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jpandmi

Registered Nurse - Being Sponsored, Legit?

29 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

My wife is a registered nurse. We heard about Shedule A waiver for nurses and physiotherapists because of the skills shortage in the US for those two occupations.

We googled and contacted and have now made use of a company named AVANT Healtchare in the US. My wife has signed a contract to work for them once

we get the greencards, which they claim to assist in getting.

We have couriered documents directly to legitimate organisations like http://www.cgfns.org/ and received correspondence.

They pay for writing of the NCLEX (nursing in the US) exam and help getting accreditation with CGFNS (healthcare board in the US?)

 

Anyway, she is doing their (Avant's) courses online, and has not paid any money over, and she has telecons online weekly covering the nursing topics.

They have couriered books to us, and I have seen their offices in Florida on Google street view. There are many videos of theirs on youtube, etc.

So it all seems legit.

 

BUT I have not been able to find an actual nurse that has gone through this process, other than their own testimonials, and some youtube videos that they could have made themselves.

 

So does anyone know any nurse who got her greencard (for herself and family) via this Schedule A - fast tracking for nurses and physiotherapists?

 

I don't think its a scam, but any real life success stories of nurses that now have greencards/ citizneship would be GREATLY appreciated.

Apologies if this isnt in the correct section. Please forward to anyone you think can help/ has useful feedback.

 

This is the only link that is off the USCIS, and not a lawyer's website, and even this is not explicit, just a link to a meeting.

https://www.uscis.gov/outreach/h-1b-schedule-based-visas-nursing-industry

 

 

Thank-you sincerely.

Edited by jpandmi

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Here's some stats on their applications. They have sponsored for green cards, but not many. (19 over 2 years, 2 of which were denied; they filed many more for work visas) The fact that they have only successfully sponsored 17 green cards globally over a 2-year period probably explains why you are having difficulty finding the people who went through the process..

 

http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Sponsor/Avant-Healthcare-Professionals/54656.htm

 

It's also worth reading the notes below the stats on the above site.

 

 

 

This site may be of interest too if you haven't seen it yet - it's an immigration attorney who lists firms that help healthcare workers get green cards. Avant is listed there, as are many others:

 

http://shusterman.com/recruitmentfirms.html

 

 

So no personal experience, but hope those links are helpful!

Edited by SJ27

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Hi SJ27, thanks for the reply. I remember you answering questions I had about a year or so ago (we were selected for the DVLottery, but our number was too high - AF70xxx), hence our looking at other avenues for getting greencards.

The second (shusterman) link is the one I found first and followed to get to Avant, a lot of the other companies did not even reply when I mailed them.

The first link is super interesting and I have never heard of it. Still figuring out how to read the data.

 

It is discouraging that they have only obtained 17 greencards, but at least we know they do get them.

I know you said you have no particular nursing experience, but would you venture an opinion on why they would be issuing H1-B visas at greater numbers than green cards (besides the obvious fact that

its easier to get a work permit than permanent residence), if there is a fast track process for nurses, as set out by the US government? (Schedule A occupations).

 

My wife's contract with Avant makes no mention of an H1-B visa, only a green card, that they are to assist us in getting in exchange for her working for their company for 3 years....

 

Also, any other tips for us getting the greencards would be appreciated.

 

Thanks again for the original reply.

 

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Jpandmi...if your wife takes up employment with the company you mentioned she will enter on an H1B visa and the company will sponsor her green card. The only benefit nurses get is that they are exempt from labor certificate so the company will file straight I-140 & I-485 which means you will get the green card sooner. I would assume she will fall under EB3 so you can follow the visa bulletin once the company actually files the gc petition. Not sure I understood you correctly but seems the company is only willing to sponsor gc after 3 yrs, this means they are looking for a commitment from her for that period of time withholding gc application since exemption from labor certification, she could get gc within a 6 months. May be worth finding an employer on your own without stipulation. Just my 2cents.

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Thanks Jelebi, my understanding from phonecalls with them was that the greencard would be gained before we get there, once a job is secured.

But maybe I misunderstood them. They said, after certification (the step we are in now, with my wife studying for the US nursing exam) plan for about

6 months for consular processing - which I assumed was for the greencard, so that we had it on arrival in the US?

 

But I will have to follow up with them after what you have said.

Thanks again Jelebi.

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If you can actually get the gc before arrival that would be fantastic! I don't know anyone who has accomplished this but I know 3 sa nurses who have studied in usa on F1 then transitioned to an H1B then gc. My only question for you would be, once your wife gets the gc by way you describe, theres nothing stopping her from not following through with the agency and finding a job anywhere, contracts can be null n void at any time.

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I can't add anything specific to what has been said above but just to mention that you cannot get a green card before you enter, by definition - what would happen is that you would get an immigrant visa which, once used, gets you a green card. So maybe the next step for you guys is to get clarification from Avant as to exactly what type of visa they will be sponsoring you for - H1 or an immigrant visa.

 

Unfortunately other than the lottery or investing $500k-$1m, this is probably the best chance you'll have to get a green card anytime soon.

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I just had a quick look at the avant site and I get the same impression as jelebi but - if it all works as they say - in your shoes I'd go for it anyway even if it is an H1 to start with, you're coming over on basically a guaranteed job with a path to a green card mapped out. It's still your best option even if it turns out to not be as quick as you thought (though hopefully it will be of course.h

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Ok, thanks guys, your responses make sense. My main concern was there being a 0.1% chance that this is not a legitimate path to citizenship down the line.

But as they do issue greencards (even if only 19 in 2 years - which makes a little sense, with the amount of hoops we are jumping through to get this), I think they are

a legitimate company. It would still have been nice to hear from any (South African trained) nurse that used ANY company to do their processing and put them on the

path to permanent residence in the US (whether this required an H!-B first or not).

