Threat of nurse visa freeze warrants Congressional action, healthcare recruiters say

The American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment is urging Congress to pass the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act amid concerns of a potential nurse visa freeze.

The State Department said high demand for EB-3 visas among skilled workers, including nurses, has nearly depleted the available supply. Effective in July, the department will only consider visa applications for those who filed on or before Dec. 1, 2021, the department said in a July Visa Bulletin. In August, the department said it will likely need to further retrogress this date or pause visa applications entirely. The State Department issued a similar retrogression last spring. 

As most immigrant nurses who applied for visas before Dec. 1, 2021, have already been processed, the move essentially shuts down the pipeline for international nursing talent, according to AAIHR. 

"We're reaching a dangerous inflection point where acute nurse staffing shortages feed burnout in a force-multiplying cycle that grows worse every day," AAIHR President Patty Jeffrey, RN, said in a June 12 news release. "Until we can correct capacity issues that force nursing schools to reject thousands of qualified applicants annually, international nurses will remain essential to safe nurse staffing. This latest visa freeze halts the flow of qualified international nurses when American hospitals need them most, and the only way to correct it is through congressional action."

The association is calling on Congress to swiftly pass the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, which would recapture 25,000 issued but unused green cards for nurses and another 15,000 for physicians to mitigate visa delays and limits. 

Learn more about the proposed bill here.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars