How a green card freeze will exacerbate the nursing crisis


The stream of international nurses coming to work in the United States could soon slow to a trickle because of a backlog of green card petitions at the State Department.

The department announced in its May bulletin it moved the cut-off date for visa eligibility to June 1, 2022 — meaning only those who filed petitions before that date will be able to continue with their applications this fiscal year — because of soaring demand. Anyone who filed a green card petition in the past year, which could include thousands of nurses, won’t be able to proceed with their applications.

Health groups say the move could devastate a nursing workforce that is plagued by staffing shortages in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.