CGFNS Response to the Visa Issuance Slowdown for Healthcare Workers from the
Philippines, India, and China
The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is aware of the affect the retrogression announcement has had on the visa processing for healthcare workers, and are expediting the processing of applicants for whom the retrogression deadline is imminent.
CGFNS will do its best to expedite issuance of the Visa Screen certificate for any Philippines, Indian or Chinese EB-3 cases who had a visa appointment for December or even January, either abroad or in the US, if CGFNS had already received all of the required documentation and the file was ready for review by Friday, December 17, 2004.
Please contact CGFNS with your name, date of birth and CGFNS/ICHP identification number. To expedite the processing and delivery of visa screen certificates please specify the date and place of the interview, and provide CGFNS with any special instructions about to whom the certificate should be mailed. That information should be provided to Amos Sydnor the Manager of Visa Screen Program by email email@example.com.
NAPLEX – New Passing Standard
In September 2004, NABP released the updated North American Pharmacist Licensure Ex
amination™ (NAPLEX®) blueprint. To coincide with the updated blueprint and competency statements, a new passing standard has been established.
NABP has prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions referencing the new passing standard to better assist the state boards of pharmacy in responding to candidate questions.
1. Does the new passing standard mean that the minimum passing score will now be higher than 75?
No. The lowest acceptable level of ability will continue to translate into a scaled score of 75. The only difference is that the lowest acceptable level of ability will now be higher.
2. Does this mean that more candidates will fail based on the new standard?
Whether or not a state or school of pharmacy will notice an increase in failure rate will depend primarily on the following two criteria: first, the proportion of candidates who have previously scored very close to the passing score; and second, the extent to which candidates in the future perform as they have in the past. Because of the nature of the NAPLEX passing standard, all candidates who perform at or above the minimally acceptable level receive a passing score. If instituting a higher passing standard causes candidates to prepare better than they had previously, their increased level of performance would likely offset any tendency toward an increased failure rate. On the other hand, if candidates continue to prepare as they have in the past, we would expect the higher standard to result in a higher failure rate.
3. How will the scaled scores that are reported to candidates be affected?
The scaled scores that will be reported will still range from 0 to 150, where a 75 designates the lowest acceptable level of performance.
4. When will the new passing standard go into effect?
The new passing standard will be implemented in conjunction with the updated NAPLEX blueprint in May 2005. All candidates who attempt the NAPLEX after May 1, 2005, will receive an ex
amination based on the updated blueprint and a score based on the new passing standard, regardless of when they registered or were approved by the board of pharmacy.
5. When will the passing standard for the NAPLEX program be re-evaluated?
NABP anticipates repeating the standard setting process every four or five years, or whenever the blueprint on which the ex
amination is based changes significantly.
On 12/27/04 the Department of Labor published the much anticipated and talked about PERM regulations that change the way US employers will process their applications for immigrant visas for certain employees.
will be effective as of March 28, 2005. Until that date, all applications can continue under the current system. After that date, employers can withdraw pending applications and re-file under PERM , under most situations. Contact us if you have any questions about what you should do! PERM makes many changes to a lengthy process including changes to the prevailing wage requirement, the recruitment methods, the advertising requirements and it will allow for electronic filings. PERM
As we approach March 28, 2005, we will have more information available to you about all the changes. Please contact us with any questions.
H-2B visa cap reached
The USCIS announced that by January 3, 2005, it had received sufficient numbers of H-2B petitions (temporary seasonal workers) to reach the FY2005 H-2B cap of 66,000. Therefore, any cap-subject H-2B petitions received after January 3, 2005 will be rejected. The next available start date for cap-subject H-2B petitions is October 1, 2005. Industries relying on these workers are typically hotels, landscapers, restaurants and the like. This puts an incredible strain on US employers.
We urge you to contact your Senators to request an increase in the total number of H-2B visas available each year.
President Signs Bill to Extend J Waiver Program for Physicians
President Bush, on December 3, signed legislation that extends and modifies the “Conrad 30” J waiver program for foreign-born physicians (S. 2302, Pub. L. No. 108-441). Under the program, aliens who participate in medical residencies in the United States on exchange program (J) visas are exempted from the two-year foreign residence requirement of INA § 212(e) if they agree to practice medicine for three years in an area designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) as having a shortage of health care professionals. The program has been extended several times, most recently via the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (Pub. L. No. 107-273, § 11018 (2002)), which extended the program until June 1, 2004. S. 2302 extends it for another two years, until June 1, 2006.
The new law makes several important changes to the J waiver program. First, it specifies that physicians who are sponsored for a waiver by either a federal or state agency will be exempt from the H-1B cap. In addition, the bill allows five of each state’s 30 waivers to go to doctors that practice medicine in areas not designated by the Secretary of HHS as having a shortage of health care professionals, if the doctors receiving the waivers practice in facilities that serve patients who reside in areas designated by the Secretary as having a shortage of health care professionals. Finally, the measure permits foreign doctors receiving a waiver to work in medically-underserved areas in either primary care or specialty medicine. Under current law, only state agencies and the Veteran's Administration are permitted to sponsor specialists. To request a waiver for a specialist, however, the interested agency would be required to demonstrate a shortage of doctors able to provide the appropriate medical specialty in the designated geographical area.
- Source: AILA InfoNet
Please contact our US office at 603-228-1277 for further information!
Happy New Year from all of us at Goff and Wilson!
Introducing Our Staff
We are pleased to welcome Kate Newell, our new Administrative Assistant at our Concord, NH office, who answers the telephone and greets clients.
Kate brings over five years of experience from the financial and wholesale industries. She has extensive customer service experience and she was previously employed by the Bank of New Hampshire and Coca-Cola.
She joined Goff and Wilson in November, 2004. She assists our Attorneys and support staff in preparing correspondence for clients, entering data in our web-based immigration program for clients and various other duties.
Kate loves spending her free time with her husband, Tim and her two daughters, Louisa and Rosemarie, and of course the family dog named Cupcake! In addition, Kate and her family enjoy most outdoor activities and they are big fans of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. WELCOME KATE!
For more information about the updated NAPLEX blueprint or the new passing standard, please contact the Association at 847/698-6227, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit NABP's Web site at www.nabp.net .
For more information about the retrogression of visas for applicants of Philippines, India and China, please see the following link to our previous Immigration Flash News Alert:
If you have any comments on our newsletter, any topics you would like to see reviewed or if you have news, events or other items of interest that you would like to share - please forward your comments and suggestions to email@example.com.
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