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Nurse Immigration to US I-140, NCLEX, IELTS, and Visas

Tanya Freedman: Hi everybody and welcome. Welcome everybody. It is Friday, so it's Connetics USA weekly show, onwards and upwards. And we are very excited today to have our legal experts who are going to be joining us today. We have our experts and we have Chris Musillo and we have Mike Hammond. Welcome everybody. Hi Chris. Hi Mike. Hi Tanya. Good. I'm just looking at my background. I am on vacation everybody, but I didn't want to miss out on this opportunity of joining Chris and Mike and getting all of your questions answered today. So I have a bit of poor lighting in the background, so I hope everybody can see me okay and hopefully you can hear me as well. And we have Denise who's joining us as well now. Hi Denise. Welcome. Good day. Good morning. Welcome everybody. So if you are joining us now, please put into the chat where you are watching from and what legal questions you have for the legal panel. The Onwards and Upwards show is everything that a nurse needs to know about living and working in the United States. And today's topic is our immigration question and answer. Ask the legal experts. I see we already have quite a few questions that are in the chat and I'm going to get started right away.

Okay, so we have a question here. We have a question here from Joseph. Oh, no, there's more questions. Sorry. Here we go. Let's start at the beginning, everybody. Let's start with Robin. Robin says, I have a priority date with my previous petitioner and planning to pursue a green card with a new petitioner. What documents are needed to refile? My old petition is not willing to provide my previous I-140 notice approval and a number. And I only know my priority date and USCIS number. Do I need my previous immigration documents while I refile my I-140?

That is a long question, Chris. What is the answer to that question? Right. Yeah. So a few things. So you will need to prove that you have a valid approval notice. So we will need some evidence. The best evidence, of course, is the I-140 approval notice. My experience is frankly that most employers are willing to give that document away. I might have the new attorney reach out to the other employers attorney. So that's number one, maybe you can get an attorney to attorney relationship. So that's one.

Number two, you can file a FOIA, which is a Freedom of Information Act request, which we've done a number of times. And that will get you the I-140 as well.

Number three, you will want to make sure that you're not violent in contract with your prior employer. If you're doing that, then there may be some collateral issues that you need to take care of because there could be damages for breaching that contract. So those are a couple of ideas that I have one thing to keep in mind, I don't want to scare anybody, but one thing I've seen over the years, from time to time is when the old employer or the old attorney is unwilling to give documentation. You need to make sure that your case was actually filed. We have seen that, unfortunately, from time to time. So those are a few key concepts and ideas.

Okay, that's good advice, Chris. Because sometimes employers might be telling some information that's not 100% correct. And most reputable employers, though, I must say, will always release that I-140. There might be some rich clause, as Chris said, but usually you're going to find that they will release that I-140. So I hope that's given you some good information.

I'm going to move now on to Tingting, Tingting is asking my husband just passed the influence, but we don't have a passport yet. Can he apply now?

Denise, what would you say to Ting Ting? He needs the passport in order to apply. The first step is filing the immigrant petition. Caribbean Worker and whenever we file a case, we always include the passport. There are some cases where the passport is about to expire, and that's okay. But when we file, when we initially file, we always use a valid passport, even if they change it later. Okay. There you go, Ting Ting.

Chloe is saying hi. Welcome, Chloe.

We also have a question here that was sent in from Renato. Renato is asking was petitioned by my sister and I came to the US last year, and now I have a green card holder and was processing my California license as I passed my NCLEX in nine. I am planning to send my daughter, 21 years old, to the Philippines to take up a nursing degree.

So that's a good advice to your daughter Renato. And would her immigrant status be at risk, that it will affect her citizen dream? Hope to receive an advice. And, Mike, what advice do you have for Renato? Well, I'm assuming his daughter is currently a green card holder, that she obtained  green card status when he did. If she's going to be outside the US for more than a year, she needs to apply for something called a reentry permit. It needs to be applied for while she's here in the US before she goes to school, and then that can allow her to stay abroad for over a year so she can finish school. So it can certainly be done. It, however, does affect how long it takes for her to apply for citizenship. There's a five year rule for citizenship, but you also have to be in the US physically for, I believe, half of that time before you apply.

Denise chris, half? Is that yes, that's the advice to give. There's a calculation, but we always say to make it easy to always stay at least six months out of every year. Yeah, 30 months out of 60 months. Yeah. So there will be some effect, but it won't negatively affect her long term. It may just ultimately delay when she would be eligible, but I would encourage her to do a re entry permit before she leaves, even if she thinks she's going to come back in that first year. It's better when you're going to be a student. Things could come up like covet things like that, that delayed people traveling back. So it's safer to do a reentry permit before she goes.

Okay, well, that's really detailed answer, Mike, and the rest of the panel. So thank you for that, because I think that's why so many nurses are now tuning into our weekly show, onwards and upwards. There are so many immigration questions that can leave nurses feeling very overwhelmed and very anxious. And it's really important to get the right detailed answers to your questions, not to guess, not to just read things on the internet. And that's why we're so grateful to the panel for joining us.

