Visa retrogression can spark panic and induce confusion. It’s as vague as it is final. With so little information available, it’s easy to widen your trust to any person or company that seems knowledgeable. Unfortunately, the chances of being scammed are greater than ever during a retrogression period.
While the aforementioned is true, staying the course is vital. PassportUSA has endured several visa retrogression periods, each one indiscernible from the other. Retrogression does inevitably end. And the people who follow this advice will be the ones in front of the line when it’s time to leave for America. Too many candidates remove themselves by making mistakes, the same mistakes we see during every retrogression period.
The following is a list of 7 common mistakes made during visa retrogression and how to avoid making them:
Mistake No. 1 – Losing Sight of Your Dream.
Staying motivated when your dreams have been placed on hiatus is easier written than practiced. We get that. Live for the moment, but don’t be imprisoned by it. There is life after retrogression. PassportUSA has experienced now three visa retrogression periods. And each time, we hear the same things: “It’s over,” “There’s no use,” and the most popular question, “What’s the point now?”
The point is to ensure you’ve done everything you can on your end, so that when retrogression ends, and it always ends, you’re at the front of the line and ready to resume your journey to the United States.
PassportUSA will recapture your existing EB-3 visa application.
Mistake No.2 – Doing Nothing
Staying with the theme of point No. 1, you must fight the urge to surrender. Beyond the reasons already covered, consider this: there are plenty of nurses in your situation who are counting on you to do nothing. Their chances of reaching America improve the less you do to prepare for your own journey. They don’t just want you to do nothing, some of them need you to do nothing. If your dream is to come to America, you must stay active and ensure you’ve done everything asked by your recruiter.
Did you pass IELTS? Did you pass NCLEX? Have you gained the experience necessary? Retrogression doesn’t make these tasks any less important.
Mistake No. 3 – Letting Clinical Skills Get Rusty
No one can fault you for choosing a job that pays more than nursing. But do everything possible to keep your RN experience current. U.S. hospitals want that recent experience. We aren’t telling you to put life on hold for volunteer experience, but it’s not a bad idea to pick up a day or two volunteering at the nearest hospital. Even if just for a few hours each day, this experience is going to separate you from your competition.
The shortage of licensed medical professionals in America doesn’t end because of retrogression. When priority dates move forward, PassportUSA is ready to provide qualified RNs to hospitals across the country. Ensure you’re one of them by keeping that experience current.
Mistake No. 4 – Signing With A Non-POEA-Licensed Agency
Hey, at the very least, you’ve followed steps 1-3. You clearly haven’t lost your drive, you’re staying active and keeping your experience current. That’s all wonderful. But be very careful. Signing with an agency that isn’t POEA-licensed invites real trouble. Non-POEA-Licensed agencies cause a lot of problems. The news of retrogression is usually so bad, candidates are more than happy to listen to promises that, most often, they know are too good to be true.
Don’t fall into this trap. No matter what a recruiter tells you, if their agency is not licenses by the POEA, you should look elsewhere. Click here for a good resource on illegal recruitment, courtesy of the POEA.
Mistake No. 5 – Paying for Services
Desperate times incite desperate measures. And some people prey on the desperate. News of retrogression hurts, enough that you might be willing to pay for a fix. But there is no fix. No matter what someone tells you, no amount of money is going to affect your priority date. If you are dealing with a new recruiter following news of retrogression, and there’s any mention of upfront money, you should cease business with them immediately.
A quick search of Google will illustrate insane amounts of fraudulent agencies that charge upfront and disappear before delivering. They’re hoping you’re desperate enough to ditch common sense. But you’re not. Stay away from these crooks.
Mistake No.6 – Applying for an H-1B Visa
An H-1B is a legitimate route to the United States, and if you can’t get an EB-3, the H-1B seems like a good alternative, right? Unfortunately, more often than not, this is another opportunity for scammers to prey on the desperate.
The basic requirement to qualify for an H-1B: the job you intend to work in the United States must require a Bachelor’s degree or five years of experience. Of course, nursing in the United States only requires an Associates Degree in most cases. There are some jobs, like management, that demand a Bachelor’s degree. But it is not likely that an international nurse from any country will step directly into a nursing management role.
That’s not to say that international nurses don’t become managers – that happens all the time and they become great nurse leaders! But right away?
If a recruiter is encouraging you to apply for an H-1B visa during a retrogression period, we advise you reconsider. They’re likely sending you on a wild goose chase. They intend to profit on your journey that ultimately leaves you where you started.
Further, the odds of getting a cap H-1B right now is about 25 percent, simply because the number of petitions outpaces the current allotment of 65,000. Don’t be fooled into spending more money towards an implausible solution.
Mistake No. 7 – Walking Away from a Good Agency
We might sound a little selfish here, but we see this all the time. Upset and dejected, candidates will blame their agency for their retrogressed priority dates. We’re human, we thrive on scapegoats. But aim your frustration properly and avoid hurting your chances of working in America when retrogression moves forward.
You chose your agency because you trusted them. They didn’t charge you money, they were honest, upfront and stayed in touch. Why throw this away for measures beyond their control?
Know this about staffing agencies, especially the good ones – they’re frustrated by retrogression too. Retrogression affects them, their hospitals and the patients inside needing your professional medical talents.
It’s important to realize that not all staffing agencies are looking out for you. So when you’ve signed with an agency you feel comfortable with and can trust, stand by them during this time, because you’ll realize once retrogression moves forward and the smoke clears, they’ve stood by you the entire time.
Follow @PassportUSA for more insight on VISA RETROGRESSION and for the latest industry news. PassportUSA is a program of the POEA-licensed Health Carousel Philippines and Health Carousel, LLC. Proud supporter of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (AAIHR).