MedPro International Executive Vice President of International Operations Patty Jeffrey held an informative webinar Tuesday morning to discuss the recently released U.S. Department of State August Visa Bulletin. Jeffrey addressed changes to priority dates and what Explorers should do in the wake of retrogression.
“The most important message I can convey is to stay focused on your American Dream,” said Jeffrey. “Don’t get discouraged. Continue completing your requirements to move forward and become eligible for an appointment at the embassy.” Jeffrey shared the webinar attendees’ disappointment and frustration but reminded them that retrogression is temporary and to focus on what is in their control.
“Comply with all requests, documents, and completing applications so that all your certifications, licensure applications, and credential applications can move through the process. Continue with English courses and testing so your VisaScreen can be completed,” said Jeffrey.
What Is Retrogression
Retrogression occurs when the number of applicants for a particular visa category or from a specific country exceeds the number available for that specific category or country.
Reading the Visa Update
The U.S. State Department publishes a monthly visa update listing Final Action Dates and dates for filing for Employment-Based Visa Applications. In the recently released August Visa Bulletin, the priority dates of the Philippines and Worldwide EB-3 and “Other Workers” were retrogressed to May 1, 2020. All nurses, medtechs, and physical therapists fall under the EB3 category. Nursing assistants fall under the “Other Workers” category.
What Should I Do?
If your Priority date is before May 1, 2020
You are current. You could be called for a visa interview, so it’s important to focus on doing everything you are required to do regarding licensing, credentialing, clinical work, clinical interview scheduling, your checklist, and all those items that will be requested of you.
If your Priority date is after May 1, 2020
Focus on all your requirements as well. It’s imperative that you are ready if they call you for a visa appointment. You don’t want to give away your appointment to someone else because you weren’t prepared.
If your priority date is before May 1, 2023?
Good news! Cases are still moving through the system and being processed. So, it’s extremely important for applicants to continue to focus on gathering their documents and complying with all requests.
Moving Forward in October
The United States has a significant healthcare workforce shortage, and a national coalition, including Jeffrey, as President and Regulatory Committee Chair for the AAIHR, is actively working with the U.S. Congress to advance legislation to protect visas for healthcare workers. Jeffrey expects retrogression to move forward in October at the start of the new fiscal year and additional visas to become available. The October Visa is usually released in the second or third week of September.
The most important action Explorers can take is to not get distracted. Stay focused, and follow the guidelines and instructions provided by their educators, instructors, and guides. Take exams, and continue to focus on the NCLEX, ASCPI, English, or any other courses. “Our objective is to prepare you for a successful career in the United States,” said Jeffrey. “Take care of what is in your control. Complete everything that is required on your end, and you will get your assignment and fulfill your American Dream.”
If you have any concerns or questions regarding retrogression or your status, contact the MedPro International Immigration Team at email@example.com