The US is gearing up to recruit more than 200,000 Nurses and Physicians!
A newly introduced bill, the healthcare workforce resilience act, would grant 40,000 unused green card slots for foreign healthcare professionals.
A bipartisan group of senators, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill. together with his colleagues, Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., Todd Young, R-Ind., and Chris Coons, D-Del. unveiled this bill last April 30, 2020 - Thursday. The said bill would authorize up to 25,000 immigrant visas to go to foreign nurses and up to 15,000 for doctors who are eligible to come to the United States or who are already here on temporary work visas. This bill would also permit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to fill up slots from a pool of unclaimed green cards for the families of these medical workers.
Senator Richard Durbin also previously stated, “Consider this: One-sixth of our health care workforce is foreign born. Immigrant nurses and doctors play a vital role in our healthcare system, and their contributions are now more crucial than ever. Where would we be in this pandemic without them?” which led them to formulate an act that will help the United States to address their critical shortages in the health care workforce during the COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition to the above legislation, there are talks about giving (recapturing) unused visas over the years to nurses and doctors.
Congress has recaptured some of these unused visas twice in the past. Between the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act in 2000 and the 2005 emergency supplemental appropriations bill, Congress has recaptured nearly 200,000 unused visas. Those recaptured by the 2005 bill were exclusively for nurses. Still, through 2009, over 176,000 visas went unused and were never recaptured. While no publicly available data have existed since 2009, the years have doubtlessly seen additional unused visas that never were recaptured.
We are talking about potentially 500,000 unused visas that are partially or fully that can be given to medical professionals.