July 27 Weekly Roundup: A Series of Fortunate Events



The past two weeks have been very refreshing to Filipino nurses, thanks to a string of good news that are relevant to them. For one, the 18-year long battle for Salary Grade 15 was finally approved for Filipino nurses who are working in local government hospitals and institutions. SG 15 is aligned with Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, where nurses must receive salaries ranging from 32,053 – 34,801PhP, an increase from their current SG 11 which is equivalent to 22,316 – 24,391PhP. This increase will not just improve the attractiveness of the profession in the Philippines, but it may also have a positive outcome internationally: Now that Filipino nurses are being paid more in our country, they also have better asking power among employers in other countries.



Next, the United Kingdom government has announced the launch of the Health and Care Visa in August 2020. This visa will be dedicated to overseas nurses and health care professionals who wish to work in the U.K. and will involve a cheaper, quicker and easier application process. It will come with a reduced visa application fee; exemption from the pricey Immigration Health Surcharge; and a shorter lead time for getting a decision.


Things are also looking good for nurses who wish to work in the United States, since the August 2020 priority date for the E.B.-3 immigrant visa has progressed once again. The E.B.-3 visa is the employment-based immigrant visa that most U.S. employers use for the foreign nurses that they hire. The U.S. Immigration issues only a limited number of E.B.-3 visas every year which they manage through chronological order: they basically prioritize petitions that were filed earlier. The date when Immigration receives a petition is called the priority date, and is used as their main reference point when it comes to processing visas chronologically. Therefore, a priority date that’s nearer the current date means that the queue for processing E.B.-3 visas is becoming shorter, and therefore, more Filipino nurses will be able to proceed with the next application step. August 2020’s April 1, 2019 priority date is therefore considered good news because it is nearer the date today, versus July 2020’s April 15, 2018 priority date.



And speaking of the U.S., a U.S.-based client of ours will be holding employer interviews on August 12 – 14, and 19 – 21, 2020. We are looking for Staff Nurses who wish to be employed through a nurse contracting agency that has sent over 1,200 healthcare professionals to the U.S. in the past 28 years. This employer definitely has the tenure and stability that you are looking for because in almost three decades, it has weathered fluctuating lead times, rising immigration issues, and the changing professional and personal lives of its applicants. If you are an NCLEX passer RN with at least 6 months of post-license experience in the adult care area of a tertiary hospital with at least 100 beds, then we encourage you to apply by signing up at https://bit.ly/2Pbva7K or https://tinyurl.com/AbbaUSAAug2020. You may also email your CV and NCLEX pass letter to usa@abba.ph.


Despite all of these good news, more must still be done for Filiipino nurses and the nursing profession. Filipino nurses working in private hospitals also deserve better salaries and the U.K. and U.S. can still work on reducing the cost and effort needed for nurses to work there. Still, progress is better than no progress: Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope for even more fortunate events in the coming days!

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