March 27, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Workforce Public Health
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has signaled that it will resume processing of J and H visa applications for medical professionals seeking to enter the United States. DOS had previously suspended routine visa processing for immigrant and non-immigrant visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suspension in visas would have had a serious impact on the 4,200+ foreign national physicians selected in this year’s resident match to participate in U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs beginning July 1.
The addition of these physicians at teaching hospitals across the United States will be critical to meeting the nation’s health care needs and combating the current COVID-19 health care crisis.
Medical professionals with an approved U.S. non-immigrant or immigrant visa petition (I-129, I-140, or similar) or a certificate of eligibility in an approved exchange visitor program (DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, are encouraged to review the website of their nearest embassy or consulate for procedures to request a visa appointment.