Looks Like It's Easier for Filipino Nurses to Get Their U.S. Immigrant Visas Processed

It may take less than a year thanks to an electronic processing system.

filipino nurse
PHOTO BY Unsplash

(SPOT.ph) Healthcare workers, you may want to take note: looks like the U.S. Department of State is speeding up the process to apply for employment-based immigration visas for Filipinos.

“Gone are the long and tedious wait for [two to three] years during the pre-pandemic years which discouraged some nurses from applying for work in the USA,” migration consultant Manny Geslani was quoted as saying in the report.  Processing may now take less than a year for registered nurses and caregivers, said Geslani. 

This follows the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s recent implementation of an electronic processing system to fill the current shortage of 190,000 nurses in the U.S., explained Fil-Am immigration lawyer Salvador Tuy in a PhilStar report.

Also read: Marcos to Raise Nurses' Deployment Cap Abroad

Here’s how registered nurses can get a U.S. employment-based immigration visa

A peek at the U.S. Department of State's Visa Bulletin for March 2023 shows  Registered nurses and caregivers fall under the third employment-based category (EB-3), which covers skilled workers whose jobs require a minimum of two years of training or experience. EB-3 visa requirements are less strict than the EB-1 and EB-2, which is often why the wait takes more time.

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employment-based immigration visa
PHOTO BY Screenshot/US Department of State

According to the US Department of State, the “C” listing indicates that the category is current, which means applicants who fall under that category can file whenever possible (i.e. ASAP for nurses who want to immigrate). 

Tuy said registered nurses will only have to submit required documents online “to the hospital or caregiving facility who had requested for the immigrant visa for her.”

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Those who are issued EB3 visas are also considered green card holders, which means they will have a permanent resident status in the US. In terms of compensation, Tuy said a nurse will typically have a monthly salary of U.S. $6,900 or higher, amounting to P380,000 at the minimum.

Having an EB-3 visa will also allow registered nurses and caregivers to bring their entire family with them to the US.

In 2022, 18,617 Filipino nurses took the U.S. licensure exam, with half of them expected to actually pursue work in the country. This is the highest count of first-time takers for the National Council Licensure Examination in 14 years.

“The number of Philippine nursing graduates taking the NCLEX for the first time is a reliable indicator as to how many of them are eagerly looking for employment in America,” Vice chair of the House committee on higher and technical education Marvin Rillo said in a PNA report. 

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Also read: Hospitals are Short on Nurses, Gov't Urged to Act Now

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