Okay, I have a question here. I have a question here from Monique. Monique is asking we get a lot of questions about this, actually. Is the new Embassy interview date online booking system of the US Embassy, Manila? Just temporary. It's hard to secure a slot, and the purpose of priority dates were defeated with this new system.

Chris, what do you know about this new online booking system? Yes, the online booking system has just been live for, I guess about six or weeks or so. It started in the middle or so of May. We've actually been pushing clients to it who are getting those requests, and they seem to be liking it.

Tanya, one of the reasons they like it is because now you can set the date and time that you would like your interview. I'm sure that, like a lot of these government systems, it's not perfect and it's brand new, but I would say if you're receiving those emails, go ahead and register through that system if you have the opportunity to. Yes, we definitely are seeing a lot of nurses that are now using that.

Mike, I don't know if you've had much experience with this new booking system. We're encouraging everyone that if you get the opportunity to use it. Okay. Anything that potentially gets you an interview faster is a good thing. Getting here quicker is a good thing. You heard it here. Onwards and upwards. There you go, Mike. Brilliant. Brilliant. Okay.

Tingling has an additional question. My hubby is an inflex partner. Is there direct hiring from the employer that we don't go to an agent? So ting ting. It's important to educate yourself about the difference between direct hire and a staffing company. Because with a staffing company, you are employed by the staffing company and then you are outsourced to the employer. With direct hire, which is Connetics USA, you are not employed by Connetics USA. You're employed directly by the employer. So Connetics is just there to help you to navigate the process of immigration, the licensing, the onboarding, and your husband. Or you are welcome to apply to, there is no fee to you, and we'd be happy to help you with any position all over the United States.

All right, Joseph. Joseph has a question. Good morning, everybody. The questions are coming fast and serious. I'm really glad I came in from vacation to do the show. We didn't want to leave anyone for an extra month. So, Joseph's question is good morning, everyone.  I am a Filipino applicant who just recently  got my Canadian citizenship. Congrats, Joseph. I am booked for interview this July, but I still don't have my Canadian passport because of pandemic delays. Can I use my Philippine passport for the interview and for entering the US? And I think, Joseph, you might be referring to the TN visa.

Denise, can you tell everybody who's watching who might not know what the TN visa might be and a little bit about that process for Joseph? Of course. So the TN is a non immigrant worker visa. It's temporary, and it's specifically for individuals from Canada or Mexico. It is an easy way, in my opinion, for Canadians and Mexicans to enter the United States prior to applying for permanent residence. They can work, and the TN can be renewed indefinitely. And it's just basically available to certain occupations. Not all occupations qualify for the TN, but the nursing occupation is on the list of occupations for TN’s. And so basically, a lot of nurses enter the United States once they obtain the Canadian nationality, or they already have it, they enter the United States and they're here temporarily under the TN. And then eventually they apply for permanent residence and they process what's called an Adjustment of status application rather than processing their permanent residence to the consulate. That's it. But it's just basically a temporary worker visa. It's not permanent. However, once you're here on a TN, you can convert it. You can apply for permanent residence by filing an Adjustment of Status application that's tied to the Immigrant Petition Breathing Worker for my I-140, followed by the employer.

So, Denise, can Joseph use his Philippine passport for the interview if he's referring to the immigrant visa interview? Absolutely. If he's referring to the TN, he doesn't have to go to the consulate. He doesn't have to go to an interview at the consulate. He enters the US. And the process is automatically conducted when he enters the US. If he's referring to the TN. But in either case, yes, he can use his Filipino passport. Okay. But I would assume if he's coming on the TN, he would have to show proof that he's got his Canadian citizenship. Absolutely, yes. Okay. All right.

Eldrin is chatting from the Sunshine State from Fort Myers, Florida. Welcome, Eldren. Etsy is saying hello. We've got the same question from Joseph we've got a question from Carla gone too quick on the laptop.

We have a question there from not used to this laptop. Everybody, I've got bad lighting and I'm not used to my laptop, so just bear with me for a minute. And we have so many questions that I want to try and get through.

Okay, so Crystal has a question. Since the US. Embassy manila has oh, no, that's about the embassy. Okay, so we've already covered that one. And Emma is saying, thank you so much for these videos. They are so helpful. I was wondering if it's possible for a Canadian who is coming on a TN visa, who's already working in California under the TN visa, to switch to EB3. So I know Denise touched on the EB3 process, but Mike, do you want to maybe talk a little bit about a little bit more in detail about the adjustment of status process? Sure. So if you're working on a TN right now for your hospital facility, you're going to want to speak to your facility and see if they sponsor TN workers for the green card. And if they do, then they would go through the same process as if you were offshore. Like a lot of individuals on this call are where they file an I-140. You're eligible to file concurrently, depending upon your priority date, depending on what country you were born in. Even though you're a Canadian citizen now, you're charged to the country of birth. So if you're a Canadian citizen born in India, you would still not be able to file an easy pre adjustment of status. There are a little bit of travel issues and restrictions when you're filing an adjustment of status application off of a key end, but generally it's perfectly fine. To do an adjustment off of a key in the process is rather simple. Generally, we'll have someone make sure they have recently renewed their TN, so at least they have a couple of years left to avoid any of the travel issues. But it's a very straightforward process once you're already here in the US. Working on it again. Okay, thank you, Mike.

