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The US Transition for International Nursing Students

Hi everybody and welcome. It's Friday so it must be Connetics USA weekly show onwards and upwards. Everything that a healthcare worker needs to know about living and working in the United States. I am your host, Tanya Freedman. And I'm very excited today to bring you a new show, which is international students how to come to the United States as a student. So if you are interested in coming to the United States, please apply to Connetics USA, forward slash application and our team are on hand to speak to you and see how we can help you make your American dream a reality. So our topic today is International students. And we are here if you are in your home country right now and thinking about coming to the United States and wondering what are the many options One of them is coming as a student. Today we have our guests who will be joining us and they are going to be sharing their stories about coming to the United States, and what it's like to come as a student. So please welcome Chia Maka, please welcome Diane and Chris Musillo, student Tanya.

Give me a minute, you need no introduction because everybody on onwards and upwards knows who Chris Musillo is. He is one of our expert legal panel, who is going to be sharing his expertise about what it's like to come as a student, and what the student visa is all about today. Okay, so let's get started. And if and if you're joining us now, please put into the chat, where you are watching from it's so fun to see people all over the world joining us and sharing where they are watching from in the globally. Alright, so let's get started. Diane and Chiamaka welcome to the show. And we are really excited to have you here to share your experiences and we know it will be inspirational for many, many nurses around the world or potential nurses who are looking to come to the United States. Let's start off with introductions. Diane, do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?

Yeah. My name is Diane and I work on the telemetry floor in Austin or Kenner right now. Okay, thank you, Diane, and tell everybody where you come from originally. I'm originally from South Korea, and I've been living in the States for more than 10 years for now. Okay. Thank you, Diane, so we can't wait to hear more about your story. She unlacquered You want to go ahead and introduce yourself? Yes, of course. My name is Jamal. Kaya. I'm from Nigeria. I've been here for about five years, and I'm in Astana Baptist on ICU unit. Okay, thank you Chima, can you want to share with us where you're from originally? Nigeria, Nigeria. Okay, so we're gonna have two different perspectives today, which is going to be really fun. Chris, I know, most people know who you are, and onwards and upwards. But do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself? Sure.

Yeah. So I'm Chris Musillo. I'm a business immigration attorney, healthcare business immigration attorney here in Cincinnati, Ohio. I work with muscle alcohol, which is right there, I guess on the screen. And I've been we've been working with Connetics and a lot of Connetics clients going back many, many years now. And yeah, so once again, you know, I'm often on these monthly calls, and I'm happy to do it again. Thank you, Chris. So we're going to have Chris he's gonna share his expertise, from a legal perspective about the students and how to come to the United States and what all of that entails, please stay on until the end of the show, because we are going to be announcing our winner. One lucky winner will receive the NCLEX exam paid for by Connetics USA. So please stay on until the end of the show to see where whose name will be drawn. And we'll be announcing that at the end of the show. I see that Kumar is watching from Pakistan. McLaren. I hope I got that right is saying Hi, Chris. So if you have any questions about the student visa, how students can become a green card holders, please put them into chat and into the chat and Chris, and Schumacher and Diane myself will be happy to ask answer your questions. Okay, so let's talk about the student application process of coming to the United States. Chiamaka and Diane, maybe you can share your experience of this. And Diane, did you always want to come to the United States did you always have that American dream?

Well, I the first time I came here in the States was whenever I was three years old. I follow my aunt and uncle here just to visit and then I studied here till I was nine. And then I went back to Korea to finish school. So after I graduated high school, I came back for college. So, like United States is my second home country, I guess. And then I really wanted to come back. Okay, so you had had the experience of living in the United States before, it wasn't all completely different for you. Now, it was it was very familiar environment for me. Okay. Okay. So that was more fortune chair Mica. How, what was your experience? Like? Did you always want to go to United States? Yes, I feel there are just better opportunities. Here. We have a good educational system. And I think I was made home more and United States had that. So I wanted to come here for school.

So that was something that was always in your mind Chiamaka, your dad? How did you go about the student visa process? And how did you how did you find a nursing school? Um, so the immigration process wasn't that difficult for me. I mean, I followed all the guidelines that I needed to do searching like Google, mostly. And the schools that I found was through nursing I don't know if anyone knows about that. But it's ran by American Association of Colleges of Nursing. So they have all nursing schools there. But at first, when I started with community college, my aunt and uncle actually recommended me one of the Community Schools Community College in California, so I was fortunate to be there without any difficulty.

Okay, so that resource will put into the chat for those people who would be interested Chiamaka how was your experience different or the same as Diane? In finding a nursing school? I would say so I would say is somewhat the same, because I started looking for a community college first before I actually went to like, nursing school. So and the visa process wasn't that hard for me either. It was a very smooth process. Okay, so not that difficult. So that's good for anybody who's sitting outside the country. I mean, to mica, you were in Nigeria. And so you I see, you had to do a lot of the research online. Yes, I did. What  was that like for you? How long did it take? To be honest, it took me about three, four months. My parents and I, we were the ones like looking for the schools. Plus how expensive there were, where I'm going to stay like accommodation, living things like that. So we had to kind of put our heads together in getting like the best place for me. And the best place for me was living with my aunt said I have that accommodation and have that sense of family.

