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Immigration Bill Lowers Hurdles for Foreign-Born Docs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 10, 2013

The proposed law would also do away with an impractical requirement that the physician begin working within 90 days of receiving the J waiver. Instead, the proposed law would require physicians to start working in 90 days only after the latter of the following three dates: 1) After the J waiver is approved; 2) After completion of graduate medical education or training; or 3) After receiving nonimmigrant status or an Employment Authorization Document.

Proposed Changes to H-1Bs and Green Cards

When a physician completes his or her residency/fellowship in cap-exempt H-1B status, and an employer has submitted a cap-subject H-1B petition on his behalf, his H-1B status would automatically be extended to Oct. 1st so that the physician does not become out-of-status or unemployable between July and October. However, if the physician's H-1B petition is rejected, denied or revoked, his or her status and employment authorization would terminate after 30 days, Shusterman said.

Physicians who qualify for National Interest Waivers by completing the five-year service requirement in a medically-underserved area or for the Veterans Administration would be granted green cards without regard to numerical limitations. This would occur whether a physician completed the five-year requirement before or after the enactment of the (Comprehensive Immigration Reform) bill.

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