Leadership | 11.19.21
Foreign Health Care Workers Sidelined as Staffing Crisis Surges
To alleviate the health care staffing crisis, approximately 10,000 qualified and vetted foreign nurses have come to the U.S. seeking permanent residency. They have passed a licensure exam, submitted paperwork and accepted jobs in the country but are stuck in a holding pattern because of a bottleneck at the last stage of visa processing that requires an interview at the U.S. consulate in their country of origin. An official at the U.S. State Department said the agency is working on reducing the "significant backlog" and has authorized consulates to treat the cases of health care workers who will be involved in pandemic response as "emergencies." However, some are calling on the Biden administration to make it easier for health care workers to get through the immigration backlog, with scrapping the interview process named as one option.