So I found Carlos question. Carlos says, I have a previous petition application as a tourist visa. My husband was the principal applicant, and we were denied that time. I'm curious if this will affect or be an issue when I'm interviewed by the US. Consulate. Chris, depends on what they mean by the definition of an issue. You certainly first of all, want to make sure that you disclose any visa refusal or denial on your DS 260, any other immigrant visa forms, or for that matter, non immigrant visa forms. Having said that, typically a refusal of something like tourist visa isn't problematic unless the reason for the refusal is something like fraud. So it sort of comes down to what the reason for the refusal was.

Okay, so, Carla, only you can answer that question, but hopefully it won't be something that will affect your process at all. Scenario has a question that we get every month,

and I'm going to give this one to Mike. I'm an NCLEX passer with an Indian born. Could I be eligible, Mike? Well, the short answer is, unfortunately, no. The priority date line is simply so long that an employer is not going to sponsor you for an I-140. And the reality, it's not very practical for you. The line is, depending on whose estimate you listen to, anywhere from ten to 100 years long for the EB3 category. So, unfortunately, senior, it's a very long wait. I know there's always hope with changes in legislation. Chris, is there any update or any glimmer of hope on the horizon of a legislation change? So there's always a glimmer of hope, but the Congress is essentially off now for about six weeks. So there's no news here. I think the next two windows where we might see something, our August September time frame and then November December time frame after the US has what we call a midterm election the first week of November. And so between about the second week of November and the New Year holiday, there's a chance of something going. But that's six months from now. So I don't want to get too speculative on what might happen then. But the short answer is certainly nothing for the next month and a half, two months. Okay. So you've got to stay tuned to the next session of onwards and upwards, and hopefully we'll have some hopeful and good answers coming up. Just add one thing to put this into all perspective, since we're live on cameras here. When I started having hope for retrogression relief, I had a full, complete head of hair. So did Chris. Thank you, Mike, for lightning the mood. You want to help me out there? So I appreciate that. All right. We seem to have lost Denise. She doesn't have a very good Denise is back.

Marv has a question. If the petition was already filed under regular processing, is it still possible to upgrade to premium processing? Denise, I see you back. Do you want to take that question, Denise, after Chris? So if he's talking about the I-140 petition yes. You can always upgrade your I-140 petition. If he's talking about the petition being at the NVC stage, then there is no premium processing during the NVC stage. Thank you for clarifying.

Alyssa is watching from sunny San Diego. It's my hometown. I'm looking forward to going back there soon. Mohammed is watching from Nigeria.

AJ has a question. My sister was audited for an EB3 last month. How many months would it take to hear from the attorney, Jaya? Mike, you have an EB3 that's already filed. I'm not sure. The system was audited for an EB3 last month. How many months would it take to hear back from the attorney. I'm not sure. Yeah, I'm not sure what an audit would be in the context of an EB3 I-140 case. There are audits that happen in perm cases, and they're generally taking about six months after you submit the response to the audit. And there's a 30 day response time, but there's not an audit in an EB3 schedule, RN case or PT case.Okay, so, Jaya, I'm not 100% sure what you're referring to. Maybe you want to clarify and if we've got time, we can get more specific on that question.

Joyce is asking what is the current timeline from USCIS to NVC? And I know, Chris, we've had some delays with this. What is the usual timeline and what are you seeing right now? So was it the specific question about once the USCIS approves the I-140? Yes. Correct. So once the USCIS approves the I-140, historically we've seen about twelve weeks before the embassy appointment is set, and then maybe another month or two for your embassy appointment. So it's maybe four, five, six months from the day your I-140 is approved until you're actually at your interview and get your green card, assuming your credit is current. Since Covid has happened, the timeline has gotten all over the place, and a lot of it comes down to what embassy you're going to. So certain smaller embassies can sometimes be faster because they don't have as much demand. Bigger embassies that have high volume, like, for instance, Manila, London, a few other embassies like that can take longer. And we had a question a

