NCLEX exam to be administered in Manila soon

July 16th, 2007

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In February of this year, the NCSBN designated the Philippines as one of the newest international testing center to administer the NCLEX examinations.  Many Filipinos are very happy and excited about this news as this will make it a lot more convenient for them to take the exam instead of going to a nearby country, like China (Hong Kong).  This privilege will definitely help a lot of Filipino nurses in their dream to become qualified as a nurse in the US.

Starting July 13, 2007, the International Pearson Professional Center in Manila will  begin scheduling for examination appointments. The NCSBN is pleased to announce the first administration of the NCLEX examination in Manila will be in August 23, 2007.  With this announcement, good luck to the first batch of test takers and may this prove our pride as Filipino nurses in the US.


Questions on the July Visa Bulletin Update

July 11th, 2007

Several of our readers are asking about the effect of the
July Visa Bulletin Update on the status of the priority dates. The Department of State was forced to retract
the first announcement due to the unprecedented use of about 60,000 employment
visa numbers even before the update took effect. The visa limit for the fiscal year 2007 has
been made available for the employment based category, and will open again in
October for the fiscal year 2008.

Since the visa numbers were allocated and made available in
July for the fiscal year 2007, it is advised that anyone who is scheduled for a
consular interview this month should go. It was confirmed that those who got an appointment interviews for this
month will have their visas available for them.

It is still not very clear as to whether the USCIS will
return the previously filed applications in response to the July Visa Bulletin
posted in June. However, there is a big
chance that once the application is received within the first week of July that
it will not be returned. Despite the
Department of State’s announcement of the July Visa Bulletin Revision, the
posted update for July made in June remained unchanged. The DOS only wants to inform the public that
however the visa priority dates are current and available, that they can no
longer authorize further applications made after July 2nd. This is hopefully a step in resolving the
retrogression starting the fiscal year 2008.

New Visas withdrawn

July 4th, 2007

The U.S. State Department has withdrawn its earlier statement that is would be ending retrogression and making available 60,000 new work related visas for 2007. Many people rushed to prepare their paperwork to file for a new visa only to have the State Department take them back at the last minute without granting any additional visas. Immigration lawyers in the US are very upset and have lodged complaints with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security over this action and the hardship it has caused for their clients. The State Department states that they will begin accepting applications on October 1st for 2008 visas, but the applications fees will be rising on July 30th so prepare to pay significantly more for a 2008 filing.

Retrogression of Priority Dates Ceases for the meantime

June 18th, 2007

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After seeing a significant movement on the priority dates for the employment based, or Schedule A visas, for Filipino Nurses the past month, the Department of State has updated the Visa Bulletin for July 2007 to a current “C” status.  This means that all the applications affected by the retrogression of October 2006 are going to be scheduled for an interview once their approved petitions are forwarded to the embassies through the National Visa Center (NVC).  There may be an expected delay in receiving an appointment date due to the bulk of approved petitions now ready for interview.  The USCIS is accepting I-140 and I-485 applications again.  There is no assurance that the retrogression will be permanently ceased and we may expect another retrogression if no good resolution for the nursing shortage will be passed in the US Congress before October of this year.

For those who have patiently waited for this very good news on retrogression, congratulations from Filipino Nurses 2 US.

Support the Sentosa 27 Campaign

May 26th, 2007

It is always our priority here at the Filipino Nurses 2 US to provide relevant and helpful information to our fellow Filipino nurses both in the Philippines and abroad. We try to protect our readers from the personal interests of many agencies whose motives are for their own benefit only. We stand to be proud Filipino nurses in the dignity and courage we carry in ourselves. In this regard, we extend our support to the 26 Filipino Registered Nurses and 1 Physical Therapist in their fight against the Sentosa Recruitment Agency (Read about recruitment scams here). The Justice for Sentosa 27 is an online campaign in support of the Sentosa 27. You can sign the online petition to show your support as well.

No Premium Processing for LC Substitution Cases

May 24th, 2007

Since the Labor Certification (LC) substitution will end on
July 16, 2007, it is anticipated that the USCIS will receive a huge volume of filings
for LC substitutions. As a result of the
Department of Labor (DOL) regulating the LC substitution, the USCIS will no
longer accept requests for premium processing of LC substitution cases starting
May 18, 2007 to fairly accommodate the processing of all I-140 requesting for
substitution of beneficiaries.