Okay, so where did your envelope Jamaica? Houston, Texas, Houston, Texas. Okay. So that was really a big decision point for you to have family in the United States. And Diane, it sounds like it was the same for you. Chris, can you talk us through the immigration process to get a student visa because on onwards and shut up? It's Friday, so I'm not even mentioned the name right, onwards and upwards. We've spoken about consider green cards. We've spoken about H ones we've spoken about Adjustment of Status, green cards, TN processes. So these are all the different roadmaps, but a student visa is a little different. So can you take us through the steps of a student visa? Yes, student visas are different and they're different than green cards. They have some overlap with TN, maybe h1 B's for maybe some of our non nursing cons. Occasionally a nurse will qualify for h one V. But it's pretty rare. And the reason that they have a little more overlap with those with the 10 and the h one e and it is because they're non immigrant visas.

Now, on a green card, a green card is us permanent residency. And so once you obtain that you are a full fledged us permanent resident. And no matter how you become a US permanent resident, whether that's through a nursing op petition or through marriage to US citizen or any of the other pathways, all US green card holders are the same. On the other hand, what we call non Immigrant Visas Tanya or temporary visas, which are again things like the TN visa for Mexican and Canadian nationals the h1 A tourist visas, etc. Those visas are all limited in the time that the individual can be in the United States. And they're limited in the scope of activity, the individual can perform. So for instance, if you have a TN Visa, and you've been sponsored for that visa by the University of Cincinnati hospital up here in Cincinnati, and you're, let's say, a Canadian citizen, then you're allowed to come to United States but the only the only thing you're allowed to do is to work as a nurse for the University of Cincinnati. If you want to switch from the University of Cincinnati to the University of San Diego hospital, then you would need your document to change the TN Okay, so now let's bring this back to students. Similar concept. If you're if you attend intend to go to nursing school at the University of Cincinnati, the first thing you do is you apply at the University of Cincinnati.

When you're accepted, the University of Cincinnati's foreign student office will issue a document called and I-120. And then I-120 will say that you have been approved for nursing school at the University of Cincinnati, and a list your start date, it'll list your major say, a degree in nursing is going to be obtained variety of information on it, you then take that I-120 the embassy in your home country of your country of residence, you still need to apply for a visa appointment a non immigrant visa appointment, which is called an F one F like Frank f dash one. So not an h1 but an f1 You'll go to let's say the US Embassy in Manila with your I-120. And with your passport, and they the US government will approve your visa, they'll put it right in your passport, it's the big sticker. And then you'll be able come the United States. But again, you're limited now to be a nursing student at the University of Cincinnati. If you're if you're midway through your collegiate program at the University of Cincinnati, hopefully you're liking it here but it does snow every once in a while. We want to move down by Tonya in Southern California, and she wants to transfer to University of San Diego's nursing school, we'll need to get a new I-120 and have your I-120. Change. So it doesn't say University of Cincinnati anymore. But it says University of San Diego.

Okay, so that gives us a really great idea of the roadmap for the student visa. Because as I said, we really haven't covered that on the show before. And what we know is that there are more and more people who are coming to the United States as students, we have some statistics where you can see how the numbers of people who are coming to the United States as students, this is just for masters and doctorate program nursing programs. And over the years from 2014. This is just up to 2018. Just in the most recent years, you can see a massive change of people and this is for post graduate nursing degrees. So there are many, many people obviously who are coming from for undergrad nursing degrees as well. And many times people can be nurses in their home country and then come here and do like a master's or DNP or something like that. So we really are seeing a lot more interest of people using this particular kind of visa to come to the United States. So I see that we have a lot of people joining us and we've got MD Osman who's saying is joining us Chen is saying hi. Grace is watching from the Philippines to Risa is watching from Sri Lanka. Maura McCollum is watching from Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, and she new do from Nigeria from your home country Chiamaka.

And Ahmed is asking what are the requirements for RN if I have the only PTE test? I'm at? That's a good question. So if you have passed the PTE test with the requirements for the United States, then you would need to pass the NCLEX exam. And you can go to the Connetics USA website and see our success path. And it will give you all the steps that you need to take in order to come and live in the United States. And you can see there the first step is the NCLEX exam, but you've already got the English. So that's the US step ahead, which is great. So we'd be happy to help you. So Linus is watching from Philippines, Alvin from Fort Myers, Florida. And Dima from South Africa, my home country, that's where I came from 22 years ago. She's Samantha said she's had several application emails. Oh, my goodness, Dima, I'm so sorry for any delay in our team getting hold of you. And we have been inundated with applications but because we have 1000s of positions all over the United States, but so I apologize for any delay. Our team are just very overloaded right now and we will make sure to get hold of you. So thank you for trying to reach us. So many, many and questions and comments in the chat. So MD is asking, Chris, is the work visa open? I think I think MD is asking I'm not sure if he's asking about the green card. And maybe the visa bulletin. Chris, you want to maybe comment on that?

