Proposed Legislation to Address Immigrant Visa & Availability Issues for R.N.’s and P.T.’s
May 12, 2005

As previously discussed in this column, the overwhelming demand for immigrant visas in the Employment Based, Third Preference category has led to the implementation of visa cut-off dates for certain professional and skilled workers from the Philippines, China and India. That means that workers from these countries are facing delays of at least a year or two for visa issuance, leaving all parties, including their prospective employers, sorely disappointed.

Perhaps taking into account the acute shortage of healthcare workers our country faces, Congress is now considering the enactment of a provision to make more immigrant visas immediately available for registered nurses and physical therapists from these countries. Specifically, it has been proposed that the unused allotment of employment based immigrant visas from previous years be made available to R.N.’s and P.T.’s from the countries now facing visa cut-off dates.

The enactment of this legislation will likely lead to the elimination of immigrant visa cut-off dates and visa issuance backlogs for R.N.’s and P.T.’s, and their families, from the Philippines, China and India. Any further congressional action on this proposal will be featured in this column.

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