By: Chris Musillo

Musillo Unkenholt is pleased to report that the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act will be introduced into Congress next week. The HWRA is smart, positive legislation that will increasing the supply of nurses and doctors into the US. These two occupations are among the shortest supplied occupations by US workers. Musillo Unkenholt and the AAIHR have been working closely with these offices for the last two months, assisting congressional staffers in drafting this legislation.

If the HWRA becomes law, all nurses and doctors whose visa applications are currently retrogressed immediately become current. Likewise, any nurse or doctor whose I-140 is filed anytime before 90 days after President Trump’s Emergency Declaration on COVID-19 is also expected to have a retrogression-free visa, although there is an overall quota of 25,000 visas for RNs and 15,000 visas for MDs. The legislation contains language asking the USCIS and Embassies and Consulates to expedite these petitions. The HWRA admirably contains US worker protections, guaranteeing that no US worker is displaced.

The HWRA has a strong set of original co-sponsors in the Senate: Sens. Perdue (R-GA), Young (R-IN), Durbin (D-IL), and Coons (D-DE). This is an impressive bipartisan set of Senators with decades of experience leading legislative initiatives.

In sum, the HWRA, with respect to nurses, does the following:

-Allows all fully-qualified foreign-educated nurses to have their visas granted, if they are currently in the retrogression queue or file their I-140s within ninety days of the President’s Emergency Declaration; and
-Instructs DHS and DOS to prioritize these visa appointments so that these fully-qualified nurses can enter the US as fast as their visa appointments can be scheduled.