On the visa bulletin? Yeah, yeah. So the Philippines EB3 category, which is where the vast majority of nurses will fall under is current right now, which is as favorable as possible. And so that's great news. And so if you haven't I140 approved, it is taking almost as many as six months, unfortunately, to get the cases moved from the USCIS to the embassy. So that's taking a little bit longer. But that's really a problem with the US government being inundated with visas and being behind on their work. It's not a legal problem. So yes, the timeline for Philippine nurses today is, frankly, as favorable as we've ever seen before, outside of this one little bureaucratic hiccup, which is really just a question of months, which Tanya you and I who are veterans in this space know that all things considered this is about as positive a time to be sponsoring for an EB3 green card from the Philippines, as in our professional lives.

And from the Philippines and all over the world, Chris, really all over the world except for India, of course, India and China. Great. Yeah, indeed. Go ahead and apply. There's no better time to be a nurse in the United States like chair mica and Diane. And I see we have a question about English. Diane, when you apply as a student visa, are there any what are the requirements to apply as a student visa and is English one of them? For student visa, I really didn't have to take any English exams. I just had an interview with the embassy. And it was mostly the schools I required any English exams like TOEFL or IELTS, I think one of them I took was TOEFL. Okay, so there was an English requirement from the school but not from an immigration perspective. Chiamaka what was your experience in that regard? In terms of the English I have to take TOEFL to for the school?

Okay. Okay. So good for everybody to know that mostly, it seems most schools will require the an English exam and English with Kumar is asking let me know if it is accepted for visa screening as a proof in English proficiency? And the answer to that one is a yes. So on the first of August, the CGFNS made a new regulation that accepts additional English exams. So PTE and OET are not accepted in the United States. And we have hundreds of nurses who are taking that exam in order to come and live and work in the United States. Tess has a question test is from Kenya and is asking what documents are needed to apply as an international student in a community college Chiamaka? I think it all depends on the come to college. But as far as I know, you need your TOEFL you need if you previously attended maybe a university in your home country or something you need some form of transcript from them. Um, what else I think those are like the two major things I knew I had to probably present to the school to just show them that I am proficient in English and math at the same time. So they take the waiver or the wave, um, some math classes and English classes for you when you do like the whole transcript thing.

Okay, thank you, Jamaica. So that really gives us a good idea of the process of the application process. So let's talk now a little bit about nursing school. What was that like for Diane and Chiamaka and you want to share what was it like on your first day of nursing school? It was a very nervous experience on my first day, but um, our school was very friendly. And then so the professors were always there. And actually, there was really nothing to be nervous about. And I had a great experience with all my classmates and the classes to Fabulous. Well, I'm glad that it was a great experience. It's not always a great experience, but it's really very helpful if you are surrounded by support and people are friendly. Tell us a little bit about them. Which nursing school you went to which city you were living in, and what that was like, um, I went to a school in Pennsylvania, it's called Mount Aloysius college. So they also offer scholarships for international students, which is great. So I lived in a dorm and it's a really, really small town, I would say, not a city. It's like in the middle of nowhere, but you do get to have a lot of experience like going to shopping malls if you need to, like the school provides all the rights for it. And yeah.

So it was a it was a good experience a lot, a lot of change. But a good experience. Yes. Chiamaka, what was your nursing experience like? I know that you said you were you were living with your aunt trying? Yeah, it's it was very nerve wracking because they would scare you, oh, you need this to pass or you need this to pass. And it was very cutthroat because you're dealing with people's lives, and you don't have the time to mess up a screw up. But just like Diane, I had, like the best support system, and like my family, especially my parents in Nigeria, they were very supportive of me. And I think that's what pushed me through even got me through nursing school as a whole. I went to Alvin and I went to University of Houston for my nursing school. And it was just the best of experiences, because I come from a family or a line of nurses and doctors. So it was like this was to do and I always had resources. And it was just very, very fun and exciting. Nursing School is fun and exciting is not terrible.

So it sounds like it was a good experience for you. But also a lot of pressure. A lot of stress because you know it's not like you just it's not that you only have to pass this the nursing school but there's also a lot of pressure that if you don't pass you're going to have to go back home. Or so that's kind of like hanging over your head all the time. You're not in your head chair. Miko is that what? Yes, yes. Is this a go home? To wait, sorry. Failure is not an option. Right? Yeah. And what was it like living where you were living to Chiamaka? I think base like I was happy because number one, I didn't have to pay rent. Yeah, I had I had free food and it was just okay. Give her time. Okay, she's studying Okay, leave her be okay. You hungry, things like that. It was really, really nice living my aunt. For the duration of my nursing school. I feel like most people didn't really have that they always had like, maybe like Diane maybe had like a noisy roommate or something. Or, you know, but I did have my space, I had the opportunity to like study by myself.

