The Citizenship and Immigration Service is indicating that available green cards for foreign nurses may soon be reached. This applies to foreign (RN) nurses who have passed the NCLEX test (and are presently in the U.S. on visitor, student or other work visas) to apply for permanent status under schedule A.
Up to now, nurses here legally are allowed to stay in the United States and work as health care professionals while their applications for green cards were being processed. There is a 245k provision of the law that even allows nurses to apply to stay and work in the U.S. up to 180 days after their legal status has expired. This is about to change, according to CIS bulletins, when the present number of visas available for immediate processing reaches the cap established by Congress.
Once the cap is reached, nurses may still apply but cannot get a work permit or stay in the U.S. as a green card applicant. They would have to wait for the work based priority date to come up for their green card. This date is about four years away based on the last State Department visa bulletin issued in September.
If they want to stay in the U.S. while waiting for the priority date, they will have to stay in another visa status, such as a student or a non-immigrant worker (like a H-1B visa). For most nurses, this will require leaving the U.S. while they wait for the priority date to come up.
Registered Nurses will be required to submit evidence that they have passed the NCELX test and receive certification by the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) before they will be granted a work based green card. This type of certification is called the visa screen. Nurses are required to pass an English proficiency test to demonstrate that they have the ability to read and write English at a professional level and speak well enough to be understood in the workplace. These tests are called TOEFL and IELTS. The English test scores must be submitted to CGFNS. It usually takes a number of months before a visa screen certificate will be issued.
Full Story: Cap on nurses' green cards may close soon
[Philippine News Online,Philippines]
Oct 13, '06
While I have never applied for the Green Card my experience with immigration lawyers, here in the US has been similar. It seems like they tend to wait a long time to get the work done. My thoughts are that the lawyer himself is always the front man. That is how lawyers make the money they do (carpenters, electricians and car mechanics: the same) since they are able to bill for lawyer hours, but pay for paralegal ones. He either gets his junior partner to do the work or one of his paralegals. I for one question why I just don't hire the guy who resides in India to do the work. Unfortunately, overtime it has been important for me to talk to my lawyer in English(guess in your case maybe French; please don't take offence at this comment: as an aside I believe our true friends/allies are the French since Paris was the only really country to try to stop our present government from going where they shouldn't have gone (BUT, hey that's another thread !)) I can understand. So that talking to the guy/frontman/lawyer a few miles from where I live has been vital.
He doesn't care about each individual case though he will try and make you think he does. That being said I would probably trust that he will come through since it has been my experience that though the wait seems forever, his office follows through with the work as promised.
And "no" I don't think there is a way to put pressure on him.
Good luck. I am going through a similar instance right now in updating a TN.
Quote from jmb22
One more thing: I don't really trust the lawyer. He has been wasting a lot of time at different stages of the application. Do you know if there is a way to put pressure on him? May be I should talk to the Administration of the Hospital that is sponsoring me. The immigration lawyer is contracted by the Hospital for immigration/Green card application issues. I have the feeling that this is not his first priority because he certainly has a long term contract with the Hospital, and therefore doesn't really care about individual cases.
Thanx for ur suggestions.
Last edit by oneLoneNurse on Oct 13, '06