The United States Senate has introduced bi-partisan legislation to provide temporary relief to the nation’s shortage of doctors and nurses. The senate bill, known as the “Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act” would recapture 25,000 unused immigrant visas for nurses and 15,000 unused immigrant visas for doctors in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Republican Senators Todd Young, John Conryn, and Susan Collins, and Democratic Senators include Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, and Chris Coons.
Along with capturing unused immigrant visas, the Healthcare Resilience Act also provides for the following:
- Exempts country caps;
- Requires employers to attest that immigrants who receive immigrant visas will not displace American workers;
- Requires the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to expedite processing of recaptured visas;
- Limits the filing period for recaptured visas to 90 days following the termination of the President’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives previously attempted to pass legislation last year shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.
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