little earlier about the online registration. We've seen those moving pretty quickly. So those are some of the timelines. Again, it's a little specific, and it moves with quite a bit of variance. Yeah. And we've seen some delays, and I don't know, Mike, if you want to comment on this as well. With cases moving from the USCIS once they've been approved to the NVC, there's been a fairly significant difference between whether your case was approved through Nebraska or whether it was approved through Texas, with Texas being significantly slower. There were a group of hospitals one of my partners, Sherry Neal, has been communicating with via group of hospitals to the Texas Service Center, basically complaining that we're being treated differently because of how long the delay is. And last week, Chris and myself, as well as Sherry and a bunch of other people, I'm not sure if Denise was there or not, but we're in New York City for the American Immigration Laws Association Conference, and Sherry let me know that she had occasion to actually speak to the Texas, someone who oversees the Texas Service Center, and they're aware of the problem and they're trying to resolve it, but no resolution yet. But the fact that they're at least aware of it is, in government speak, a slow step, but necessary step forward to hopefully solving that problem. But we'll see. But it is on the radar that it is taking longer to get from Texas to the NVC than it is Nebraska to the NVC. Yes, definitely. There's been a lot of work here in the US to try and put that on the government's radar. And Denise, do you want to maybe comment on that? I know your WiFi seems to be going in and out, but do you want to comment on what we're seeing right now with delays once an I-140s approved at the USCIS and delays getting to the National Visa Center? Yes, we're seeing a lot of delays as well. Actually. We're seeing mixed results. Some of the cases are being transferred within three and a half weeks, but then there are many that have surpassed three months. And we have tried contacting immigration, talking to government officials as well, and we're seeing the same I got cut off. So I'm assuming that we're talking about the transfer of the I-140 approval to the NVC. We're seeing delays in some cases about four months. And so what we're trying to do is keep track of those cases that are delayed because not all of them are, but many are. So those that are, we're trying to follow up with immigration and there's really nothing, they just keep telling us the same thing, their backlog, their delays. But as Michael said, I haven't seen any other progress. It is an issue and I'm hoping that it'll change very soon. Yeah, it definitely seems to be across the board. It seems to be random that's from the Connetics experience. But the one thing that I can just say from Connetics specifically is that we have some clients that have been affected and have been involving a local congressman that goes to the government affairs departments of the different hospitals. And that definitely seems to be getting traction as well, and as Mike said, is starting to keep working on that. So if you are affected, we know it's really frustrating, but just hang in because there's a lot of work on the US side to try and highlight this to the government and as Mike said, to put it on their radar so that it can be addressed.

Okay, Isabella wants to know, is it true that the new immigration processes could be delayed after June 30 due to the fiscal year and prevailing wages? Chris, can you talk a little bit about the prevailing wages expiring on June 30 and what that means? Okay, yeah, so certainly, first of all, it's important to know that if your I-140 is filed currently or has been approved currently, none of this applies to you. The prevailing wage on your I-140 gets locked in the time that your I 140 is filed, not approved. It doesn't matter if your I-140 is filed this week, even though you may not get your green card interview for twelve months. It doesn't matter what the prevailing wages in the summer of 2023, or for that matter, the summer of 2026. Hopefully it doesn't take that long. But even so, your prevailing wage and your petition is locked in now, you can still negotiate with your employer. Perhaps, maybe, I don't know. It depends on your contract because you don't have to be paid the prevailing wage. The prevailing wage is locked in at the time your I-140 is filed once your I-140 is filed. Also, the timing of prevailing wages has nothing else to do with the processing of your case because your prevailing wage has already been filed and certified. If you were a new entrance into the space. So for instance, if Tanya and the Connetics nursing agency team are recruiting you and you're interviewing right now, then you were probably going to have an I-140 filed after July 1. And after July 1, the prevailing wages will change. Typically they increase a little bit. It would be very surprising if they don't increase next week after July 1. In terms of timeline, if you go with an employer who routinely engages and hires foreign educated nurses, then you probably don't have to worry about your prevailing wage request because you're prevailing wages for those kinds of companies, they do them regularly throughout the year. And so by the time Tanya and her team are recruiting you, in most instances, the employer either already has that prevailing wage request approved, or is pretty close to having that prevailing wage request approved. And so the timeline of the prevailing wage, whether it takes a month or whether it takes six months, doesn't really impact your case. And then the last piece of this is none of this impacts the timing of the I-140. In fact, they're completely different US. Government agencies. The prevailing wages are organized and certified by the Department of labor and the USCIS, which is Department of Homeland Security. Completely different agency handles the Iowa. Okay, good. So that gives Clarification to Isabella.

Mark wants to know how many months it will take for the petition to get the feedback under regular processing. What is the maximum wait time? Mike? I think right now they're generally running about ten months. For regular processing cases, we don't have very many that are applied that way. So I don't have as good of a handle on whether that's terribly accurate, but that's the last I heard. Yeah. Thank you. Thanks, Mike.

And we've seen the same, just for everybody to know from Connetics USA side, all of the clients that we work with do premium processing, which is the expedite fee. It costs two and a half, $1,000 extra for the employer to spend that amount for you. But the processing time obviously is much, much shorter. And we don't have anybody anymore who does regular processing because as Mike says, it takes about ten months. Alright, Edna.

Ednard is saying I'm currently DQ. Many thanks to the most law firm. So thank you, Chris. And how many days a week for my case to be transferred to the national visa to the US. Embassy in Manila? And the second part of the question is, if I'm a green card holder under the EB three visa, can I work in another institution on my vacant days for my employer petition?