Yeah. Which was great. So you had the support, but you had the space to study? What about like, community? Diane? I mean, you were in a small place. Did you hit with it other international students from other places? Tell us a little bit about that? What was that? Like? Um, there were some international students there. I mean, not a whole lot. But like a, really a small amount. I mean, the school in general, it's really small. So like, all your classmates and also like friends around the dorm, like you get to be friends with and it's a really friendly community, like everyone helps each other. So that you're not alone. And I've been invited to a lot of like parties like Thanksgiving dinners, or Christmas dinners, such and such. And it was it was really nice. Okay, so it sounds like it was really a fun, good experience for you. And Chris, Diane mentioned that the school that she had scholarships, how does it work from a financial perspective when you're coming on a student visa?

Yeah, so good news. You know, if you're, if you're, you know, smart enough and lucky enough to qualify for a scholarship to us school. The good news, Tanya is that has no negative impact whatsoever on your American visa. So great. Yes. If you can get the school to help pay for some of all some or all of your tuition. I think that's wonderful. Okay, and can you give us any idea of what it costs to get the student visa? So it's, there's a fixed fee of I think 100 Within $60, within certain countries have certain trade agreements with the US, which can add or subtract fees. I'll tell you what, it may take me a minute here, if you want to move on to the next question, but I can, I can figure out exactly what the Philippine fee is because I just don't have it at the top of my head. Okay, perfect. Okay, so that will be helpful for everybody to know what it actually cost that angioma? Could you remember and the cost I know for you, you've been here for a while. And since you started nursing school, but you remember what the costs were?

I honestly thinks the maybe that's when I saw my service ID thing. I think I wasn't paying for it. So I was just hey, Tanya, I've got it here. So again, it's $160, like I said, and that's the that's the fee. And then the Philippines does not appear to have any additional fee on top of that some countries do some don't. And it's I'd have to look country by country. I know, traditionally, we get a lot of Philippine nationals on this. So it's just but so for Philippine National, it's just $160 there's nothing, there's no what's called a reciprocity fee. Okay, and then Chris does somebody have to pay that fee every year that you are a student? Or is it just a one off fee? How does that work? Right? Yeah, no, so good question. So for Philippine nationals, the visa in the passport will be good for 60 months, five years. And so that $160 payment will cover you for five months. Typically, a bachelor's in nursing is only four months here in the US, so you should only need to pay at once.

Okay, good. So I think that gives you a good idea of what the student visa costs. But remember, as both Diane and Cher mica said, there's also the living expenses. So you're gonna have living expenses like Diane staying in a dorm or Jamaica, you were lucky that you didn't have to pay rent, but they are other tuition experiences. And can you talk a little bit about the scholarship at your school because some schools have scholarships, and some don't. Yeah, so I was very lucky that they offered me a scholarship, but I found out that they offer scholarships for all international students. So for me, I'm in total for a new year, I think they covered like $12,000, which is nice, because it covers your dorm fee and also your food, the meals that you get at school. So and they also give you like a like a pocket money for to buy like snacks inside the school where there's like, convenience. So I wouldn't say a convenient store, but like a cafe where you could also buy like drinks and other kinds of chips, those kind of stuff. So actually, I didn't really spend a ton of money every time I been there. Because the only thing that I've used was like to buy blankets or like laundry detergents like, or some clothes maybe like those kinds of stuff for all that I've been using for so just keeping it to the very basics. Yeah. And not spending too much. Chiamaka did the school that you go to offer scholarships.

Yes, they did. It was specifically I got one from the school in general, and then one from the nursing school itself. So they covered about, I wouldn't say 10,000. And that was great for me, because I wasn't really, I was living my aunt and taking off like that huge chunk of tuition was really great for me and my parents. Okay, so that was a massive help. So very important tip for anybody who's thinking of coming to the United States as a student is when you are evaluating the different schools is to see exactly the scholarship situation because some people might not know that that's how it works in the United States. And that if you can get a scholarship that can be extremely helpful from a cost perspective, because it's very expensive, especially if you're coming from outside the country with limited finances, it can be a very big drain. Okay, so and, Diane, why did you decide to stay in the United States? When did you decide to stay in this in the United States?

