Singing Loudly: Come Horse and Nurse Immigrants

Singing Loudly

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Come Horse and Nurse Immigrants

President Bush signed a new supplemental appropriations bill into law on May 11, 2005 which has a couple interesting implications for immigration law. I went to the Google News site to do a search for PL 109-13, and was disappointed to find zero results. Then I typed in "supplemental appropriation" and received hits for news sites that were all about throughbred horse racing, which amused me, because I never really considered the immigration consequences to horse racing.

Anyhow, the most lauded part of the bill concerns 50K visa allotments for the Schedule A work visas. This means that in coming years there are going to be a lot of nurses allowed to immigrate on work visas. Obviously, this means that there is a shortage of nurses compared to the demand. It also means that nurse visas will become a very hot area for fellow immigration attorneys.

As to the H-2B visas, there is now a provision to exempt certain semi-skilled immigrant workers from the 66K caps currently imposed. From AQHA:

This year, the number of H-2B visas available for immigrant workers is capped at 66,000. Under the new provision, any foreign worker who has received a visa under the H-2B program in the last three years will be exempt from this cap for the next two years.

This is an interesting bill that is pretty good overall and consistent with the President's goals with immigration. It's unfortunate that it is riding on the heals of the Real ID Act being passed into law.


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