It’s been a busy week and it is being topped off with the best news that we’ve published in a very long time: Sen. Hutchison has formally introduced a provision to recapture about 90,000 visas for Schedule A nurse and PTs. This is a major piece of news.

The “Hutchison amendment” has been anticipated for a few weeks. If the Hutchison amendment passes retrogression is over.

Procedurally we have two hurdles. First, Sen. Durbin has introduced an amendment to Sen. Hutchison’s amendment; however the details of this Durbin amendment are unpublished at this time. Second, the amendment must survive review and remain attached to Senate Bill #4. S.4 is expected to pass.

Even with the hurdles this is a major step forward. We’re getting closer.

UPDATE: The language of Sen. Durbin’s amendment has been found. It contains three provisions:

1. A $1,500 “training fee”is attached to each nursing case (not PTs).
2. Healthcare workers, including MDs, who travel overseas for extended periods of time do not lose their US Permanent Residency if they are working in select (unnamed) countries.
3. Healthcare workers, including MDs, are inelgible for US Permanent Residency if they have a “financial obligation” to their home country.