US bill changes visa requirements for foreign nurses

After the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that modifies the requirements for non-immigrant nurses, these health care professionals may soon change employers even while their new visa is still in process.

According to a report of the Asian Journal on August 18, US Rep. Joe Heck said, “We just passed a bill that changes the visa requirements to allow more foreign nurses to come and stay in the country.”

The Asian Journal said Heck made the statement about the bill, House Resolution (HR) 1933, during a forum with Asian business leaders in Las Vegas on August 15.

An amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the bill was passed in the House on August 1 and has been forwarded to the Senate for deliberation.

The bill states, “A nonimmigrant alien…who was previously issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status…is authorized to accept new employment performing services as a registered nurse…upon the filing by the prospective employer of a new petition on behalf of such nonimmigrant.”

“Employment authorization shall continue for such alien until the new petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, such authorization shall cease,” the bill adds.

Heck, a physician who used to work at the Emergency Room of the University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas, said the bill will help the country’s nursing shortage.

Heck noted that “there is a large Filipino nurse population at UMC.” Some 2,000 Filipino nurses are living in Las Vegas, the Asian Journal noted.

“(Nurses) would come to the US on a visa that is tied to their job at a particular hospital. We are trying to change that,” Heck was quoted in the report as saying.

Heck said the new bill is expected not only to improve healthcare delivery, but generate businesses and job opportunities, the Asian Journal reported.

“Everything we do is aimed at trying to revamp the entrepreneurial spirit,” the report quoted the congressman as saying. – VVP, GMA News

Find more like this: Medicine, Nursing

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