40k Green Cards For Doctors, Nurses, COVID-19 Brings Cheer

Medical COVID-19 bill will allow doctors & Nurses who file i140 to get Green card faster. Indian backlogs may advance as a ripple effect. H4, L2 EAD not eligible.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  4 May, 20

The new bill by Durbin and Perdue aims to cherry-pick people for giving out Green cards without any country of birth restriction. This may sound absurd to many people who have been in the queue for 10+ years given the long and ugly battle being underway for passing S386.

Suddenly, the doctors who were only ‘high skilled’ yesterday have become extremely important today. The bill has not passed yet but it does show that if you have the ‘will’, you can have the ‘way’. S386 is probably missing the crucial ingredient ‘will’.

This bill is still not approved and has to pass through Senate, House and then president sign.

GC Problems Solved

All these decades-old problems can be solved with one click in this bill with close to zero opposition:

  • Recapturing unused Green card numbers is possible in real life.
  • Ignoring your country of birth can be done if the US needs you.
  • Agreeing that the US does not have enough high skilled Doctors & Nurses and ‘maybe’ other workers.
  • Dependent family members should not be counted towards available GC numbers.
  • You value skills over diversity when you are dying.

Do you understand that everything works on demand and supply? We have not seen any ‘anti-386’ sort of groups yet, claiming that this is Indian Doctors bill aiming to replace US Jobs.

Discrimination Based on Job Profile

Congress is certainly creating another line of discrimination among foreign workers by selectively giving Green cards based on profession, as felt by many stuck in long backlogs.

This bill only aims to recapture 40k green card numbers out of about 200k that have gone unused between 1992 to 2020. If they really wanted to fix problems, they could have asked to use all of them.

The 15k number seems to have been carefully selected based on the Association of American Medical College’s data that says, close to 10,000 medical residents are already in the country on nonimmigrant J-1 visas and H-1B visas. The rest are expected to apply for this GC from outside the US. 

Many people are arguing that how can a congressman decide who needs a Green card more than the other. A doctor is certainly fighting CoronaVirus on the front but there are highly skilled engineers who are working on making the Ventilators, Medicines, and critical Softwares used in Emergency care and surgeries.

Anyways, If everything goes well for this new bill, 15k Physicians and 25k Nurses would get the prized US green card without looking at their national identity. All barriers that have stopped the US government to honor talent for decades will be broken.

Benefits to Indian Backlogs

How many Green Card Spots Can Be Freed by this Doctors Bill for Indians?

My assumptions are that 60% of doctors may be Indians while 90% of nurses would be from the Philippines. Of course, these numbers could be different in reality.

But, for the sake of simple calculations, this is what we can assume and see the effect on Indian backlogs.

Indian Doctors Rough Estimates

Indian DoctorsNumbers
Primary Indian Doctors (60% of 15k GCs)9,000
Dependents (Spouse + Child) (1.4 times the primary)12,600

Indian Nurses Rough Estimates

Indian NursesNumbers
Primary Indian Nurses (10% of 25k GCs)2,500
Dependents (Spouse + Child) (1.4 times the primary)3,500

As per USCIS past i485 data, each primary has about 1.4 dependents including both spouse and kids. This new bill does make sure that the dependents are not counted while using the 40k GC. In normal cases, where the yearly 140k employment-based GCs are distributed, dependents are also counted.

This simply means that about 27,600 Indians may get GC with this bill and will help free up the backlogged queues.

As per rough figures, if we assume that Indians get about 9k GCs including all 3 queues i.e. EB1, EB2, and EB3 out of 140k every year, the new backlogged queues should be shorter by 21,600 people and should advance 3 years quickly.

Does it make sense? Do you have a better calculation? If yes, please share it with us on the forum link given below.

Medical Green Card Bill Summary

Greg Siskind, an immigration attorney has summarized the Medical Green Card bill here.

Here are some of the questions that are collected and answered from various forums:

Will this Doctors GC bill help reduce Indian EB Backlogs?

The Doctors GC bill should help reduce the Indian EB backlogs.

The exact numbers and effects are not available but it should help remove a lot of doctors waiting in Indian and Chinese EB queues should get GC now and free up space.

Will Nurses and physicians who are on H4 and L2 EAD be Benefited?

As far as we know, there is no provision for Doctors and Nurses working on H4 EAD or L2 EAD.

The bill only talks about the primary applicant who’s i140 has been approved to be eligible for the immediate Green card.

It is possible that the H4 EAD and L2 EAD may be added to the bill after it is discussed in Congress. We will update if this happens.

Will Premium Processing be Available?

The bill does ask DHS to process both i140 and i485 GC applications in a premium processing timeline of 15 calendar days and that too without any extra premium fees.

Will Doctors outside USA receive Expedite Processing?

Doctors and Nurses filing for an immigrant visa outside the US will receive a fast response from USCIS and DHS.

Are Dentists Included in COVID-19 Medical GC Bill?

Dentists are not included in the Medical GC Bill yet.

Only physicians (MD) and nurses are allowed who’s i140 have been filed before the date that’s 90 days after the termination of the President’s declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency.

What if 15K GCs run out before NIW Time completion?

Greg says that you are fine even if your 5 year National Interest Waiver term has not finished. You can file an adjustment of status (i485) application the moment 15k green card numbers are available.

If the GC numbers run out before you finish your 5 years, you still have a pending adjustment, says Greg Siskind in his tweet.

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Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

New Questions on Forum

Recent discussion on forum

  1. anonymous50

    This is another ploy by dick Durbin to get sympathy votes and divide S386 supporters.

    He gets maximum contribution by immigration lawyers to keep things broken

  2. anonymous49

    Any other health care professional such as Physical therapist s are included or not?
    Only doctors and nurses not other healthcare providers ??

  3. Anil.Gupta

    At this time, it looks like only Physician Doctors and Nurses are included who are required to help with COVID-19.

    All other physical therapist or healthcare providers are not included.

    I will update if i get more information.


    Hi Anil, kindly take data for nurses from NCLEX website. It will give very close picture. Nclex-RN is mandatory exam to practise nursing in USA.

  5. Amit_Mahajan

    Dear Anil,

    Could you advise, how would India number change, if H4 EAD, L2 visa Nurse and physician are included in this legislation. I know there are thousands of doctors and nurses on EAD, L2 working in USA

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