WFOT Occupational Therapy International Day 2009

Good news for occupational therapists around the world!

The World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) celebrates 50 years of collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) on October 27, 2009: WFOT Occupational Therapy International Day. The WFOT website at www.wfot.org has released a document on suggested activities to jumpstart or promote Occupational Therapy Programs in your region. Click here to view this document.

Let us celebrate life to the fullest!

New U.S. Visa Bulletin for October 2009

After 6 months of unavailable visa priority dates for EB-3 status for H1-B conversion to permanent residence status, some good news is here. In April 2009, the significant backlog in the processing of permanent residence applications for this category has caused visa priority dates to backslide from May 2005 to March 2003 and visa priority numbers were unavailable since then. On September 9, the U.S. Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for October 2009 with new priority cut-off dates for all immigration categories. This means that greencard numbers numbers are available again. The bad news is the priority dates backslides further back to June 1, 2002 for EB-3 category. For those who are waiting for their priority numbers to become current, check your priority dates and find where you are in the process. It may still be a long wait, but we are all already in line. Let us continue living the good life. God bless us all.

Click here to view the official document released by U.S. Department of State.

Filing the Visa Screen Certificate for Foreign-Trained Occupational Therapists in the United States

This news is for foreign-trained Occupational Therapists in the United States who are working on converting their H1-B visas (work visa) to permanent resident status (greencard).

According to Immspec.com (U.S. Immigration Forms Processing Service for Foreign Nurses and Pharmacists), a company that describes itself as “an in-house immigration administration support specialist”, the Visa Screening program is described as follows:

Visa screening program verifies that the education of an alien healthcare worker seeking job in the United States is equivalent to that of his/her US educated counter part

An overview of visa screen certification:

U.S. immigration law now requires that healthcare professionals (except physicians) qualified outside the United States complete a screening program in order to qualify for certain US working visas. VisaScreen™, also known as Visa Credentials Assessment, enables healthcare workers to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure compliance with the government’s minimum eligibility standards.

VisaScreen™ program is administrated by the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP), which is a division of CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools). Candidates who successfully complete this program receive a VisaScreen™ Certificate. This certification authenticates that the foreign national’s education, license, training, and experience are comparable to that of a US healthcare professional.

Visa screen certificate can be presented to a consulate office, or in the case of Adjustment of Status, the Attorney General, as part of application process of an occupational visa. The visa screening program normally involves licensure verification, educational credentialing, English language proficiency testing (TOEFL, TSE, TWE), and a predictive exam (CGFNS Certificate).

The healthcare professionals who are required to obtain a VisaScreen™ Certificate before they can get an immigrant visa or permanent residence (“green card”) include occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, medical technicians (or clinical laboratory technicians), medical technologists (or clinical laboratory scientists), and physician assistants. With respect to the green card process, the VisaScreen Certificate is not required for an employer to file an I-140 immigrant petition on behalf of a foreign national to sponsor them for lawful permanent residence (i.e. green card). However, once the I-140 immigrant petition is approved, the beneficiary and foreign national must obtain the VisaScreen Certificate before they can be issued an immigrant visa.

Continue reading Filing the Visa Screen Certificate for Foreign-Trained Occupational Therapists in the United States

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