The healthcare industry in the United States is reportedly in significant need of workers, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified that shortfall.
Because of this shortage, employers are exploring various methods to fill open positions, which was the topic of Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm’s “Getting in the Door” Short-term Visa Options for Healthcare Workers webinar.
The event was hosted by Partners Meredith W. Barnette and Colleen F. Molner on Wednesday, May 3 and explored creative nonimmigrant visa options and strategies for qualified foreign national healthcare workers to find employment in the U.S.
Nonimmigrant visas are generally temporary in nature, with specific periods of validity. They are employer specific and may be position and location-specific, as well.
The presentation touched on various employment-based nonimmigrant visa options, including:
F-1 student visas: Eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) during/after degree program, which is typically valid for one year. Those with STEM degrees are eligible for a two-year extension.
J-1 exchange visitor visas: Allows temporary entry to the U.S. to participate in State Department designed exchange program. Physicians may obtain J-1 status for graduate medical education.
TN visas: Available for citizens of Canada or Mexico in certain professions, including nurses, medical laboratory technologists, PTs, OTs, pharmacists as well as physicians if they are teaching or researching.
H-1B specialty occupation work visa: Position must require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent of U.S. bachelor’s degree. Employer must pay the “required wage.” A statutory cap limits the number of new H-1B petitions that may be approved in a fiscal year to 85,000. Some beneficiaries employed at specific institutions are “cap exempt.”
O-1 extraordinary ability visas: For foreign nationals exemplifying extraordinary ability in their field. Must show receipt of major, internationally recognized award or meet at least three categories from a specific criteria developed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The webinar was the first in Garfinkel Immigration’s “Immigration Solutions for Healthcare Workers,” series. The complete schedule can be found below.
Please contact the attorneys at Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm to learn more about short-term visa options or other immigration solutions for healthcare workers.
Upcoming webinar schedule
Wednesday, June 7: “Settling in the U.S.:” Healthcare Worker Green Cards, Part 1 — Physician National Interest Waivers (Noon – 1 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 12: “Settling in the U.S.:” Healthcare Worker Green Cards, Part 2 — Schedule A Green Cards for Nurses and PTs (Noon – 1 p.m.)
Wednesday, August 9: “But I Don’t Want to go Home!” Waiving the Home Residency Requirement (Conrad 30 J-1 Waivers and More) (Noon – 1 p.m.)