RN working under OPT

  1. Dear Suzanne

    First, your support and compassion towards fellow nurses are greatly appreciated!

    I was born in South Korea and have a BS degree in the Texas. Ive started working on acute care setting hospital since dec, 2006 and the hospital is willing to be my sponsor. But my OPT expires on June, 30, 2007.

    I am aware that as a new grad im not qualified for H1B visa, and getting a green card/permanent residenship is the only way to stay and work in the states. Also, i know that currently, visas for Schedule A worker has been retrogressed to Jun 2004.


    So, Ive talked to several immigration attorney, they all suggested me to apply for Master's degree in Nursing starting spring 2008.
    However, most MSN program requires work experience, and since ive just started working, im not sure if any grad school program will accept me.

    One more quetion is that, if i could still petition for I-140 with the hospital that Im currently working even if the priority date is June 2004?
    If i petition for I-140 and go to grad school in CA, is it okay?
    Will i be able to come back to TX and work after my I-140 is approved?

    Also, Would it be better to find am employer who would sponsor for me in CA and wait it to be approved while i continue my studying in MSN?

    I am so desperate about this situation....Please help me!

    Thank you so much.
    Last edit by abba24 on Jan 9, '07
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   embarq
    Hi there,
    Let's hope that Schedule A relief will come sooner than your OPT gets expired. That way you can file I-140 and I-485 within 60 days after June 30, 2007. Yes, you can submit your I-140 anytime even if the priority is 2004 at this time. You need to file your I-140 right away now and after your OPT gets expired, you will have to go for your Master's. If you cannot get for your MSN (based on what you said about not enough experience), you will need to go for any health related MSN, lets say Master's in Health Management (or something like that). Meantime of your Master's degree education you can apply for another OPT (part-time) while you are working on your Master's, you can work as RN part-time. I am sure that by the end of this year Schedule A will be current again, and you will be able to file I-485 and I-765 concurrently.
    That is my advice. I am sure Suzanne may disagree with what I am suggesting. But I am positive that it is one of the legal ways to stay legal. But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Not disagreeing, but just a few additional thoughts on the subject. You are not required to have experience to get into all MSN programs, there are many that are direct entry programs for RNs to get the initial training. There are many programs that are now offering the NP certification for RNs that have no bedside experience, so you are even further ahead in that respect.

    H1-B visas are not available for nurses, and this has nothing to do with experience, but more for the paperwork that is involved with it. They have not been available for nurses for almost three years, and even if they were, you will not find a facility willing to go thru the process and continued required documentation.

    Not sure why the attorneys were telling you to start grad school in spring of 2008, you will be out of status if your OPT expires this summer and you do not have a petition that permits the AOS in progress.

    OPTs are for when you are done with the program, during the program it is the CPT, which only permits part-time work.

    For grad school, you will be back on the F-1 visa to keep current......and yes, the I-140 can be submitted on your behalf as long as you are qualified for it and you are. You will not be able to have an AOS submitted and get the EAD with that until the visas are current once again.

    I expect to see something happening in the next few months, plus you were not born in one of the countries that will have a longer wait. That is in your favor. But I would look for a program that begins in the fall, not wait until next winter, or you will be out of status. Just as a fall back plan.

    Hope that this helps.:spin:
  5. by   Interested Party
    That is my advice. I am sure Suzanne may disagree with what I am suggesting. But I am positive that it is one of the legal ways to stay legal. But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again.
    [/quote]

    Can you clarify the 'But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again'???? Does that mean that if a person leaves the US after completing an RN degree, that person cannot come back to the US for 2-3 years, even if they have a job offer??

    Thanks

    IP
    Last edit by Interested Party on Jan 10, '07
  6. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from Interested Party
    That is my advice. I am sure Suzanne may disagree with what I am suggesting. But I am positive that it is one of the legal ways to stay legal. But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again.
    Can you clarify the 'But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again'???? Does that mean that if a person leaves the US after completing an RN degree, that person cannot come back to the US for 2-3 years, even if they have a job offer??

