The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) June 26 resumed H-1B premium processing for physicians entering the Conrad 30 program. The announcement follows an April 19 meeting of several higher education leaders, including AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, with Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and other senior leadership.
Under Conrad 30, each state is able to recruit up to 30 physicians from other countries who use J-1 exchange visitor visas for U.S. graduate medical education and agree to practice in underserved communities after training. In a June 23 release, USCIS Acting Director James McCament said, “This program improves health care access for Americans living in underserved areas, and we are pleased to resume premium processing for these petitions.”
USCIS also “plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit” and “will make additional announcements with specific details related to when [they] will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions.”
The AAMC and higher education associations urged USCIS to reconsider the suspension when they announced the 6-month suspension effective April 3, 2017 [see Washington Highlights, March 31].