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INS Memorandum Discussing Foreign Health Care Workers


Date: June 6, 1997

Subject:Instructions on the Processing of Certain Foreign 
Health Care Workers: IIRAIRA Section 343

To
All District Directors
All Officers-in-Charge
All Service Center Directors
All Regional Directors
Office of Field Operations
All Regional Counsels
All District Counsels
Director of Training - Artesia
Director of Training - Glynco

From:		Office of Examinations (HQEXAM)

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with additional 
information with respect to the processing of foreign health care workers 
affected by section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA).  As you know, this office published a 
memorandum dated January 28, 1997 which provided initial guidance with 
respect to the implementation of section 343.  This memorandum updates 
certain portions of the January 28 memorandum.

Affected Occupations

Effective immediately, the only health care occupations covered by 
212(a)(5)(C) of the Act, as added by section 343 of IIRAIRA are the 
following:  nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech 
language pathologist, medical technologist, medical technicians and 
physician assistants.  An alien coming to the United States to perform 
health care services in any other occupation, either as an immigrant or a 
nonimmigrant, is not subject to a determination of admissibility under INA 
212(a)(5)(C).  You will be notified as additional occupations are added to 
this listing.  This is a significant change from the January 28 memorandum 
which applied the statutory provision to all health care workers.  This 
memorandum limits the applicability of the statutory provision to 
occupations listed in the conference report.

Nonimmigrants-Waiver of Inadmissibility

The January 28 memorandum indicated that the INS and the Department of 
State (DOS) had agreed to a blanket waiver of inadmissibility under section 
212(a)(5)(C) for nonimmigrant health care workers lacking the required 
CGFNS certificate or other certification pursuant to section 212(d)(3)(A) 
until such time as appropriate certification procedures have been put in 
place.  The Service will also waive inadmissibility under section 
212(a)(5)(C) pursuant to section 212(d)(3)(B) for aliens already in 
possession of nonimmigrant visas or who are visa-exempt aliens, including 
Canadians applying for admission as TNs.  Under this blanket waiver, 
Service officers at U.S. Ports-of-Entry and foreign pre-clearance sites may 
accept applications for waivers.  Any otherwise admissible nonimmigrant 
health-care worker who receives a waiver for section 212(a)(5)(C) 
inadmissibility shall be authorized admission into the United States with a 
single-entry Form I-94 with a validity date of six (6) months.  Otherwise 
admissible dependents covered by the blanket policy will also be authorized 
admission into the United States for a time coinciding with that of the 
principal alien.

Field Offices are hereby notified that this waiver should be granted 
without the filing of a formal application or fee.  Further, any otherwise 
admissible nonimmigrant health-care worker granted a waiver of this 
provision shall be authorized admission into the United States with a 
single-entry Form I-94 valid for six (6) months except in the case of 
aliens who reside in and commute from contiguous territories.   These 
aliens shall be issued a multiply-entry Form I-94 valid for six (6) months.

This procedure will be effective until further notice.

Nonimmigrants-Change of Status or Extensions of Temporary Stay

Applicants for change of nonimmigrant status or for an extension of 
temporary stay under a nonimmigrant visa category involving a health care 
occupation may also be granted a waiver of 212(a)(5)(C) inadmissibility, 
without form or fee, and may be granted an extension of stay of 1 year or 
for the requested period of the extension of time if less than 1 year.

Immigrants-General

Service officers are reminded that the waiver procedures discussed above 
relate solely to nonimmigrant aliens and do not apply to immigrant aliens.  
The statutory authority to grant waivers under 212(d)(3) of the Act applies 
to aliens seeking classification/admission as nonimmigrant aliens.  
Pursuant to the instructions contained in the January 28 memorandum with 
respect to the processing of immigrant health care workers, applications 
for adjustment of status filed by aliens who are the beneficiaries of 
approved employment-based immigrant petitions to work as health care 
workers must be held in abeyance until further notice.

An interagency task force has been established for the purposes of devising 
a procedure to implement section 343.  The Service will issue a rule in the 
near future to implement section 343 of IIRAIRA.  You will be advised of 
any further developments as soon as they occur.

Nurses

In part III of the January 28 memorandum, the INS discussed the 
certification requirements for registered nurses.  The memorandum implied 
that a nurse could adjust status in the United States if the nurse obtained 
a certification from the Commission on Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).  
Unfortunately, the certification contemplated in the memorandum has not 
been developed by the CGFNS.  The current CGFNS certificate is not 
equivalent to the certification discussed in section 343 of IIRAIRA.  There 
are at least two differences between  the two certifications.  As a result, 
a nurse may not adjust status in the United States or be admitted to the 
United States on an immigrant visa until such time as the nurse obtains a 
certificate issued under the provisions of section 343 of IIRAIRA.  Nurses 
seeking entry into the United States as nonimmigrant aliens should be 
processed pursuant to the instructions contained in the section of this 
memorandum discussing waivers.

Service officers should not advise an alien to obtain a certificate from 
CGFNS since the current certificate does not overcome this ground of 
inadmissibility.  This provision applies to both aliens educated in the 
United States and abroad.

For further information, please contact Adjudications Officer John W. Brown 
at 202-514-3240.

Louis D. Crocetti, Jr.
Associate Commissioner

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