New legislation has been introduced in the United States Senate to grant unused immigrant visas to foreign healthcare professionals to help fight the coronavirus.

The Senate bill would authorize up to 25,000 immigrant visas for foreign nurses and up to 15,000 for foreign doctors. The legislation would also allow the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to channel immigrant visas away from unused family-based applicants to the families of healthcare workers.

The United States allocates up to 160,000 employment-based immigrant visas annually, but not all of these immigrant visas are used. As a result, there is an excess of 200,000 unused immigrant visas that have been accumulated over the past 30 years and the legislation that has been introduced would allow the U.S. government to issue those visas to foreign doctors and nurses.

According to Senator Richard Durban, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, one-sixth of the U.S. healthcare workforce is foreign born and immigrant doctors and nurses have played a crucial role in containing the coronavirus. As such, the bipartisan legislation will strengthen the U.S. healthcare system at a time when the nation needs as much help as possible.

For more information on obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa for applicants located in Asia, contact us today at and speak with one of our U.S. immigration lawyers in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.