STOCKON: Ca. Various health care organizations are concerned about the latest Federal Immigration and Naturalization Serives (INS) visa policy on overseas nurse’s. The impact of this policy my leave some hospitals in New York and California in extreme shortage of RN’s. Patient care may suffer and hospitals may close some units. If new policy, which was enacted in 1987 is adhered strictly, then, New York health system alone will lose 17% of the estimated 4000 foreign nurses hired temporarily to provide services.
INS says that foreign nurses are granted 1, 0003,000 H1 visas annually, these visas are valid for 5 years. In the past, nurses holding such visas could stay in USA indefinitely by getting extensions.
INS feels that these temporary visas were being abused by nurses to circumvent immigration quotas in other preference categories. This resulted in considerable backlog of other applicant’s desirous of immigration to USA as a part of INS’s family reunification policy.
The latest policy of 1987 put limits of only one year extension after expiration of original five year H-1 visa. After that person holding such visa has to leave the country.
The health care organizations are planning to approach US Congress to intervene in this critical situation. Health Organizations want INS to hold its policy of deporting nurses back to their countries till permanent solutions are found to cope with future nurse’s shortage in this country.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 13, 1988