New U.S rules for Canadian staff
WASHINGTON — Canadian health care workers have until July 26, 2004 to complete new visa requirements for working in U.S. hospitals.
Citizenship and Immigration Services extended the limit by one year. After lobbying by state politicians and hospital administrators who were worried they would be short of nurses and others who routinely commute across the border.
Under new rules passed last September, foreign nationals working in health care had to obtain a certificate stating they have education, training and experience comparable to the requirements for American workers, prove that they are proficient in English, write and pass a U.S. examination.
The new rules apply to registered nurses, medical lab technicians, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, speech audiologists and physician assistants. It doesn’t apply to physicians.
The same extension was also granted to Mexican health care workers, who, like Canadians, have been working in the United States for years under a NAFTA provision.
The American Hospital Association estimates up to 15,000 Canadian health care workers are employed in the U.S.A.
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