The 109th Congressional session has concluded without enacting legislation to increase H-1B or employment-based immigrant visas. Successful immigration related legislation included:

  • An extension of the Conrad 30 program providing J-1 waivers for physicians
  • A “re-authorization” of the H-1C category
  • Legislation authorizing P visa eligibility for certain athletes rather than the current problematic H-2B visa category

Efforts by Senators Cornyn and Hutchinson to increase H-1B visas and immigrant visas for nurses (respectively) were unsuccessful. Accordingly, U.S. employers will remain unable to obtain new H-1B workers until October 2007. Additionally, foreign nationals in the green card process will continue to face lengthy delays in obtaining immigrant visas. Most notably, U.S. hospitals and other healthcare facilities recruiting foreign Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists remain temporarily unable to obtain immigrant visas unless or until Congress authorizes additional immigrant visas for Schedule A workers or eliminates Schedule A workers from the visa quota. Advocacy efforts continue.