Interim Rules Issued For Nurses, OT's And PT's
As many of our health care clients know, Section 343 of the 1996 Immigration Act imposed new certification requirements on certain non-physician healthcare workers.
These include nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, medical technologists and technicians and physician assistants.
Unfortunately, the INS failed to issue regulations explaining how the new law should be applied. As a result, the INS put the I-485 applications of healthcare workers on hold.
Finally, in mid-December of 1998, the INS issued an interim rule authorizing the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), on a temporary basis, to issue certificates to foreign-trained nurses and occupational therapists, respectively. This allowed nurses and OT's to finally obtain green cards.
On April 27, 1999, the INS issued a second interim rule.
The new rule authorizes, on a temporary basis, the CGFNS and the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) to issued certificates to foreign-trained physical therapists.
For some reason, the INS failed to issue regulations for the other categories of healthcare workers covered by Section 343.
The adjustment of status applications for these individuals are still being held "in abeyance," leaving them in a difficult situation.
This Immigration Bulletin is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Debra R. Shpigler Co., LPA