To trust an agency???

  1. Hello everyone, new in this forum....
    Does anyone know how to determain an agencie`s trustworthines? Since there are so many agencies that hire internationally it is hard for a person overseas to know which company to trust. I and two collegues of mine are planning on coming to work in the US sometime next year. We`ve so far completed the IELTS and are studying for the NCLEX. But before signing any contract, we would like to know what specific details we should be aware of and perhaps caucious about. So any info about possible internet sites etc. will be greatly appreciated!!
    P.S Love these sites!
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   teeituptom
    I trust no one or at least very few

    meantime I keep my gunpowder dry
  4. by   suzanne4
    Biggest thing to be concerned with is the cancellation fee. If for some reason that the facility cancels your contract, or you need to return home because a family member is ill, etc., they can be as high as $30,000. That is robbery in my view and stay as far away as you can from that.

    You should know where you will be working, not agency choice at the last minute, before you sign the contract. Not just the state, but the city, as well as the facility name. The type of facility, is it LTC, meaning long term care (nursing home), or an acute hospital facility.

    Whcih state do you wish to work in? Big city or little city? You should do the choosing and select an agency based on that, not what the agency has to offer for you. You will be the happiest that way, when you are in control.

    Do you get a choice of attorney? Id the agency paying the fees, or are you? Many facilites will pay a relocation bonus which will cover all of the immigration fees, and again, you r are in a better position if you can also select your attorney. Big difference in the wat that your case is handled in my opinion.
  5. by   lenaUK
    Just thought I should put in my two bit, now that i eagerly await my GC interview, I wish i had not bungled up my misplacing an important document I lost 3 months...by now I would be in sunny california!!!!

    I spent a lot of time, effort and sweat researching agencies, hospitals etc...and here's the deal

    1. An agency referred by a nurse who has been through the process is ideally a good pick, you get first hand information

    2. A reputable agency will not charge you fees, will be prompt in responding to your emails, telephone calls, is very direct and will follow up.

    3. Your contract should mention the city and state, some of them take you through the entire process and the job offer does not mention the key details. My contract does not mention the facility, according to the agency the facility will be advised at the time of the consulate interview. I questioned why? and the response was that the facility may confirm a job at the time of signing the offer, however sometimes the delay in the Greencard or organisational changes in the facility etc...could change the confirmation of the job offer and it is disappointing for the nurse.
    The agency I signed with has multiple contracts with facilities in my city of choice, they have sent my CV recently (as I await my interview call) to 3 facilities and I have been re-interviewed and confirmed by 2 of them

    4. My cancellation contract is for $10,000 and they did not charge any fees, they paid for my entire greencard costs and attorney fees for self and family. I paid for my family - again I questioned them why they do not pay for family. Their response was they get single nurses and nurses with 4 children, so it is not fair they pay more for some nurses and less for others. Their policy is to pay for everything for the nurse. I think it is fair policy.

    5. An agency will send immigration updates, you do not need to wait for years to find out there was no petition filed and you have wasted your time. My agency in London faxed me INS receipt, approval and advised me on a monthly basis what was going on.

    All I can say is I interviewed in Feb 05 in Stockholm, I140 was approved in May 05, waiting for interview call in Dec or Jan. (I would have been interviewed back in Oct had I not screwed up). I am so glad the papers moved so fast...........

    Wish all of you lots of luck

    Lena
  6. by   zohar_i
    I have decided contact a hospital directly , without any agency in between.
    I don't know, maybe I am missing something...but can somebody tell me what are the advantages of going through an agency instead of choosing the hospital you want to work at and to sign a contract with them directly?
  7. by   suzanne4
    Depends on where you are currently located and what is available to you.
    I actually prefer when the nurse pays the fees, not the agency, then you have a better selection of where you can go and what you can do and not do. Plus you can pick who you want to use, etc. But that is if you can afford it. Most facilities are paying bonueses, which essentially cover the expenses for immigration as well as travel for the nurse.