Labor Certification Substitution Regulation Effective July 16, 2007

May 23rd, 2007

In January of this year, the US Department of Labor (DOL)
forwarded the final ruling for the elimination of the Labor Certification (LC)
substitution to the Department of Budget (DOB) to regulate the application
process. This regulation will take
effect on July 16, 2007, which includes the elimination of the LC substitution,
180-Day Rule on expiration of LC, and prohibition on improper payment for LC
filing.

After July 16th, the practice of substituting the
beneficiaries in LC cases will be no longer be allowed. This does not apply to LC substitutions
approved and in progress as of July 16, 2007. This applies to all other LCs being processed or approved as of July 16,
2007.

The 180-Day rule will be applied to all new LCs affected by
the regulation. This means that the LC
under new regulation will expire in 180 days if no I-140 is filed to proceed
with the case. Most importantly, the improper selling to the highest bidder
of the LC will now be banned. Employers
are no longer allowed to seek or receive payment of any kind for transactions
related to the LC. The LC is to be paid
for by the employer, however the beneficiary may opt to seek legal assistance
at their own expense.

Re-take of June 2006 Exam Scheduled on June 11th

May 22nd, 2007

The Nursing Licensure Exam for June 2007 will be held on the
10th and 11th of June. The
exam will be conducted to accommodate both the new takers and the re-takers. The re-takers of the exam are either one of
the 1,687 examinees ordered by the Court of Appeals to re-take the exam; those
who are voluntarily re-taking the test parts 3 and 5 for the purpose of meeting
the requirement for VisaScreen Certificate set by the CGFNS; those who are
opting to voluntarily re-take the entire exam by surrendering their current
license; or those who previously failed the exam.

The government will be subsidizing the cost of the exam for
those ordered by the Court of Appeals to re-take and those who are re-taking
for the purpose of VisaScreen eligibility.

As per the CGFNS ruling on the June 2006 re-takers, they can
only re-take the test parts 3 and 5 once during either the June or December 2007
examinations. If they fail upon their
re-take and still want to obtain VisaScreen eligibility, they have an option to
re-take the entire exam on the following examination schedule by surrendering
their current license.

The re-takers of the controversial June 2006 exam will be
allowed to sit in the exam for test parts 3 and 5 on the second day.

June 2007 Immigrant Visa Bulletin Update

May 18th, 2007

While much of the focus lately has been on H-1B visa applicants, some movement has taken place for those who are working towards an immigrant visa to the US. To all who have their priority dates for EB-3 (Schedule A) visa on or before June 1, 2005,  you may expect that your application is now at the National Visa Center (NVC).  Once the NVC receives notification from the US Embassy in Manila that they may take new applicants for interview, then the NVC will forward your petition for interview.  The embassy will schedule an interview date for you according to the order your petition is received.  It  usually takes two to four months before you can get an actual interview due to the volume of applications received at the embassy.  For now, a significant movement in processing the pending employment-based immigrant visa petitions for nurses is showing.  As regular readers might know we have called for a special visa for Filipino nurses to be created to fill the great demand for our skills in the US. There is also some hope that the Nursing Relief Act of 2007 might be passed, in the meantime though this movement gives hope that the retrogression issue might end in the near future. You can check the Visa Bulletin link on the left side column of this website to check the current status of the priority dates from the US Department of State as they are released.

When do I expect my receipt notice for H1-B

May 17th, 2007

Upon the announcement of reaching the visa caps for both regular and advanced degree H1-B applications within the first month of filing, the USCIS is experiencing a delay in receipting the petitions. So far, only Nebraska and Texas Service Centers are sending out receipt notices in a timely manner.   The USCIS expects to catch up with the delay in receipting at the other service centers: California and Vermont, by June.  To ensure accurate information or status on your application is provided by the USCIS, they ask for thirty days upon your expected receipt notice date before inquiring with them.  This does not apply to you if you have applied for a premium processing of your application.

You can refer to the USCIS website to check the Processing Dates .