Denise, do you want to take that question? Okay, so the first question, how long does it take after you documentarily qualify? I base everything on trends and patterns, and we're seeing that the appointments in Manila are usually scheduled within two months or less from the time that the applicant is documentarily qualified. I can't commit to that timeline, but typically it takes about two months or less. And for other US. Consulates, it may take lesser or more time. It depends. But in Manila particularly, they're taking about two months or less after you're documentarily qualified. With regard to the second question, and if you don't mind repeating it, Tanya, because I think I understood once they're here, they can transfer to another employer. Did I understand that correctly? Correct? Yes. Okay. Can they work on vacant days for another employer? So once you enter the United States, you're a permanent resident, and basically, when the case is filed, when the immigrant petition is filed up, until you go to your interview, the company is pretty much telling the government of its intent to hire you permanently and on a full time basis, and you are telling the government of your intent to work with the entity that is sponsoring you on a full time and permanent basis. So that intent is supposed to continue until you enter the United States. Once you're in the US. Of course, you're a permanent resident. But I believe that the majority of the clients of the health care facilities that we represent and the applicants  have a contract where they agree typically to work at least three years with the sponsoring entity. So my advice personally is if you can make an effort to remain with your employer for as long as possible because of that commitment and the expense that the petitioners go through in order to bring you to the US. And their expectation, try your best to put in as many as to try to comply with that agreement that you have with petitioner. I haven't seen any consequence yet, but my concern is always when applicants eventually, if they ever decide to apply for US. Citizenship, I'm always concerned of those officers that are going to look and see to those cases where the person entered the country and immediately left their employer after. If it's an employment based permanent residence, that is. So I would be very cautious and try to comply with your contact as much as possible. But going back to your original question yes, of course. Once you're in the United States, you can work with your main employer, and you can also work with others. But again, my recommendation at least my clients, is to try your best. And when I see my clients, I'm in the applicants. Try your best to comply with the contract because you don't know what will happen in the future if you decide to apply for citizenship and an officer pulls your files and asks you, how long were you with the employer? That position for you. Yeah, thank you.

Denise, I think this is a really important question, and from our experience, we always talk about that offer letter, that employment agreement with your employer. And think of it like as a marriage contract. You want to go into it with the right intention. You want to go into it in a way that you are trusting the employer, they are trusting you, and that you're going to fulfill your commitment. So I think that's really just important to bear in mind when you are navigating these different circumstances.

Okay, Lauren is asking hello. I just got married three months ago. He is a US. Citizen living in California. Currently we're processing my NCLEX application. I think she got cut off, but oh, let me see here. This is which is faster to process. Recently newly married to a US. Citizen in California. I think Lawrence question got cut off, but it seems to be what the question is. Is it better to get her visa through citizenship of her spouse? Mike? Well, I think there's a couple of relevant considerations there. One is how long it's going to take. Where is she at in the EB3 process? Is the I-140 already filed? Is it approved? She's already at the NVC, et cetera. Where is she adding that if she's just starting, then she's going to want to compare two parts.  She's going to compare the USCIS part. So how long is it a meter relative I-130 taking versus a premium process I-140. And then at the consulate she's living at, she's going to want to compare how long is it going to take from once my case goes to the NVC on the family side versus on the employment based side. And then the last factor that I think is relevant is immediate relatives never have read progression, so they're always what they are called immediately available. So right now we don't have retrograde for EB3 from Philippines, but at some point in the future we may, and ultimately a lot of us think it may be inevitable at some point. So the immediate relative would never have that. So there's a variety of factors that you have to come to play. And then the other thing is when you're getting a marriage case, you get a green card that's good for two years. It's called conditional green card. And within those two years, I think there's a 90 day window right before the end of the two years where you have to do another filing to convert that to a let's call it a full, permanent green card. An advantage of getting your green card through an immediate relative spouse is the fact that you're eligible for naturalization after only three years rather than waiting five years to the employer. So there's a variety of factors at play. I would probably encourage you to talk to an attorney that does family based work where your spouse is living there in California, as you will probably need them later if you're going to go through that and compare that process from a timing perspective as well as all the other factors. Thank you, Mike. Well, Lauren, either way, it sounds like you have good options. And congrats on getting married. Say good morning from Jamaica.

Jansen has a question. If the EB3 visa is about to expire and enter the US. Then the immigrant needs to go home for an unfinished business that needs attending. Is that possible even he doesn't have his green card yet. Chris? Did he say he was in the US. And he doesn't have his green card? I think the EB3 visa is about to expire and enter to the US. I think Jensen is in the US. Okay. So if he's in the US. And he is a US Permanent resident, we will often recommend he waits till he gets that green card physically in hand, because it usually comes fairly quickly after entry. He can absolutely leave the United States. We don't recommend he leaves for too long. There are certain things that employees or green card holders need to do in order to maintain their green card status. So other than a few sort of casual things like that, don't leave too long and maybe wait until you have the physical green card in hand. Yes. He's allowed to return to the Philippines or for that matter, anywhere outside the United States. Thank you.

Chris, how long does it typically take for a nurse or a healthcare worker to receive their green card once they've entered the country? Yeah, I think on the short side, maybe two or three weeks. On the long side, maybe six weeks. I don't know if the other panelists have any other estimates that's about what we're seeing. That's right. Same.

Okay. Ching ching says, thank you for the answer, and that's what we love to hear on this quote and people getting their questions answered.

Andre has a question for the visa screen certificate. Do you need IELTS if you were I think this word was through in English. I think Andrea is saying, do you need a visa screen if you were trained in English? Denise? Yes. You need the visa screen if you were trained in English. If you need the visa screen if you were trained in English. Yes.

Mike chris? Yeah. You even need the visa screen if you were trained here in the United States. You may be able to wait some of the English fluency piece, which is visa screen. So onboard you might not need to take the English exam for the Visa screen, but you need the Visa screen, right? Yes.