    I also do not like it when the agency takes $5 off for each hour to cover their expenses, if you do the math, $5 per hour for 40 hours, x 4 weeks, x 12 months. They are getting almost $20,000 if not more based on the number of hours that you work, and are not spending anyhting close to that.

    I would not look at a contract that had a cancellation clause of more than $10,000, as there is no reason what so ever for that, and the nurse is just being taken advantage of.
  8. by   suzanne4
    And I still prefer to have the contract directly with the hospital, not with the agency. Too many times agencies have not been able to come up with a facility, and then everything gets cancelled by immigration. If it is a legitimate hosptial, then there should be no issues at all with immigration.
    Agencies can be a great thing, but ideally the name on the contract should be where you will be working.

    And I want the hospital listed in the contract, not just city and state, it leaves way too much open for problems to occur.

    But again, this is only my opinion.
  9. by   zohar_i
    I haven't actually signed the contract with the hospital yet. Should I inquire about the conditions in case I revoke? For how long are the contracts with the hospital usually signed for?
    And I have another question. What if I , let's say, sign for 3 years and in the middle I get pregnant and want to take a few months off, what happens then?
  10. by   Jessy_RN
    I don't think you can fully trust anyone these days. Not at least until you have put them through the test and keep an eye out. Do lots of research, ask many questions always in everything you do.

    Good luck
  11. by   teeituptom
    Welcome to the wonderfull world of nursing
  12. by   suzanne4
    Quote from zohar_i
    I haven't actually signed the contract with the hospital yet. Should I inquire about the conditions in case I revoke? For how long are the contracts with the hospital usually signed for?
    And I have another question. What if I , let's say, sign for 3 years and in the middle I get pregnant and want to take a few months off, what happens then?
    You better make sure that there is something in your contract that permits you the time off. This is what I am talking about, some agencies will consider it that you cancelled and make you buy out your contract. Just make sure that everyhtijg is to your liking or do not sign it.

    If you do take the time off and they accept that, you will need to make up the time on the end of your contract. That much is a definite.
  13. by   mei23
    Thank you all and especially Suzanne4 and LenaUK for all the useful information and tips!! To your question about our preferred location, Suzanne, we want to work in a big east coast city in an ICU(which is our specialty of many years). The agency said they will arrange interviews with interested facilities before we take the NCLEX so I assume the contract will be specific about the location. However, I didn`t know the agency takes X amount of $:s of my hourly salary. Is it standard procedure? How long will I pay, say I make a contrac of 2 yrs? What about shift bonuses and overtime, do I pay the agency for those hours? The agency hasn`t mentioned about any of that (naturally I will require that information before signing).
    Also, if I want to go on my own (I shouldn`t have any major problems with the GC since my husband and children are US citizens), how should I proceed and how much would it cost? What about my collegues (no prior US contact)?
    Any help greatly appreciated!!!
  14. by   suzanne4
    For all of you that are reading this:

    There is no such thing as a "free green card." The money for it will be deducted from your hourly salary, usually to the tune of about $5 US per hour. Do the math. $5 x 40 hours is $200 per week, x 4 weeks, is $800 per month, x 12= $9600 per year. Contracts are either two years or three years, you can do the rest of the math.

    Visa costs are approximately $750, then the attorney's fees, which should be no more than $2000, medical exam and CXR, plus what ever labs or injections, plus exams. You do the math..............Even adding in the flight, and exams, the agency is getting about $15,000 from your contract, just based on that, and nothign else from the facility that is also giving them something.

    You can figure on about $5000 at the most for the nurse, if done on your own, plus most facilities are paying a relocation fee of about $4000 plus, so essentially you get the money in your pocket. The reputable attorneys will usually allow you to just pay the visa fees, and expenses associated with that up front, then make payments on the rest once you are working.

    The best agency contracts, if you use one, are when they assist you in finding a position, their fee is paid by the facility, and nothing is taken from your check. You are responsible for the immigration charges but the hospital will usually cover that in bonus.

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