Um, as soon as I got here, I was like thinking of staying here. Because like they I really met some great people and I've really had great opportunity Ladies, and yeah, I really love living here actually, how is America different to South Korea? Um, it is actually very different. But since I grew up since I was little, I am so accustomed to the culture and the food here. So it wasn't like a huge difference for me. But, um, if you're trying to come from your home country to here after, like, what, 20 years, then it could be very different. So for Korea, it's like it's just very different. I can't really like, think of like a huge difference, but it is, it is quite a different culture, like the school wise and like the education wise. So lots of differences. But I think because you probably lived here before, as well, that that helped cheer mica what was what was the biggest difference for you when you came to the United States? Just from a culture perspective? How is the United States different from Nigeria? What was your experience? Um,

I think Nigeria, we have like a sense of community and things. So when I came here, I had to find that sense of community in America, of which I found amongst like, the international students, and also amongst the Americans, which was really, really nice to find, but honor that I wouldn't say there's any much difference. Cultural wise, between America and Nigeria, I would say. Because in America, I think it's on the first name basis. And in Nigeria, we say, Mister this or sir, ma'am, and things. So when I came on, they're like, Oh, her name is? Diane, I noticed. I think that was what it was. I was like, Okay, I'm not comfortable. Just calling so on the first name basis, I know is older. And then I am one of the things that's very interesting to me, because I'm just thinking as you speaking, when I came from South Africa, 22 years ago, I remember asking my sister because my sister lived in California, before she came here before I did. And I remember asking her like, what is so different? Like, people get up, they have breakfast, they go to work, they go to school, you know, whatever it is, they come home, they, you know, chat to a friend, they watch TV, they go to bed, like go to a restaurant, like what is so different. And the thing that I realized coming to America is sometimes it's lots of little things that are different today, and you're nodding your head?

Yes, I do. Can you think of an example from your side, there's lots of little things that can be different. That was surprising, you didn't expect. It's like what Jim Walker said about calling first names, because that's very, very, very unusual for me living in South Korea, because you have to really respect your elderly. And it's like, calling first names. It was like a very rude behavior. So lots to get used to. But I know we've got a lot of pictures of both of you showing how much fun you were having in the United States. And one of your experiences, as you were, you know, living in the United States and having so many experiences, and cheer mica, when did you decide that you wanted to stay here? When I got into nursing school, I said, I want to stay here. Because I just love taking care of people. And I feel like the United States is just very diverse, especially with his patients. And I said, this is what I want to do. I want to take care of these people, and hopefully get enough knowledge and skills to go back to my home country and change a few things, here and there, over there. So that's what my end goal is. So that's why I decided to stay here.

Okay, so you made that decision. So, Chris, when an international nursing student decides that they want to live in the United States, what is the process? How do they go about that? To live in the United States? Yeah, I mean, I want to echo what the other panelists have said. I mean, one of the nice things one of the great things really about America is just the rich mix of cultures that we have here in the United States and Thailand. as you've mentioned, you came from South Africa. Many years ago, my family my mother was born and raised in Italy, actually, she didn't come to the US till she was about 16. And so that at Israel, you know, in America, we sometimes call it the American mosaic is this idea, or this melting pot of multiple cultures, that it's really wonderful that you can eat different foods and experience different lifestyles, from different people all around the country. And yet, you can also still maintain a lot of things your home country. So I know when I was growing up, we would speak my  mother and her, my grandparents would only speak Italian around the house, for instance. And so they brought a lot of that back.

My grandmother and grandfather, even though they were living in a little plot of land in New York City, they had a little garden in the backyard where they grew tomatoes, and eggplants, and peppers and onions and a variety of vegetables, including even grapes, my grandfather made his own wine in the basement. Wow, Chris is really great. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. So it was really wonderful. And so this, and yet, you know, then I would go back home, and I would have friends from whose families were African and African descent, European descent, Latin American descent, Asian descent all over. But so it's really just, you know, really, that it's really the one of the best things about America. I agree. Absolutely. Chair mark and Diane, are not in the head. Chris, so if an international student wants to stay in the United States, what are the pathways that are open as an option, so the number you know, assuming you want to stay in the United States, you know, so one method that we don't talk a lot about is it and it's very common is people who come to the United States for college, and education are young. And so one method and is they meet an American national, an American citizen. And, and that's great. And then that would be called a family path to a green card. And we can help out or a lot of immigration attorneys around the country can help you out with that.

And so that's one method. And it takes about a year. So different cities move a little faster or slower, depending on volume. But that's one path. And if you marry a US citizen, you'll go through an interview process, the US government is concerned about marriage fraud, I doubt it would be anybody on this call. But there is some marriage fraud that happens. And therefore every marriage case has to go through a process of filing a petition and then going and sitting in an interview with their spouse and a US immigration official. So that's one way. The second way, perhaps the dominant way that most people here on this call will go, is it similar to an overseas case, except the last step in the process doesn't take place in Manila, or Seoul, or Logos, or wherever you're from. But it takes place the interview takes place here. So again, I use my example of the University of Cincinnati nursing school here. So if you're at the University of Cincinnati, nursing school, and you're going through the nursing school process, and you're getting towards the end of the process, and you call up, Tanya, and you say, Hey, I'm getting to the end of the process, and I would like to now maybe help you or have you helped me find a position at a at a at a at a hospital in let's say, San Diego, and Tanya, that Connetics team are able to help you out with that, then that hospital no.

