The EB-3 Visa Program: A Strategic Solution for Senior Care Companies Facing Labor Shortages

Introduction

As the demand for Senior Care services continues to grow, Senior Care companies need more labor for entry-level positions. The shortage is particularly acute for roles such as nursing assistants and caregivers.

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) released its 2024 State of the Sector Report​, highlighting a recent survey of 441 nursing home providers.

Ninety-nine percent (99%) of nursing homes currently have open jobs, including eighty-nine percent (89%) who are actively trying to hire for registered nurse (RN) positions.

Ninety-four percent (94%) of facilities say it is difficult to recruit new staff, and sixty-seven percent (67%) cite a need for more interested or qualified candidates as a huge obstacle.[1]

To address this challenge, Senior Care companies are turning to the EB-3 visa program as a strategic solution for recruitment and retention.[2] The EB-3 visa program is designed for skilled, unskilled, or professional foreign workers.

Senior Care companies are leveraging this program to recruit foreign workers to fill entry-level positions facing a labor shortage.

The program allows employers to hire foreign workers for permanent positions in the United States and provides a pathway to permanent residency.

Senior Care companies are facing a significant labor shortage for entry-level positions, particularly for roles such as nursing assistants and caregivers.

The EB-3 visa program allows them to tap into a wider talent pool and fill these positions.

This shortage is caused by an aging population that requires more care and a shift towards home-based care, high turnover rates, historically low wages, and the demanding nature of the job that make these roles less appealing.

According to a recent study, the workforce crisis in home care has led to 89% of providers being forced to deny care.[3]

The program is a cost-effective solution for senior care companies, as it allows them to hire foreign workers who are willing to work for lower wages than their American counterparts.

This is especially helpful for Senior Care companies struggling to keep up with rising labor costs.

It provides a pathway to permanent residency, which helps senior care companies retain their foreign workers in the long term.

This is particularly important for senior care companies that invest heavily in training and development for their employees.

Hiring foreign workers through the EB-3 visa program helps Senior Care companies create a more diverse workforce, which can lead to better cultural understanding and improved patient care.

The EB-3 visa program is also a viable solution for senior care companies struggling with labor shortages for entry-level positions.

There are several reasons why Senior Care companies are incorporating the EB-3 visa program into their long-term recruitment and retention strategies.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Qualified Pool of Workers: The EB-3 visa program targets skilled workers, professionals, and other workers who possess the necessary qualifications for entry-level positions in Senior Care companies.

According to recent U.S. Department of Labor data, the demand for healthcare workers, including those in Senior Care, continues to outpace supply in the United States.

This shortage is particularly acute in roles such as nursing assistants and caregivers. By 2031, there will be a million new home health and personal care aide jobs, and the U.S. does not have enough people to fill these positions.[4]

By utilizing the EB-3 visa program, Senior Care companies can access a broader pool of qualified candidates, including those with relevant experience and training from other countries.

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2. Long-term Solution: Data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) shows that the EB-3 visa program offers a pathway to permanent residency for foreign workers, providing stability and security for employees and employers.

This can lead to reduced turnover rates and lower recruitment costs for Senior Care companies over the long term.

With an aging population driving increased demand for Senior Care services, having a stable workforce through the EB-3 visa program can be essential for meeting ongoing staffing needs.

The nursing industry in the U.S. is currently facing a shortage, and this issue is becoming even more critical.

In the past, nurses who came to the U.S. through workers’ visas played an essential role in supporting the industry.

3. Reduced Turnover: Recent studies in the healthcare industry have highlighted the significant impact of turnover on the quality of care provided to seniors.

According to the National Healthcare Retention & R.N. Staffing Report, turnover rates for nursing assistants and other entry-level positions in healthcare can exceed 50% in some regions.[7]

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the healthcare sector will significantly increase employment opportunities compared to other professions.

It is estimated that healthcare jobs will contribute to about 45% of all new jobs created through 2032.

By offering the opportunity for permanent residency through the EB-3 visa program, Senior Care companies can improve employee retention rates and continuity of care for their clients.

This can result in higher levels of satisfaction among both employees and residents, ultimately enhancing the reputation and success of the company.

4. Flexibility in Hiring: The EB-3 visa program allows Senior Care companies to sponsor foreign workers for a wide range of entry-level positions, including roles such as nursing assistants, caregivers, medical technicians, and more.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the demand for healthcare support occupations, which includes many entry-level positions in Senior Care, is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

The number of healthcare jobs increased by 70,000 in January 2024, compared to an average of 58,000 per month in 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).[8]

By utilizing the EB-3 visa program, companies can address specific labor shortages within their organization and adapt to changing staffing needs as the demand for Senior Care services continues to rise.

5. Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion: Diversity in the healthcare workforce can lead to better patient outcomes and improved quality of care.

By embracing the EB-3 visa program, Senior Care companies can enhance diversity and inclusion within their organization by bringing in workers from different cultural backgrounds and experiences. Recent demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the population of older adults in the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, with growing numbers of seniors from minority and immigrant communities.

Having a diverse workforce that reflects the demographics of the senior population can help Senior Care companies better meet the needs and preferences of their clients, fostering a more inclusive and culturally competent care environment.

The healthcare industry is predicted to keep expanding due to an aging population, an increasing demand for healthcare services, and the necessity to replace retiring workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare-related jobs are expected to overgrow, requiring over 1.8 million additional healthcare workers by 2032.[9]

These reasons highlight how the EB-3 visa program can offer Senior Care companies a strategic solution to address labor shortages for entry-level positions while promoting stability, diversity, and quality of care within their organization.

Final thoughts

The EB-3 visa program offers a solution for Senior Care companies facing a labor shortage.

By recruiting foreign workers for entry-level positions, companies can retain employees for the long term and provide a pathway to permanent residency.

The program provides a diverse and qualified pool of workers, leading to reduced turnover rates and lower recruitment costs.

A stable workforce through the EB-3 visa program can meet staffing needs and ensure the delivery of quality care to patients.

References:

[1] AHCA. “State Of The Sector: Nursing Home Labor Staffing Shortages Persist Despite Unprecedented Efforts To Attract More Staff”. https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/State-Of-The-Sector-Nursing-Home-Staffing-Shortages-Persist-Despite-Unprecedented-Efforts-To-Attract-More-Staff-.aspx

2 USCIS. “Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3”. https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-third-preference-eb-3

3 The VBP Blog. “2024 Home Health Trends – Continued Labor Shortage To Put a Strain on the Industry But Innovative Solutions Can Help”. https://www.thevbpblog.com/2024-home-health-trends-continued-labor-shortage-to-put-a-strain-on-the-industry/

4 Id.

7 Nursing Solutions, Inc. “2024 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report”. https://www.nsinursingsolutions.com/Documents/Library/NSI_National_Health_Care_Retention_Report.pdf

8 Laboure College of Healthcare. “Top 10 In-Demand Healthcare Careers in 2024”. https://www.laboure.edu/blog/top-10-health-careers-2024

9 Jessica Dickenson. “5 High Demand Healthcare Careers Moving Into 2024”. https://www.herzing.edu/blog/5-high-demand-healthcare-careers-moving-2024