Okay. Ting Ting has got another question. Hi, my cousin is a Canadian citizen and NCLEX passer, but she doesn't have a Social Security number. How can she get a Social Security number in Canada? Mike she can't get one in Canada, but if she's a Canadian citizen, then she can come in on a TN, and shortly thereafter get a Social Security number and depend on the state she's in, will depend upon how quickly, whether they'll issue a temporary license, whether they will have to wait till she gets a Social Security number to actually issue a license. So a lot of times we'll have individuals, depending on what state they're coming into, come in on their TN, apply for their Social Security number, and finish whatever paperwork they need to deal with their Licensure issue, and then actually return to Canada and wait in Canada until everything is issued, like their state license, etc. And then move down to resume working, depending on how long that gap is going to be. But you need to be here. Yeah. So no way around that. Okay.

Joel is asking for a friend. It seems Joel has a friend from India who has passed the NCLEX. Her old I-140 year 2007 online status shows declined. How can she proceed? She's from India. Chris yes. So the number one thing she needs to do is to contact her old employer or maybe the old lawyer, to see what the situation is with that case. A couple of things to keep in mind here. Number one, if that case is still active, the most straightforward case is if the case is still active and the old petitioner from 15 years ago still wants to employ that worker, theoretically that case can still continue through recognizing that is somewhat rare. The second thing they can do is if that case is still approved, then they can file for a new I-140 with a new employer, and the employer or the employer's attorney should recapture that old 2007 priority day here's. Unfortunately, what we see sometimes though, which is that the I-140 was approved in 2007. Unfortunately the person was retrograde for 10-12 years. But they did get current, let's say in 2019. And the National Visa Center probably contacted the old employer, maybe even contacted the old nurse and said, you are now current, proceed with your visa. And between the fact that it was the recession and between the fact that at the employers location, surely the HR team and the recruiting team has turned over in the ten or twelve years. And so no one ever responded to that National Visa Center request. And after a year goes by, the USCIS and the National Visa Center will go ahead and revoke that case for failure to continue through with the visa. And in those instances, unfortunately, there's really not much to do if the case has been revoked. Okay. So I think a lot more digging is going to happen there.

Joel, for your friend and her specific situation, Liam is asking, hi, everybody. Can we expedite the DS 5535 the Administrative Processing? Also, what is the ability of the passport to travel to the US. Below six months validity. Still can travel to us as an immigrant or need to renew. Okay, so two parts of the question there. Can we expedite a DS 5535 administrative Processing? Denise, maybe do you want to explain what that is? And then we can do the second part of the question. So the DS 5535 is an additional background check that's conducted by the government. It's random. It's not specific to the applicants. It's just they do a more thorough background check. There's no way of expediting it, unfortunately. So basically, it's a very straightforward process. There's nothing to be concerned about. Again, it's usually a random check, and that's the extent of it. As far as the passport, I think Denise just cut off there. Mike, what do you have to say about the passport? Yes. So I think you want to have a she's back. You're back, Denise. Go ahead, Denise. We can't hear you now.

No? Okay. Sorry. Mike, you want to carry on, I think. Okay. Yeah. We encourage people to have a valid passport. You have to have a valid passport to enter. The six month rule applies to a variety of things, but if your passport, as long as it's valid when you're entering, you're okay to enter. And there's a lot of treaties that we have that extend passports automatically, depending on countries in a variety of other circumstances. But we encourage people, as long as your passport is valid, you can. Thank you, Mike.

Diane has a question. She's asking about the timing. I think, Diane, we've already covered that question, so I'm going to take Brian's question, and

Brian has a question for the police clearances from the Philippines needed for the NVC stage. Is it okay if it expired if I haven't got back to the Philippines since I got the police clearance? Chris, you cut out a little bit, but I think he was saying some of his police clearances have expired. Yes. Yeah. I don't know specifically on that. I suspect we need a valid police clearance that is valid. Candidly, it should be a very simple question to just ask the paralegal. I just don't know off the top of my head. But as a general rule of thumb, we shouldn't be submitting expired documents. I don't know if maybe Mike knows the specific answer to this question. No. But part of it that I think looks like it was that he's not been in that country again. So if you've not been in that country again, it may cover the relevant period of time, but it seems like if you're able to get a new valid current police clearance, that would be the best way to go, and then you don't have to deal with the issue. Okay, good. Thank you, Mark. Okay.

Arundhati has got a question similar to one that we've taken already, about I-140 with a denied. So I'm going to move on to the next question. I know we've got a question here.  Anupama is also asking about also from India. So I think on the plane we've already answered that question.

Eldrin is asking, does Connetics recruit physical therapist? If not, any plans for doing it in the future? Eldrin we do have an Allied Division, so if you have physical therapist, please feel free to apply to our website, And our Allied team would love to speak to you to see how they can help. Okay, I'm trying to see what questions we've got some repeat questions, so I'm going to see if I can take some that we haven't taken.

