You do not apply for the NCLEX exam, there is no application for that, the only thing that you can submit is an application for licensure.
Licenses have expiration dates on them, just like everything else. And most are good for only two years and then they need to be renewed. It is just that once a hard license is issued, you are assured that you will not have to retake the NCLEX exam again, unless you stay out of the field for years and let your license lapse.
But if you get the letter from CA, they do not issue a license without the SSN# and you have three years to gvie them that, if not, then your file gets destroyed and therefore your results from the NCLEX exam will go with it. This is why I have never recommended CA for initial licensure for someone that does not have a SSN#.
What happened with the last retrgression is completely different from what is going on now, and we do not expect it to end soon. Very different circumstances now than when just the PIC countries were affected. Now it has been all for more than a year. The US has a limit as to the number of green cards under the EB-3 that can be issued per year, that has not increased, nor do we expect to see it increased; there is also a limit as to the number that can come from one country, and that maximum from anyone place is just under 10,000. That may sound like alot, but when you figure in the spouses as well as children, as well as those from other professions, it does not leave that large of a number.
The push in the US now is to focus on training Americans to work as nurses and not focus on importing from other countries. By the time that most get thru their training program and then have to test and get thru immigration, you are looking at about two years of time spent when you can train someone under the actual American system in the first place and for less money than is paid out to bring a foreign nurse in. The other issue is that there has been a major increase in the number of nurses being schooled in the Philippines, many more than can be handled there and trained with a thorough education as was done in the past. Expect to see the US go back to its previous requirements of requiring the NLE to be passed before you will be permitted to even being approved to sit for the NCLEX exam, as was required back when the CGFNS exam was required by all not too long ago, as well as two years of experience as most other foreign countries are now requiring.
CGFNS exam was a weeding tool, expect the local license and the two years of current work experience to come back into play as before. This is one way to cut down on the number that are applying. Supply and demand now is the biggest factor and why you will not expect to see visas for about five years or so. Add into it the fact that there were so many I-485 petitions submitted this summer when there were no visas available.
Things are quite different now. Plain and simple.