MANILA, Philippines – Local manpower industry leaders warned Filipino nurses seeking to land a job in the United States not to be easily swayed by claims that the US market for nurses has opened up again.
Lito Soriano, executive director of the Federated Associations of Manpower Exporters, Inc., (Fame) also dismissed as false and misleading claims that the lengthy period for the entry of Filipino nurses to the US has been shortened.
Soriano suggested that nurses who want to work abroad immediately and have at least two years experience in 100-200 bed hospitals in various fields better turn their sights on Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries as it takes only 30 days to leave for these jobsites after selection.
He said the proposal of the Ombudsman for the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to speed up the processing of Filipino nurses' applications for green cards should not be a cause for excitement.
“The recommendations made by the Ombudsman to the USCIS are merely proposals for improving the processing of nurse visas and not immediately executory," Soriano said in a statement on Friday.
Among the Ombudsman’s recommendations is that USCIS prioritize the nurses’ green card application so that they can be expedited without the requirement of a written request from the applicant.
The recommendation also sought to assign all applications to one immigration service center, ensuring a more efficient and consistent processing of applications.
Soriano said these recommendations will have to be adopted by the USCIS through lengthy procedures like hearings and consultations with the government and private nursing sectors in the United States.
Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani also disputed the claim by a US-based recruitment agency with a local counterpart that the long wait is over for the 500 nurses they have recruited and that they will soon be flying to the US to work.
Geslani did not name the agency, saying only that many of the nurses it recruited in the past were known to have resigned because of its failure to comply with the provisions of the contract signed in the Philippines.
Geslani likewise disputed claims that the US nurses market was opening up. Citing statistics, he said the number of Filipino nurses deployed to the United States has been dropping steadily. In 373 deployed in 2004, 209 in 2005, 202 in 2006, and 186 in 2007. - GMANews.TV