Editor's note: Here are the latest entries from Chris Musillo's blog
March 17, 2010
English testing waived for certain Visa Screen renewals
CGFNS recently announced that renewal applicants do not have to take another approved English exam for renewal of their Visa Screen certificate if they have been employed in the US for at least 27–36 months — including nine months of the year before the date an applicant submits the renewal application. Applicants will need to have their employer submit an employment summary on corporate letterhead with the appropriate signature for the English requirement to be waived.
EB1 – all current EB2 – all current, except China (22 AUG 05) and India (1 FEB 05) EB3 – all 01 FEB 03, except India (08 SEP 01) and Mexico (01 JUL 02)
This is modest progress from last month’s Visa Bulletin for All Other EB3 Applications. All Other EB3 has increased 3 months since March 2010 and 6 months since February 2010, when it was 22 SEP 2002. India EB3 has also improved from 22 JUN 2001 since February’s Visa Bulletin.
The Department of Labor has just released final H-1C regulations. The timing of the release is odd in light of the fact that the H-1C program expired on December 20, 2009.
The purpose of the late publication of the regulations is “to ensure worker protections are in place for those nurses currently employed in H-1C status, whose stays may extend beyond December 20, 2009.” Some H-1C nurses are still authorized to work in the US, although that number is shrinking with each day; extensions are no longer approvable with the H-1C program’s expiration.
The Background Information to the regulation includes a lengthy history of the H-1C program. Originally, the H-1C program was conceived as nonimmigrant solution to the nursing shortage. The usual nonimmigrant professional program, the H-1B, has only limited application for registered nurses. But the limits on the H-1C program rendered it inert for all but fourteen hospitals in the US.
There does not seem to be a groundswell of support for a reenactment of the H-1C program, since the nursing shortages have lessened with the onset of the recession. Nevertheless, the H-1C program has been extended several times in the past. It remains to be seen whether the H-1C will rematerialize when the inevitable nursing staffing shortages reemerge.