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Coronavirus Update: USCIS Waives Certain Visa Restrictions for Certain Rural Foreign Doctors

By May 15, 2020March 29th, 2021COVID-19

USCIS has waived some visa restrictions so that foreign doctors assigned to rural communities can practice telehealth services outside of their approved locations during the COVID 19 pandemic. According to the Association of American Medical College, there are more than 10,000 foreign medical residents are currently in the country on special J-1 and H-1B visas.

This waiver will only apply to foreign doctors in the Conrad 30 program, which allows foreign medical physicians to practice in specific rural communities in the US using non-immigrant H-1B visas. The Conrad 30 waiver program allows J-1 foreign medical graduates to apply for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. The program addresses the shortage of qualified doctors in medically underserved areas.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits a company to hire workers in specialty occupations. There are a limited number of H-1B petitions that USCIS can adjudicate every year (65,000 Regular Cap petitions and additional 20,000 U.S. Advanced Degree Petitions). Every year, more petitions than these congressionally mandated amounts are submitted and therefore, the government has to run an H-1B lottery. The government uses a computer-generated random selection process to select the H-1B petitions. The H-1B lottery for this year has been completed.

You can find key immigration information related to the Corona Virus below

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