS Nebraska Service Center in Lincoln, NE.

A REVERSAL IN POLICY: HOWEVER, in response to numerous complaints regarding the basis for such a change, CIS headquarters released yet another memo last month revising its policy once again with regard to the wording of the Notice of Filing. Perhaps realizing that there was no legal authority for their earlier policy revision, the required language to be included in the Notice of Filing is back to what it used to be, wherein interested parties are instructed to forward complaints and inquiries to the appropriate U.S. Department of Labor Regional Office with jurisdiction over the location in question.

A small, seemingly inconsequential change, yes – but failure to adhere to this or any other detail regarding filing requirements will result in the denial of the visa petition.

Copyright © 2005-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois