Good news for nurses
IMMIGRATION CORNER - Michael J. Gurfinkel () - December 7, 2003 - 12:00am
Following numerous complaints from immigration lawyers and health care workers, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "clarified" its new policy, by stating that it would once again allow nurses to file for adjustment of status without including the visa screen (CGFNS) certificate. The Service Centers would instead give the health care workers a chance to provide the CGFNS certificate while their adjustment of status application is being processed. What this means is that the Service Centers are returning to their old policy of allowing nurses in the US to file for adjustment of status (and obtain work authorization) without including the Visa Screen (or CGFNS) certificate, as long as the nurse submits the certificate by the time of her adjustment interview.

By way of background, on Sept. 22, 2003, the USCIS issued a memo that changed the old policy, and required nurses and certain other health care workers to present a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) or other equivalent credentialing organizations, at the time of filing of their adjustment of status application.

The old policy allowed nurses to file for adjustment without including the CGFNS certificate, as long as the nurse submitted that certificate by the time of the adjustment of status interview (which might be a year or more after filing). In the meantime, the nurse could obtain work authorization, while waiting for the interview.

However, after that Sept. 22, 2003 memo, there were lots of complaints, as nurses were prevented from filing for adjustment until they obtained the CGFNS certificate. So, USCIS "clarified" its position, stating that its old practice of allowing nurses to file for adjustment of status without the Visa Screen will continue.

Nurses and physical therapists are still one of the best ways to get a green card, as they are "pre-approved" or pre-certified for the job (meaning exempt from obtaining labor certification from the Department of Labor, which adds several additional years to the processing time for a green card).

Website: www.gurfinkel.com

Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES: (818) 543-5800; SAN FRANCISCO: (650) 827-7888; NEW YORK: (212) 808-0300; PHILIPPINES: 894-0258 or 894-0239.

ADJUSTMENT CERTIFICATE CGFNS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GRADUATES OF FOREIGN NURSING SCHOOLS NURSES SERVICE CENTERS STATUS UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES VISA SCREEN
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