The AAMC and several medical education and health care organizations sent a letter to Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to oppose a Sept. 25 proposed rule by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would change the period of authorized stay in the United States for certain categories of nonimmigrants by eliminating “duration of status.” The groups urged the acting secretary to exclude medical residents on J-1 visas from the proposed rule.
The letter, led by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), included the American Council on Graduate Medical Education, the National Residency Matching Program®, the American Hospital Association, and the American Medical Association, in addition to the AAMC.
The proposed rule, “Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media,” would replace the long-standing “duration of status” policy with a specific end date for certain nonimmigrant visa categories, including J-1 visas.
The ECFMG sponsors more than 12,000 foreign national physicians in J-1 visa status at nearly 750 teaching hospitals across the United States under the Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program.
“Imposing a date-specific end date for J-1 physicians will not yield better information about this carefully monitored cohort and will result in the considerable disruption of services at teaching hospitals where essential patient care is provided,” the letter said.