The H-1A nurse program, enacted by the Immigration of Nursing Relief Act of 1989, is set to expire on September 1, 1995. With less than one week to go before the sunset date, Congress has yet to extend the program and there are few indications the program will be continued. This past March, an advisory committee to the Department of Labor recommended that the program be continued in a substantially modified form. However, Congress appears to have ignored the committee’s findings and appears ready to let the program sunset on schedule.
The future for nonimmigrant nurses appears unclear for now. The INS has not decided yet how they will handle nurses now holding H-1A status. The H-1A program may be incorporated into the H-1B visa program. However, Congress would have to change the standards for the category to include nurses.
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