So April has a question. If my F1 seems to be losing WiFi here, so just bear with me, everybody. So April is saying if my F1 visa is DQ December 2020, would it be advisable to apply for an EB3 instead for faster processing? Mike I think the first question I would ask is, april, what do you want to do? Do you want to come here to the US. And be a student, or do you want to come here to the US. And work as an immigrant? There's a very different those are two very different things. So I think you have to decide what you want to do. I know right now that there's a lot of consulates, particularly I know India, for example, is pushing through as many students at these applications as they possibly can right now, so the students can get here for the fall semester. So there is an effort for those students who were approved during COVID when consulates were closed down for consuls to make accommodations. So if you want to go to school, go to school. If you're not wanting to go to school and you were simply using, say, the student status as a mechanism to get here, where then you were going to try to find an employer, then I think going the EB3 route makes some sense, but I think a lot of it's just a career path plan. Okay, so it depends what you want to do, and that's really the bottom line question that you got to look at for the status.

And we have a question from Romel. Romel is saying, apparently my case was filed for Manila instead of Doha, which is my chosen consulate while I'm residing here. At the moment.I don't know what happened. I contacted NVC, as per Mr. Nissan's advice, and requested to be transferred to Doha, but still got no response. I'm contemplating whether to resign in my work here in doha and go back to Manila and wait there, or wait here in Doha instead. So, Romel, that is a dilemma. Denise, I'm not sure if you want to maybe comment on Romel's situation. Sure, absolutely. So when the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, the form I-140 is completed, we have to specify the consulate where the candidate where the applicant intends to attend. So if you're working in Doha, that would have been the consulate that was indicated on the Form I-140. What we've seen lately, and Chris and Mike, I don't know if you've seen this as well, we've noticed that a lot of the I-140s for nationals from the Philippines, even though they're in other parts of the country, and we're selecting the consulate that they have requested. For some reason, some officers are going back to their country of nationality, and they're scheduling their process through Manila instead of through Qatar or wherever they're physically located. And I've noticed this maybe out of 100 cases, maybe ten of them will be subject to the situation if the foreign national is from the Philippines.

So, Mike and Chris, I don't know if you're seeing the same thing, but I've noticed that the government is making a mistake in selecting the wrong consulate specifically for Filipinos, regardless of where they are located, where they're working, or what's indicated on the I-140. I haven't seen that. If I have it, the rest of my team may have seen it, and the timing just worked out for someone was ending their contract, so they're moving back anyway, so they didn't bother. But I haven't seen that. It's certainly not in a 10% rate. Yeah, I've not seen it, but I certainly haven't seen it at that level.

I can say this, though, Tanya, which is my experience, is getting the embassy moved often takes an enormous amount of work and an enormous amount of time. And so for me, it comes down to if your goal is to come to the US. As quickly as possible, as unfortunate as this is, and it is unfortunate, I'd probably just stick with whatever embassy they assigned to me. If you have more patience and you're willing to wait, and you're willing to not get frustrated, if it takes six, nine months, a year, more than a year, then you can go ahead and try the process of moving it. Hopefully you'll get lucky and it won't be as long as some of those longer time frames, but at least my experience has been, sometimes it can take as much as a year to move those embassies. And so I'm generally pretty cautious. I don't think you have to quit your job in Qatar by the time you will get some notice before your appointment is in Manila. So you don't have to quit and just go sit and wait in Manila. But again, I'm generally pretty hesitant to recommend switching the embassy, recognizing that I know for a lot of people. It's an enormous burden on their lives. Yeah. It's really a dilemma in a difficult situation. But we've also seen the same thing, Chris, that switching can cause even bigger delays. So it seems like there was some error on the government side or some error that happened with this particular case, and it's a difficult one and really a judgment call at the end of the day. Well, we're actually going back I'm sorry, for a trip. Can you tell me we're going back to all the I we've noticed that they're 100% correct. We select not the USCIS, but the form. It's correctly completed with the right consulate. It's the USCIS or the national visa center. Selecting the wrong consulate? Yeah, it's an error. It was done in the state by the state. Right.

But specifically with those from the Philippines, no other country. All right, Rosario has a question. I'm stuck with my IELTS exam. The USCIS sent me an email that I have not paid my visa fee bill. If not, then my application will be terminated. So it means that I will be back to zero. Mike, sounds like there was an NVC bill issued, and it just hasn't been paid yet. Yeah, it hasn't been paid yet because she hasn't passed her IELTS exam. Okay, well, she can still pay the fee bill, right? Yeah. I think the concern here is that she hasn't passed the IELTS, and she doesn't want to all of a sudden get a consular interview date. Can she wait? I don't know how long you can delay paying the fee bill. As Chris mentioned earlier, if there's no communication with the NVC within a year, they will cancel your case. I don't know if you can drag out the fee bill for a while by, I don't know, some lawyer nonsense about responding or not, but I think at some point, you're going to have to make a decision of I'm going to pay my fee bill and take a chance on the fact that I'm going to be able to pass my IELTS and be optimistic about that as opposed to trying to potentially start all over again. Yeah. Chris or Denise, anything to add for Rosario? Because this is a common problem. This is very common with nurses who have been scared of the IELTS, who haven't been able to pass the IELTS yet and know that they cannot come to the US. Without it. I always recommend that they pay the fee bill immediately and not waste any time. Even though visas are not retrogrades right now, you never know what could happen. Consulates can close again. What if there's another Covid? So it's better to another stream of it? It's better to just pay the fee bill as soon as possible, because either way, it takes time to schedule the appointment, so you will pass the IELTS, and if you don't, then you try again, but at least pay the fee bill because that opportunity to get to the fee bill space. As we've heard from the beginning of this, there's some issues with immigration, notifying the National Visa Center that the case has been approved. So why delay it any further? If you have that opportunity, pay the fee bill right away. Take the IELTS if you pass it right. And if you don't, then you take it from there. Yeah, I mean, I agree with what the other panels have said. About the only other thing I would say is having anxiety over this is understandable, but it doesn't help. What you really need to do is to focus on passing the items. And so you need to work through your questions, work through your problems, work on your English fluency, Tanya, and all good recruiters can help you with some of those answers. And that's really where your focus should be.

