Yova Borovska, counsel in the firm's Immigration practice group, is quoted in the Human Resource Executive article, "What the freeze on foreign worker visas means for HR."
Turning to the healthcare industry, arguably the second most-affected industry, Yova Borovska, a healthcare immigration attorney at Buchan Ingersoll & Rooney, says while the executive order provides for certain discretionary exceptions when the entry will be in the “national interest,” it’s uncertain what the process, timeline and standard to apply for such an exception would be.
Borovska has seen firsthand that non-U.S. citizens applying for H-1B visas as medical residents, fellows or physicians are still being denied access into the country even after making “compelling arguments” that they’re planning to assist with COVID-19.
“As the volume of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the U.S.—and should USCIS continue to deny H-1B visas for healthcare workers on the frontlines—hospitals could be facing an upcoming staffing crisis,” Borovska says.
While Borovska says there is no clear way yet to quantify the potential damage, healthcare employers can plan ahead for delays in their new-hire start dates and come up with ways to mitigate this internally by shifting workloads.
“They can also explore alternatives to the suspended categories,” she says. For example, some healthcare workers may, in some cases, qualify under the O-1 category designed for individuals with extraordinary ability.