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50,000 US visas for RNs and PTs are now available

On 7 June 2005, the US State Department issued a Supplemental June 2005 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin adds a new "Schedule A" subcategory to the Employment-Based 3rd (EB-3) category for Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists and their spouses and children. The new Schedule A subcategory shows a "current" priority date for all RNs and PTs which allows them to immediately apply for permanent residence.

On May 11, 2005, President Bush signed a law permitting the recapture of 50,000 green cards under EB-3 category.

The Supplemental Visa Bulletin affects RNs and PTs in different ways:

  • For RNs and PTs residing outside the U.S. whose I-140s have been approved, and where the National Visa Center has forwarded their applications to US Embassies and Consulates in the Philippines, India and China, they could be receiving interview notices beginning in the next few weeks.
  • For family members of RNs and PTs residing abroad, if the RN/PT in the US has adjusted her status, the retrogression is now over, and they may be scheduled for immigrant visa appointments to "follow to join" their relative in the US.
  • For RNs and PTs presently in the US in valid nonimmigrant status, they are able to submit I-140/485s to their regional CIS Service Center starting immediately assuming that all applicable notice and prevailing wage determination requirements have been complied with.
  • For RNs and PTs presently in the U.S. whose nonimmigrant status expired during the retrogression period (since January 1, 2005), they may still be eligible to submit applications for adjustment of status under section 245(k) of the law as long as their failure to maintain status or their period of unauthorized employment does not exceed 180 days in the aggregate since their last admission to the US. RNs and PTs who are eligible for adjustment of status under section 245(i) may also apply for benefits under the new law.