AMA Action On H-1B Visa Applications

Earlier this month, the AMA sent a letter to the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urging the agency to expedite review of pending H-1B visa applications by non-U.S. international medical graduates (IMGs) who have accepted positions in U.S. Graduate Medical Education programs, which begin on or before July 1. The AMA is hearing reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Academic Engagement is working closely with the USCIS to quickly resolve each of the remaining cases of medical residents applying for H-1B visas using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Survey of Resident/Fellow Stipends and Benefits Report. The AMA is optimistic this resolution will allow medical residents to start programs on time without any additional disruption.

Although it is the AMA’s understanding there will be no formal public announcement released by DHS or USCIS, clarifying guidance has been issued internally for USCIS staff conducting reviews. Pending petitions will be processed and allow the use of AAMC data for prevailing wage determination. Any program that received Requests for Evidence (RFE) regarding prevailing wage may respond to USCIS indicating that clarifying guidance has been issued within USCIS and additional evidence is not necessary. In addition, the AMA has heard reports of approvals for applications that were previously denied without any new action from the petitioner.

The AMA will continue to work with AAMC and the administration to resolve any ongoing issues. Should you have any questions or continue to encounter issues related to receipt of an RFE, please contact Margaret Garikes, AMA Vice President for Federal Affairs, at margaret.garikes@ama-assn.org or by calling 202-789-7409.

 
 

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