Effective December 21, 2009, the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Reauthorization Act will sunset. The Nursing Relief for Disadvantage Areas Act (NRDAA) established the H-1C Program in 1999 to reduce the shortage of qualified nurses in health professional shortage areas. The Program was reauthorized until December 20, 2009 under the Nursing Relief for Disadvantage Areas Reauthorization Act of 2005 which became effective in December 20, 2006.
Under the H-1C Program, eligible hospitals filed attestations with the Department of Labor’s, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to support nonimmigrant worker petitions filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Absent further legislative action, Congress has not elected to reinstate the H-1C Program and will no longer accept H-1C Attestations on Form ETA 9081 for foreign nurse positions effective December 21, 2009. The hospitals utilizing the H-1C Program may continue to file applications with the Department of Labor through its other programs including the H-1B Program and the PERM Program, as appropriate.
Please note that nurses still have other visa options, like the H1B visa as well as Permanent Residency.