By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano
On May 5, 2020, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill to recapture 40,000 lost green cards, and give them to much needed doctors and nurses.
The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act (S.3599) would speed the ability of foreign-born healthcare workers to become lawful permanent residents of the United States and allow them to assist in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill would recapture unused immigrant visas for 25,000 nurses and 15,000 doctors that Congress had previously authorized and allocate them to those who can help in the fight against COVID-19. Immigrant visas for the spouses and unmarried children of these healthcare workers would also be recaptured.
The proposal does not increase current immigration numbers.
“The growing shortage of doctors and nurses over the past decade has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Senator David Perdue (R-GA). “Fortunately, there are thousands of trained health professionals who want to practice in the United States. This proposal would simply reallocate a limited number of unused visas from prior years for doctors and nurses who are qualified to help in our fight against COVID-19. This shortage is critical and needs immediate attention so that our healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed in this crisis.”
“Consider this: one-sixth of our health care workforce is foreign-born. Immigrant nurses and doctors play a vital role in our health care system, and their contributions are now more crucial than ever. Where would we be in this pandemic without them? It is unacceptable that thousands of doctors currently working in the U.S. on temporary visas are stuck in the green card backlog, putting their futures in jeopardy and limiting their ability to contribute to the fight against COVID-19,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il).
“This bipartisan, targeted, and timely legislation will strengthen our health care workforce and improve health care access for Americans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support these vital health care workers.”
In order to work in the U.S., foreign-born registered nurses must have state licenses, have passed exams demonstrating that they are fluent in English as well as certificates from an agency designated by the federal government that their nursing education is equivalent to that of nurses trained in the U.S.
There is a severe shortage of primary care doctors in the U.S. Currently, physicians meet only 55% of the national need for primary care. Given our aging population, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the U.S. will see a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032 as the demand for physicians continues to grow faster than supply.
There are thousands of foreign-born physicians who work in the U.S. on temporary visas. However, restrictive per-country quotas have keep them from getting green cards.
What the New Legislation Would Do
The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would do the following:
1.Recapture unused green cards from previous years for doctors and nurses and their families;
2.Exempt these visas from per-country caps;
3.Require employers to attest that immigrants from overseas who receive these visas will not displace American workers;
4.Require the DHS and the State Department to expedite the processing of recaptured visas; and
5.Limit the filing period for recaptured visas to 90 days following the termination of the President’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.
Note: This is not a legal advice. This is just a bill and it needs the approval of the Legislature and the President to become law.
- For the month of April 2020. we received approval of one adjustment of status, three removal of condition on residence and one renewal of green card.
- For the month of March 2020, we received six Adjustment of Status and three Naturalization approvals from USCIS.
- For the month of February 2020, we received approvals from USCIS of five Adjustment of Status application andthree Naturalization application.
- For the month of January 2020, we received approvals from USCIS of five Adjustment of status applications,three N-400 applications for naturalization and three fiancé visa application.
- For the month of December 2019, we received four approvals of naturalization applications, five approvals of Adjustment of Status applications, two approvals of Petition to remove condition on residence, one renewal of green card approval and one green card application at the U.S. Embassy.
- For the month of November 2019, we received approvals of one naturalization application, one renewal of green card, one Petition to remove condition on residence and one adjustment of status.
- For the month of October 2019, we received five naturalization application approvals and two renewal of green card and one DACA approval.
- For the month of September 2019, we received approval of two naturalization applications, one adjustment of status and one application to remove condition on residence.
- For the month of August, 2019, we received approval from Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has committed marriage fraud.We also received approval from USCIS of two naturalization applications and two fiancé visa petition.
- For the month of July 2019, we received approvals of three N-400 application for Naturalization, one I-751 Petition to remove condition of residence with interview and two I-90 renewal of green card.
- For June 2019, we received approvals of four adjustment of status, six naturalization applications and two certificate of citizenship applications, and one Removal of condition on resident.
- On May 6, 2019, we received approvals of three adjustment of status applications and two Naturalization applications.
If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.