On September 25, 2019, Senator Perdue and Senator Lee reached agreement on added language to the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (S.386). The resulting compromise ensures that international nurses will continue to receive visas in order to work at hospitals and other healthcare organizations in the United States. We thank Senator Perdue for his hard work in support of American patients. We also thank Senators Paul and Young for the role that they played in ensuring that nurses were added to the bill.
The American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (AAIHR) shares the legislation’s goal of ensuring that highly skilled immigrants have access to merit-based visas irrespective of nationality. Crucially, the provision in S.386 to set aside 4,400 visas each year for the next eight years for DOL Schedule A professions, which includes registered nurses, will create less of a disruption in the supply of international nurses coming to the U.S. than the House version of this bill (H.R. 1044) and minimize the impact on patient care.
“Because of the national nursing shortage, the availability of visas for international nurses is a patient safety issue, and we are grateful to Senators Perdue, Paul and to Young for their hard work on behalf of American patients,” said Shari Costantini, President of AAIHR.
In the last three years alone, over 1,200 hospitals in 49 states and D.C. have staffed international nurses from association members, attesting to the critical role these clinically skilled immigrants play in the delivery of high quality patient care.
As the legislative process moves forward, AAIHR will continue to work with Congress for immigration policies that prioritize the needs of staffing our U.S. healthcare system.