And as Mike said, don't let the fee bill lapse. And we recognize it could be expensive and that might be a reason why you don't pay your fee. Well, if you have a spouse and three children, then all of a sudden you're looking at 1300 plus US. Dollars, which is obviously a lot of money. But again, let's not focus on the anxiety. Let's focus on passing the IELTS. You're going to need to pass the isles if you want to come to America, in which case everything else we're talking about is sort of irrelevant. Yeah, I think, Chris, you spot on. And Rosario and every other nurse who is battling with the IELTS. I think that this is something that worries more nurses than the NCLEX exam. It's a very scary exam. You're really going to need to do the work. As a Connetics USA nurse, as part of the Connetics Care package, you also get a free IELTS course. We've had enormous success with our IELTS course. I would encourage everybody who's feeling despondent and frustrated to look at our social media and look at some of our aisles hero interviews. I always give a shout out to Bert and to Frances, two Connetics nurses. Bert, who failed the IELTS seven times, then came to Connetics and took our course and passed after the 8th time and got an 18 speaking and a seven overall highest course. They're not even required another nurse. Francis did similar kind of story. So it really is possible, but it does take work and you've got to just instead of being paralyzed with fear, it's just to get on with it because there's going to be no other way that you can come to the United States if you are not trained in English. I'm looking at the clock. We are at our last question, so I'm going to take this question from James. Okay, this is an easy one. I'm going to give it to Mike because I know he likes the easy question. I do like an easy question.

Mike, James has a concern. Is it possible that I can take a tourist visa to the US to attend a special event for my cousin's wedding soon? Even if I got an ione body approved already, the answer is yes. If you already have a visa stamp in your passport, then when you enter, you simply want to I would provide documentation relative to the wedding.  Here's the invitation, here's where we're going. It's an open bar. That's why I want to attend all those kinds of things to explain and then I'm returning back. I don't have the intent of actually immigrating on this trip. If you don't have a visa stamp in your passport and you're applying at the visa at the consulate for a visitors visa, technically you can still get the visa issued if you explain to provide all the documentation. But the issuance of a visitor visa is a discretionary and they may not grant you the visa in spite of the fact that you have a special event, but legally that's perfectly acceptable to do.

Okay, so hopefully you will get through and be able to celebrate and continue on your EB3 journey as well. Well, that brings us to the end of the hour and thank you everybody for joining us.

Thank you for all of the questions. I know that there were some questions that we were not able to get you. I tried to get through as many as possible. So we will save up those questions for next month. Onwards and Upwards will be coming back to you on next Friday.

We have some upcoming shows. We have shows on the I can't even see small for me to see on the screen. Oh, we've got on the 1 July, red, white and blue, we've got a game show of prizes that are coming. And this is in honor of my adversary because I left South Africa 22 years ago on the 4 July. So our show is the 4 July Show. On the 8 July we have our clients showcase. We're going to be speaking to Sienna Healthcare, a very great organization that employ international nurses. On the 15th, we have our recruitment event. On the 22nd, our immigration panel will be back for more immigration questions. And on the 28 July we've got a very interesting topic, which is exploring transportation in the United States. We also have the Lafora talk show, our once a month show, where on the 19th we'll be a chance to speak to the experts with your licensing questions. And please everybody, don't forget the Connetics College, which was launched last month. Very exciting initiative. We have all educational programs every single Monday at 05:00, a.m. Pacific time in your location and everything educational that you need to know about coming to live and work in the United States. On the 27 June, we have a free class

by nine that's going to be doing writing exercises. This is free information. So Rosario, I hope you're definitely going to be watching because I know that you've got to be passing your IELTS. Last but not least, we have the Connetics Initiative. So before everybody leaves, don't forget that Connetics has a free IELTS course scholarship for all Connetics nurses. We have a free entry scholarship for selected nurses. $1,000 referral fee extended until the June 30. If you refer nurses with NCLEX, we have our podcast, Direct Hire Nurse Aide Program. We onwards and upwards show Connetics College and we also have many Allied opportunities all over the United States.

So I want to thank the panels for joining us. I apologize for my lighting. I'm looking at myself and how terrible it looks. But hopefully I will be back in the office next week. Even though I was on vacation, I didn't want to miss this opportunity to pick the legal minds of these experts so that we can get your questions answered. Thank you, everybody, for joining us next week. We will see you onwards and upwards. Thanks, Tanya. Thanks, everyone. Bye.