Border trouble continues for specialized Canadian nurses
The current link between Windsor and Detroit, the Ambassador Bridge, pictured from Windsor, Ont., on Nov., 26, 2010. (CP / Brent Foster)
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 2:02PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 20, 2017 3:57PM EDT
Specialized Canadian nurses working at American hospitals may still experience delays at the border.
Nurses as well as hospitals in the Detroit area were in a panic last week as visa applications for advanced practice nurses and advanced clinical nurse practitioners were being denied.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is working to clear up the confusion.
Lawyer Bob Birach tells CTV Windsor the issue has to do with a different interpretation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“The problem stems from a training issue with customs and border protection officers” says Birach, who is Chair of the association’s Michigan Chapter.
Canadian citizens holding specialized nurses positions in the U.S. have been approved for non-immigrant professional visas under NAFTA for years.
Birach says at least one Canadian nurse who works at Henry Ford Hospital was denied entry on Monday.
"Customs officials are awaiting written instructions for officers before allowing the advanced practise nurses and advanced clinical nurse practitioners to renew their visas," says Birach.
Birach thought the issue was resolved last Friday.
Now he hopes the confusion will be alleviated by this Friday, if not sooner.
Birach adds any nurses who are denied entry into the U.S. can ask to speak to a customs supervisor.