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ACP Relieved USCIS Will End Delay in Visa Processing for International Medical Graduates

Statement attributable to:
Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (June 11, 2018)—The American College of Physicians (ACP) appreciates that the Trump administration will resume processing H-1B visa applications from international medical graduates (IMGs) that were stalled or denied due to increased scrutiny regarding prevailing wage data. When incoming medical residents are delayed or visas are denied, it is not only disruptive to training programs, but it also impacts patient care as teaching hospitals rely on these medical residents to provide care.

Earlier this month, ACP, along with several other physician groups, sent a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to make them aware that delays in visa processing for non-U.S. IMGs would have a negative impact on patient care. Additionally, ACP appreciates the help of U.S. Representative Ami Bera (D-CA-07), who also wrote a letter to USCIS urging the agency to expedite the review of pending applications to help prevent physician shortages which could jeopardize patient care.

As a physician, I know the devastating impacts that even a short delay can have on the ability of medical residents to complete their training. This decision is a step forward in ensuring that patient care remains a top priority in today’s health care landscape and that non-US IMGs can continue to contribute to U.S. health care service needs.

ACP appreciates the administration’s decision to continue reviewing pending H-1B visa applications from non-U.S. IMGs who have been accepted to post-graduate training programs in order to avoid unnecessary delays and uncertainty affecting their timely entry by July 1. We call on the administration and Congress to continue to embrace policies that foster an inclusive learning environment for IMGs, and ultimately, improve patient care.

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Contact: Julie Hirschhorn, (202) 261-4523 jhirschhorn@acponline.org