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RETROGRESSION UPDATE

The US Department of State has released its Visa Bulletin for July 2007. The bulletin includes a summary of available immigrant visa numbers.
Effective July 1, 2007, all employment-based immigrant petitions will become "current."

This means that the backlog in the issuance of immigrant visas to qualified nurses is over albeit temporarily.

The Hammond Law Group (HLG), a law firm specializing in immigration cases, explains the bulletin's implication to nurses.

What does this mean?

For applicants waiting for interviews at the consulate: The foreign national may proceed with the consulate interview after the National Visa Center or the consulate schedules an interview. It is expected that it will take the NVC some time to begin issuing appointment dates, as there are thousands of cases that have stacked up during the period of retrogression.

For applicants with labor certification approvals: the foreign national may proceed with concurrent filing of the I-140 and I-485 applications.


For applicants with approved I-140 petitions:
The foreign national may proceed with the I-485 Adjustment of Status or consular interview, depending upon which option the foreign national is choosing.

For applicants in the U.S. on temporary status who are eligible to bypass labor certification (e.g. registered nurses, physical therapists, National Interest Waivers, Exceptional Ability Aliens, etc.):
The foreign national may proceed with concurrent filing of the I-140 and I-485 application.

However, the relief is only temporary and may only last until October this year as the category is always over-subscribed
as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is only allowed by law to approve approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visa petitions annually. Moreover, dependents are also counted against the yearly quota.

Meanwhile, Key Republican and Democratic senators are reaching for a deal to resurrect their stalled immigration compromise by requiring that some $4 billion be spent on border security and workplace enforcement.

U.S. President George W. Bush met with key Republican leaders in Capitol Hill this week to rally support for his pet bill.

Passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill is largely viewed in the healthcare industry as a long-term solution to the recurrent problem of nurse visa retrogression.


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