WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles, Washington Bureau) – No one knows exactly how many Filipino nurses are working in the United States. But if the state of California is a window to America, then the answer is: a lot.
It is estimated that 20% all the registered nurses in California are Filipino, a considerably large percentage since Filipinos number only 2.3 million (officially 1.2 million) out of a state population of 38 million.
What is the future of Filipino nurses seeking employment in the U.S., given President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy and his campaign against both legal and illegal immigration?
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
First the good news:
The Trump administration, realizing the high demand for nurses in the United States, has not closed to door to extending immigrant visas specifically to Filipinos. As more and more baby boomers age, requiring skilled nursing services in and out of clinics and hospitals, America definitely needs more licensed nurses.
The bad news:
In addition to passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to be able to work in the U.S., Filipino nurses applying for immigrant visas must either prove that they intend to marry a U.S. citizen within six months of their arrival in America or that they are already engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen. (Donald Trump sees this as consistent with his America First policy.)
Acceptable documentation could include email correspondence between the visa applicant nurse and his or her U.S. citizen partner explicitly showing a romantic relationship.
More points will be awarded to nurse applicants who can show an engagement ring received by mail from the U.S. citizen partner.
For now, and until the Trump administration voids same-sex marriage in the U.S., same-sex partner relationships will be recognized in the visa application process.