Immigration Complications for Nurses, but we can helpPosted on 9/23/2018 Y. Judd AzulayOn March 8, 2018, "MONEY" magazine published an article: (http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/08/news/economy/nurse-hiring-bonuses/index.html ) on the worsening shortage of registered nurses in the U.S., and the offerings that some hospitals and health care facilities are making to recruit more nurses, including "five figure" sign-on bonuses, housing, and tuition reimbursement.
In the face of that on-going shortage of RNs, we are also observing USCIS denying a significant number of I-140 immigrant visa petitions for nurses, as well as reviewing and revoking previously approved EB-2 second employment based preference nurse petitions based on allegations of fraud and misrepresentation as to the nature and duties of the job, the worksite location, legitimate minimum requirements for the position, good faith intentions of the petitioner and/or beneficiary, and "ability to pay the offered wage" issues. While some of the denied and revoked immigrant visa petitions were assembled and worked on by the employer petitioner's HR staff or non-attorney "consultants", others were prepared and filed by attorneys, some of whom developed and practiced a pattern of deception and fraud that was eventually noticed and acted upon by law enforcement agencies, resulting in a cloud of suspicion being cast over any other matters handled by that attorney.
In our interviews with many RN beneficiaries (in the U.S. as well as stranded abroad) caught up in this swirl of denials and revocations, we've noticed a few patterns common in many of these unfortunate adverse decisions; patterns that add great importance and urgency in our admonition to understand the immigration "political environment" in which we are now operating, and to use great care in selecting and working with experienced, knowledgeable and competent legal counsel in all of your immigration matters. Included among such "red flag" patterns and practices are requests to sign USCIS or Consular forms, documents and correspondence in blank; preparation of two different versions of employer/employee agreements, contracts, or job offers (one for filing with the Government, and one with onerous terms, penalty clauses and conditions for "just between the parties"); and job offer details, job titles, duties, and requirements that are determined and emanate from the office of the attorneys, rather than from the prospective employer.
The great news is that this situation is not so bleak and hopeless, and that many RN immigrant visa petition denials and revocations can be overcome and turned into approvals through good, transparent, honest, zealous, and effective legal representation provided by Immigration Attorneys LLP. We will work with the prospective employer and RN to determine a legitimate an bona fide position within the petitioning employer's operations which best aligns with the RN's academic background and professional experience. We will not ask our clients to sign blank forms and documents, not create a second set of agreements "just between the parties." We pledge to be transparent in our work process, and genuinely invite and appreciate client participation, inquiries, and oversight. In many cases, you don't have to take an initial "No" from USCIS or Consular Officials as a final answer.
The guidance in this blog is only general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.