I said we can they can. They do it many, many times. And they may very well for many, many years, I can tell you that for all the listeners. Then what will happen is that that university Hot Minute, or that hospital, excuse me, will then file what's called your I-140. And often at the same time, they will file something called an adjustment of status. And that's the pathway where it veers off from the NVC process, but the adjustment of status. It's different than the NVC process. But I think for the purposes of this call, I think we can just think of it as really just the interview takes place in America, rather than in Seoul, or Manila or Logos or London or wherever else you are in the world. Okay, so thank you, Chris. So it would be a green card, but an adjustment of status we caught correct. We generally say that there's two pathways to the green card from a processing standpoint, and that's the NVC or consular process path, which is one path. And that's, I think, Tonya, I think you'd agree with me, that's the dominant path. That's the path that most nurses enter the United States. But then there's a second path, which is called the adjustment of status path. And that's what happens when you're already lawfully in the United States, typically on something Like a student visa.

Okay, so that would then be the next step student with Visa. So everybody watching, remember is a non immigrant visa, green card or permanent residence, which Chris has just been speaking about is an immigrant visa. So this is where you would get permanent residency. So Diane, can you share your experience with the adjustment of status process? Um, it's been in business perspective. Um, it's been actually very smooth, like Connetics and lawyers, they're really helped me a lot to, you know, file the, all the forms that I needed. And it wasn't really difficult. Like, whenever the lawyer asked you something like, oh, you need this document, and you just have it ready and get it sent out. And, yeah, so far, it's been very smooth. Okay, good. So and where are you in the adjustment of status green card process? Um, um, I haven't really heard any updates, but I did submit all my documents so far. So I'm just waiting on any updates that I need to, like, send or like, have a set date for an interview. So, okay, so Right, right in the middle. Okay, she uh, Micah, what is the adjustment of status green card process been like for you?

I'm just like, Diane, it's been very smooth for me actually. Like, I think I started the process, January of this year, and all the documents has been submitted. And I'm still waiting on an update maybe for like, I think the next thing is biometrics. So I think I'm waiting for that. I haven't gotten an update since June, July. So but I'm hopeful to get an update very soon. So okay, good. So a lot of waiting. Chris, why does it take so long it Chiamaka has done everything that she needs to do the lawyers have done everything they need to do, the employee has done everything they need to do Connetics has done everything they need to do. Why all the waiting? Because the one entity that never does what they need to do as the government? Well, they do it because they do it. Much slower timeline, they do it at a much slower timeline. I mean, the good news is, we see extraordinarily high approval rates during the adjustment of status process. So I think one thing that I'd like people to take away from this is, even though it's slow, that doesn't mean that there's someone at the US government who's poring over every inch of your application, and looking for a reason to get you knocked out on a technicality or anything like that. No, no, no, that's not happening at all. Your case is up on a shelf. And it's just sitting there for weeks and weeks and months and months and quarters and quarters and sometimes years and years. It's not that someone is spending time going through it.

The US government to be fair to them are extremely backlogged right now, they spent about two and a half years like the rest of the world, understaffed, not coming into work, not doing their jobs timely, not because they didn't want to because, of course, the global pandemic related to COVID. They are now getting back into the swing of things. And so, you know, I'm trying to be optimistic that 2023 will show improvement in these processing times. But the but so again, good news, I don't know higher risk of denial that it takes a long time bad news. It does take a long time. Yeah. So and I think, Chris, you would agree that we definitely are seeing the government catching up some of the backlogs that we experienced due to the pandemic. I think that's right. I agree with you. Yeah. So there's progress, which is good, which is exciting for cheer luck and Diane, and to be able to get that green card is a great day. So that's what we want for both of you and for everybody else who's watching around the world. Okay, so we've got some questions in the chat. And I see we have a question from aisle I had a sore. I also I hope I've got pronouncing your name right is saying Hi, Tanya, I have a daughter who is a third year news nursing student and will be migrating soon in the in the US.

How can she continue her studies? Or is nursing education the same as in the Philippines? So Chris, if and I have a source daughter is a student and is going to come to the United States. It looks like her  face any upcoming so how would that work? Would you just go apply for the regular student visa? The same as chair mica and Diane? Yeah, so she can apply for the regular student visa. Now, I'm not sure if I heard it incorrectly or not the only people who can come in and say so the student, herself, a spouse, and any under 21 year old children. I'm not sure, maybe I misheard it, but if there's a parent involved, the parent is not allowed to come to the United States. Yeah, I I'm not 100% sure with either source question, but it says that we will become immigrating soon, so I'm not sure maybe she's coming on a green card. I'm not 100% Sure. And then her daughter might have been over 21 Chris, so that's what I'm kind of thinking because she's third year, maybe. So that's why she would be coming on the student visa. So that's a great option actually, for somebody who's whose child has aged out of their 21 limit to come as a nursing student can come on your own visa like Chiamaka and Diane and get an Adjustment of Status green card.

