On July 10, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found unconstitutional on equal-protection grounds a New York State regulation that required health care professionals to be American citizens or permanent residents to secure a professional license. Paidi v. Mills, No.10-4397 (2d Cir. July 10, 2012). The decision allows foreign nationals who are residing legally in this country as nonimmigrants, but who have not been admitted to permanent residence, to obtain a professional license. The Second Circuit found that the regulation's distinction between permanent residents and those foreign nationals in lawful nonimmigrant status was based on alienage and thus could not be justified under the applicable "strict scrutiny" test. The Second Circuit's decision conflicts with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's decision in Van Staden v. St. Martin, 664 F.3d 56 (5th Cir. 2011), where the Fifth Circuit used a "rational basis" approach to uphold a Louisiana statute that required licensed practical nurses to be American citizens or lawful permanent residents.
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Second Circuit strikes citizenship requirements for professional health care licenses
This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorneys in connection with any fact-specific situation under federal law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and your company. © 2019 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
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