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Bill Introduced to Provide Another 40,000 Immigrant Visas to Healthcare Workers for Doctors and Nurs

On May 5, 2020, Senators Perdue (R-GA), Young (R-IN), Cornyn (R-TX), Durbin (D-IL), Coons (D-DE), and Leahy (D-VT) introduced S.3599, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, which seeks to enhance the healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 global pandemic by recapturing 40,000 unused immigrant visas for doctors and nurses.

The number of visas available shall be the total number of unused employment-based immigrant visas from FY1992-FY2020, up to 40,000. Of such visas, 25,000 shall be reserved for nurses, and 15,000 for physicians. Certain family members may accompany the principal beneficiary of a visa provided under this bill, and visas for such family members shall (1) be made available from the unused visas from FY1992-FY2020, and (2) not be counted against the 40,000 cap.

Visas provided under this bill shall be exempt from per-country limitations.

The “Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act,” if enacted, would temporarily allow international physicians and nurses who are willing and able to fill health care staffing shortages access to unused immigrant visas and would cut their wait to permanently work in the United States down years, if not decades.

The bill would recapture unused immigrant visas under Section 106(d) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (Public Law 106– 4 313; 8 U.S.C. 1153 note) and would:

  1. Authorize the recapture of 25,000 immigrant visas for professional nurses and 15,000 immigrant visas for physicians;

  2. Allow these visas to be issued in order of the priority date, regardless of per-country limitations;

  3. Issue visas for the immediate family members of these individuals (not counted toward the 40,000 limit);

  4. Require the Departments of Homeland Security and State to more quickly process these applications/petitions;

  5. Mandate that a petitioner attest that in hiring the professional nurse a U.S. worker has not or will not be displaced.

The next step will be for the bill to be passed in the Senate, then the House. If it survives both votes, it will be submitted to the President to pass into law. Stay tuned for the latest updates.

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on individuals, businesses, and immigrants. Stay turned for the latest information. We can help prepare an extension of stay application or assist with overstay issues.

The Grady Firm works with dynamic employers and employees across the country to prepare successful employment-based visa and Green Card applications. In addition, we help individuals, families, employees, business owners, and investors obtain non-immigrant and immigrant visas (B-1/B2, H-1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, TN, E-2, E-3), as well and Green Cards and citizenship based on family relationships, investment, or employment.

This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.


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