Improving the Processing of "Schedule A" Nurse Visas

Posted On: December 12, 2008

The nursing shortage in the United States is becoming increasingly problematic and may adversely affect the health care industry. The Citizenship and Immigration (CIS) Ombudsman has been fully informed by nursing organizations and stakeholders about the period of time it takes for a foreign nurse to be admitted to the Unted States to work. Visa availability continues to be the principal obstacle for many immigrants and non-immigrants seeking employment in the United States, and the number of visas available can only be addressed through legislation.

Accordingly, the CIS Ombudsman has recommended that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) separate and prioritize Schedule A green card applications so that they can be expedited, without the requirement of a written request, upon immigrant visa availability; and centralize Schedule A nurse applications at one designated USCIS service center to facilitate more efficient and consistent processing of Schedule A applications.

Additionally, the CIS Ombudsman has suggested that USCIS regularly communicate with the Department of Labor (DOL) and develop points of contacts at DOL to discuss concerns and direct inquiries regarding the processing of nurse immigration application.

Click here to read the full recommendation of the CIS Ombudsman.