 

I am still unclear on whether they give the greencard immediately ( I know you only get it once there SJ27, but I mean the interview with a consular official done in SA, as we would have the job

offer, and all other requirements up to date (as Avant seem to explain the process), and whether I will be able to work when I get there, or just my wife.

I will hopefully find out with time and more investigation, but at least it SEEMS likely they do put qualified nurses and their families on the path do a life in the US.

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Assuming you have done your due diligence and are comfortable with utilizing this company, it does make good sense to take up the offer. I'm pretty certain your wife will arrive on H1B and you and children under 21 will be her dependents. Being labor certification exempt, the path to GC will be relatively fast, 6 months in sum cases. I guess you need to clarify with the company when they will actually sponsor the GC and make sure it is stipulated in the contract your wife is signing. I am wondering why they want a 3 yr commitment from your wife since technically they could sponsor the GC in the first year and once you get the GC there's really little holding you back from changing employers etc. this is why I thought from your earlier posts that they would sponsor her GC after the 3 yr commitment. it can get very technical but I would definitely get it in writing that they will sponsor the GC down the line, as you mentioned the timeline is not terribly important just the confirmation that it is a path to GC for sure. Good luck and keep us informed, I'm sure others could benefit from your process in the future.

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They probably want a 3 year commitment in writing precisely to stop her jumping jobs as soon as she gets there. This does actually then sound like they'd be LPRs right off the bat.

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There are many legal ways to get out of such contracts but my concern is some employers exploit foreign workers with the promise of filing a gc petition for them but never actually do. This is why I mentioned to get it in writing with specific time frames cos they could potentially only file for them after the 3 yr commitment. I know people who were recruited with the promise of gc petition s and were just exploited and maxed out H1B renewals and had to return to their home countries.

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Jpandmi, did some research on this topic and it looks like you may be correct with your initial understanding. Apparently nurses living outside the usa can do consular processing and obtain a gc, no need to get an H1B visa etc. This is great news, in some ways easier than winning the gc lottery!

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Thanks Jelebi, that is a concern of course, and it makes perfect sense for us to get it in writing - but we have actually asked, and we have emails from them stating

when the green card processing begins (upon completion of certification with the foreign nursing accreditation body - who are the only people allowed to complete the VisaScreen

for reg nurses - Schedule A occupation) - and certification will only be done after writing and passing the NCLEX exam, which at this rate, will be in July (they buy the air ticket and fly my wife there to write it).

So, they will begin processing in August, as an estimate.

 

I really appreciate the feedback and will keep updating this thread with our progress (or lack of) for other SA nurses who would like to pursue this option. The hardest part so far, besides the initial vetting and checking up,

was the admin side from clumsy SA, getting stuff from the nursing council, then TUKS, then UJ (where my wife's degrees are from), so prospective nurses, start looking into that, its tedious.

There is still a tiny chance they could exploit us, and we will keep an eye out, but so far everything makes sense, it would just be icing on the cake if a nurse who followed this path could be found.

 

My thought was that the money we were putting towards getting an investor visa in the next 2-3 years (we looked at that after we knew last year that our DVLottery no would not get reached), we could use a bit to buy out her contract if they ship my wife and I off to Alaska [no offence Alaskans;) ] or something, so I am happy to hear you say there are many ways to get out of the contract. But thats a battle to fight once we have the greencards... Also employment in the beginning would be good anyway - my dad and family moved to Canada in 2014 and he took nearly a year to find a job.

 

Yes SJ27, that is our thinking as well, that the contract is there because we get the greencard up front, which they have said clearly (I had to go through the emails with my wife last night to check that the used the word green card).

I won't get too hopeful, but I am glad you say that you think that we will be LPRs upon arrival, will help me with employment.

 

In the actual contract, they say, "AVANT shall sponsor Employee for an employment-based visa with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, including preparing the application, assisting in the application process, and paying the fees on behalf of the Employee, subject to the conditions set forth herein. Employee will not be responsible for payment for any activity related to obtaining permanent labor certification, including attorney fees paid, in accordance with 20 CFR 656.12. Employee will be responsible for other costs and expenses associated with obtaining the visa, including, but not limited to, costs associated with interviews, medical examinations, photographs, and fingerprints. "

 

So, I had to go learn definitions; greencard can be interchanged with the word immigrant visa, and the EB visas are employment based immigrant visas. But then the H1-b is an employment visa.

I am sure this is obvious to you guys, but I am interpreting the above underlined as sponsorship of an EB visa, and not an H1-b sponsorship. But yes, clarity from them will help. Are medical examinations required for an H1-b? Don't think so, thats why I think its an EB/LPR/Greencard...

 

I have sent an email to them again asking why according to that 'myvisajob' link you sent, SJ27, they do both greencards and H1-b visas, and asked who got the greencards, and when and why only 17, but I won't push too hard now, and rather wait till my wife has passed the NCLEX exam, which is taking up huge amount of stress. We would not like to allocate any more stress to any other facet of emigration right now (we are also waiting for the outcome from the express entry

application for canada, which we also did last year..)

 

SJ

 

Thanks for the feedback, and, I know its getting tedious/ repetitive of me, but any nurse in USA that was trained in SA that went this path, pls give us a shout.

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Hey Jelebi, thanks, just saw your response.

You two sound informed and therefore also skeptical, which is needed when looking at a path to the USA, which has consumed us since 2012.

So it is good to hear you say it looks good once you have read up a bit.

 

Only uncertainty now is why so few greencards issued to this company Avant (a labour broker, hence the 3 year contract), and why there aren't tons of other nurses for me to

contact who have done this process - especially with the long list of companies on the Shusterman website link that SJ27 posted.

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