    Thanks

    IP[/QUOTE]


    At the moment retrogression is in progress for nurses which means currently no visas. So nurses are currently being processed up to 2004. Depending on place of birth depends on when you get a visa, if from a country with high demand ie Phillipines, India,China and Mexico it will take you longer to get a via than someone born say in europe. Hopefully things will be sorted sometime this year but can't see anything happening in the next couple of months
  7. by   Interested Party
    Quote "At the moment retrogression is in progress for nurses which means currently no visas. So nurses are currently being processed up to 2004. Depending on place of birth depends on when you get a visa, if from a country with high demand ie Phillipines, India,China and Mexico it will take you longer to get a via than someone born say in europe. Hopefully things will be sorted sometime this year but can't see anything happening in the next couple of months"

    Hi Anna (aka Silverdragon)
    Thanks for that. Can I please, further clarify the bit that states "that person cannot come back to the US for 2-3 years, even if they have a job offer"? For instance, if a person had completed nursing studies in the US, completed OPT and then went back to their homeland ..............does this mean that this person cannot re-enter the US for 2-3 years and as stated above, even if they have a job offer! I was under the impression that if you have a job offer you can re-enter the US. Also, since the processing is only up to 2004, how long would one be waiting if they apply in 2007???!!!

    IP
  8. by   suzanne4
    Quote from Interested Party
    That is my advice. I am sure Suzanne may disagree with what I am suggesting. But I am positive that it is one of the legal ways to stay legal. But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again.
    Can you clarify the 'But if you wanna leave the country, you will have to expect to stay there for 2-3 years even if Schedule A is current again'???? Does that mean that if a person leaves the US after completing an RN degree, that person cannot come back to the US for 2-3 years, even if they have a job offer??

    Thanks

    IP[/quote]


    Not sure where that two to three years is coming from....definitely not true.
    As soon as they have the job offer, they can start the process. The only time that they are required to be gone ifor two yearss if they were on a J-1 visa that was not renewable, and you rarely see those. Or if immigration ordered you to leave the country.
  9. by   suzanne4
    Quote from Interested Party
    Quote "At the moment retrogression is in progress for nurses which means currently no visas. So nurses are currently being processed up to 2004. Depending on place of birth depends on when you get a visa, if from a country with high demand ie Phillipines, India,China and Mexico it will take you longer to get a via than someone born say in europe. Hopefully things will be sorted sometime this year but can't see anything happening in the next couple of months"

    Hi Anna (aka Silverdragon)
    Thanks for that. Can I please, further clarify the bit that states "that person cannot come back to the US for 2-3 years, even if they have a job offer"? For instance, if a person had completed nursing studies in the US, completed OPT and then went back to their homeland ..............does this mean that this person cannot re-enter the US for 2-3 years and as stated above, even if they have a job offer! I was under the impression that if you have a job offer you can re-enter the US. Also, since the processing is only up to 2004, how long would one be waiting if they apply in 2007???!!!

    IP

    Not coming back for two to three years is not correct.
    If visas become available again this summer, the nurse could be in the US by the end of this year. All will depend on when the visas become available.

    The two to three years definitely did not come from me.
  10. by   Silverdragon102
    As said previously a lot depends to when the visa situation is resolved. If you leave the US you just start your application with your employer which will be done to packet 3 and then once visas are available and you eventually get one your progress recommences and you eventually get a date and attend for medical and interview.
  11. by   Interested Party
    Thank you for your responses and clarification. I'll pass this information on.
  12. by   suzanne4
    Consular Processing can actually be started in the US, it does not require that the nurse be back in their country in the beginning. We see this quite often.

    Right now, for most Consular Processing would be the fastest route, again depending on the country involved as well. With CP, the process can be completed up until the medicals and the actual interview date with US immigration. With AOS, only the I-140 can be submitted; nothing more.

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