I agree. I think it is a great idea. Okay, good. Well, I so we look forward to seeing the whole family in the United States soon. This is watching from Philippines Mustafa from UK is as from Singapore and Mecca from Nigeria, your home country to America and is always in Riyadh, Jojo is asking any chance for legislation which is beneficial  for nurses from backlogged countries during this lame duck period? I think George was probably speaking about Indian and nurses from born in India or in China. Chris, any chance? Yes, there is a chance of two pieces of legislation one, probably unlikely the HW era, but there's always a chance. But I think the second one also unlikely, although maybe a little more likely is called the eagle Act. The eagle act overall isn't a great piece of legislation for Philippine nurses. But if you're an Indian nurse, it can be helpful, but essentially, it's helpful at the extent at the expense of nurses from other countries. So we're at SMU, we're taking sort of a neutral position on the eagle eye.

Okay, so from India, and we have clients from other places around the world. So yeah, so Jojo, keep watching because hopefully there will be some legislation change. And if there is you we will definitely be announcing and very joyously on onwards and upwards. Oh, okay. Erica has a question. I'm the wife of a registered nurse from the Philippines. And we're currently in the UK, planning to move to the US. My question is, can one directly work in the state of California through your agency? And okay, yeah, Erica, definitely, we actually have one of our very large clients, who will be recruiting, I think it's about six or 700 nurses in California. So we have many systems in California that are recruiting and we'd love to help you. So please apply to Connetics USA to our website and our team are online to help you and  we would love to see you in California. And at a juror at Oh, we I think we've answered this question about the fees and the requirements. Diane is from Nigeria. So lots of people watching from all over the world. And one question that I got in the chat, Chris is about an OPT and CPT what is that all about?

Oh, yeah, no, that's a good question OPT and CPT. So they're related. Well, let's take them one at a time. So OPT, which stands by the way for curricular, practical training. What that means is, while you're attending school here in the United States, on your f1, student visa, you were sometimes with your school's approval, allowed to work as part of your curriculum, which is why it's called curricular practical training. So for instance, it might be that you're going to work at a hospital part time while you're also attending school, because the work that you'll be performing is related to your curriculum. And by the way, and you can also earn some money while you're doing that. So that's called Curricular Practical Training. OPT and CPT, which is optional practical training. That happens after you've graduated for a one year period for most nurses, so for instance, if you graduate from nursing school in May of 2023. Maybe you're going to pursue a green card with your new US hospital employer. And there's going to be a period of time before your green card is approved, at least as we've talked today. It can sometimes take a while.

Well, what optional practical training allows you to do is to work during a one year period after you graduate. And typically what happens is during that one year period, you either get the green card, or if you don't get the green card, you've progressed far enough through the green card process that we can actually extend your work authorization. through another process that isn't worth getting into. The important point is, you would go from student visa, graduate, Optional Practical Training, hopefully a green card but if not an interim period with an EAD card, and then ultimately, your green card. Okay, so that gives us a great roadmap. And we do have a success path that we can show you, which gives you all the steps as you navigate through the process. If one's student get accepted into school, pay your fees and receive your I-120. Complete the f1 visa application form schedule the interview visa one approval. So that's kind of step one. And then Chris has just kind of taken us through the next steps, which is if your school has a PTE or an OET more importantly, and how the adjustment of status process plays into that.

Don't add and share marker did your schools have the option for a OPT or an CPT? Because some schools do and some don't, but not in your head. And, yes, our school offers OPT and both CPT so if you wanted to work during the semester, you could also get the CPT and after the school curriculums done, then you could also get the OPT which the whole entire process was very smooth as well. Our school like administrator helped me a lot throughout the process. Okay, so and so. So did you take up the OPT? So you were able to earn some money while you were a student? Actually, I did not apply for OPT, but I was able to work at school. So that didn't require any CPT so you could get any kind of jobs inside the school. And I've been helping out in the admissions office with some a lot of paperwork a part time and it was great.

Okay, good. So that was a great way for you to earn some money. While you were while you were there as a student Chiamaka you I think you were nodding your head as well about the CPT and OPT option that your school offer that and did you make use of that? Yes, um, they did offer CPT and OPT. I did not use the PTE. But I did use to obesity. Okay, so that I'm sure was also very helpful to give you the opportunity to work and earn money and gain experience. Of course, if you are a student on an f1 visa, and you know that your school offers an OPT, at what point should you start looking for an employer? Yeah, we generally recommend early in your last year of college. So if you're anticipating graduating in May of 2023, by now you would have wanted to begin that process, certainly not much later than around now in December.

