The State Department recently reported that it currently has 20,000 Schedule A visa numbers remaining. Schedule A is a list of pre-certified occupations (that is, occupations for which no labor pre-certification need be filed), which includes registered nurses and physical therapists. The DOS expects this category to remain current through the end of FY-2006; however, the agency predicts a cutoff date will be established during the first quarter of FY-2007. The first quarter of FY 2007 is October 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006. The DOS predictions are based on current demand levels, which are subject to change.
When the number of Schedule A visas for 2006 has been exhausted, alien registered nurses and physical therapists will be eligible only for the general pool of EB3 numbers, which could mean longer waiting times for permanent residency. Accordingly, employers should assess their immigration needs for Schedule A visas for foreign registered nurses and physical therapists as soon as possible.
Ford & Harrison's Immigration attorneys and paralegals have extensive experience in assisting employers in obtaining employment-based visas for alien employees. If you have any questions about Schedule A visas or any other immigration related question, please do not hesitate to contact Joyce Fleming, email@example.com, 404-888-3888, or Raazia Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-888-3816, partners in our Atlanta office, or Dana Lowry, 404-888-3822, immigration paralegal in our Atlanta office.