Okay, so. So that gives us gives you a really good idea. Because I know from the Connetics perspective, sometimes we have students that just don't kind of realize the timing or pay attention to it. And they might use their OPT and get to the end of the OPT and that's when you come into difficulties. What happens, Chris, if somebody's working on an OPT getting towards the end of that timeframe, and then they kind of wake up and say, Oh, my goodness, I need to get an employer get an Adjustment of Status green card? What are some of the mistakes sometimes that you see people make? Yeah, I mean, that's exactly the mistake is waiting too long. Once that happens, then you really want to talk to your immigration attorney to see what kinds of options you have. Because the reality is, is if you don't have that Ott, then really at the end of your graduation, you're gonna have to leave the United States. So the problem is waiting too long, which is always the case and immigration. You know, whenever anyone suggests you should start something early, you should certainly start something.

Okay, so that's a really important point for anyone who's on a student visa in the United States. Thinking of coming here of a student visa to pay attention to the timelines and what is required if you are going to be on an f1 moving to an OPT and the timing to get an Adjustment of Status Green Card Diane and Chiamaka tell us about living and working in the United States now that you are here working now and what is that like? Tell us a little bit about it? Um, I actually love it since I'm so used to the American call. Sure, and um, but Louisiana has been really like my first time living here. So it was kind of hard to get used to the weather. But besides that, I'm like working here like three days a week, and it's just perfect for me. Okay, so you're loving it. What do you like about living in Louisiana? Because it Louisiana is a fun state. There's a lot to do. Yes, all the people are so friendly down here. And they have they really do have the southern charm, which I'm starting to learn about and yeah. So yeah, yeah, the food's The food's amazing, too. What? What is your favorite? Um, I've tried, like, the alligator and, like, yeah, the crawfish.

What does that taste like? But it's so tender. I really do like it. Good to know. And have you traveled in Louisiana or surrounding states? Um, not really. No, not really. I haven't traveled much yet. Okay, so it's still early days, but I'm sure lots to see and do. And she America tell us about living in and working in the United States. Now as a registered nurse. It's been so exciting. It's been just a dream come true. Actually. Like the answer like three days working four days off, which is just absolute bliss. I want to say New Orleans and Houston like there's not much of a difference with the weather. So I'm really used to if he used to Houston you're used to in Houston is somehow Yes, it's hot and humid. It's just I would say New Orleans is like more humid than Houston. But the people are great. They do treat you like family. And they do welcome and accepts you very quickly. So far, I think I've been to Baton Rouge and Lafayette and Baton Rouge because that's where the African store is the one in New Orleans. So I have to go over there to get some stuff for myself. But it's a really nice place. Obviously, the food is great. I haven't tasted alligator yet. But maybe one day, that's gonna be the next thing to try lots of fun things and new things to try, which is so it's so amazing.

Well, we really are so happy for both of you. I'm just looking in the chat because I'm watching the clock. And we almost had time. And I just want to point out to everybody that we do have some guidebooks and guidebooks on Adjustment of Status process which Chris outlined for us. So amazingly well we also have a guidebook on the consider green card process. And so this is if you're coming from outside the United States as a as a nurse. And just to point out, we do have many opportunities where employers will hire international students who are outside of the United States, and they would be coming on that consular process. And then as Chris mentioned, also, if you're a Canadian or Mexican citizen, we do have the guidebook for the TN process. So that is also available and also shows on our website about these different roadmaps and ways of coming to the United States. And I think with that we kind of are coming to the end of the show. And I want to thank our panel, Diane cheer mica and Chris so much. This has been such an interesting discussion.

I know that Diane and she and Marco can be a little bit nerve wracking to come on the show and to share your experiences but you don't but both did a phenomenal job. And I know have inspired so many nurses all over the world with your story and your success in coming to United States as a student and now living your American dream and getting your green card and just we wish you only the best. And Chris who is a regular on the show. We will see you next time. And before everybody leaves just up just we want to announce the winner of the Connetics are paying the costs for Anna May Jimenez so Anna May Jimenez congratulations Connetics is covering the cost of your NCLEX exam. Congrats to you. And please everybody keep watching onwards and upwards next week. We have amazing shows coming up so we are talking about citizenship, which is I know what your mark and Diane would want to do. Next after five years they can apply for citizenship. On the 23rd. We have our Christmas special show on the 30th we have the best and onwards and upwards moments of 2022.

And on the 13th we are talking on the Lefora talk show of the clinical differences of working in med surg overseas as opposed to the United States every Friday at 7am and check the time in your country. And then Connetics College which is also free information for nurses every Monday live, we have classes with one of our wonderful partners Swoosh on PTE on the 12 NCLEX class with iPads on the 19th and IELTS class with a Niners on the 26th. So lots of great things coming up Connetics initiatives as always, and our free English scholarship for all Connetics nurses free NCLEX scholarship scholarships, sorry for selected nurses $1,000 referral fee extended till January, our podcast nursing in America we have a nurse aid program. unwritten app was Connetics College, lots of allied needs. So please, if you are interested in coming to the United States, let us know apply to Connetics, and we'd be happy to help you like we did with Diane and Chiamaka. Thank you everybody for joining us. Onwards and upwards. Bye everyone.