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The regulations on H-1B and J-1 Visa causing challenges to Medical Response Required in the US.

The regulations on H-1B and J-1 Visa causing challenges to Medical Response Required in the US.

The team of 40 highly influential law makers and legislators wrote to Ken Cuccinelli, the Acting Director at the USCIS, asking to waive off current restrictions on H-1B and J-1 visas for Doctors and Healthcare professionals, which do not allow the doctors to work in another area or region which is currently overwhelmed with the cases of Coronavirus.

Other than 65000 yearly H-1B visas, which are highly obtained by IT/Tech Workers from various countries, there are other additional visas which are provided to the Doctors and healthcare professionals to work in the US, a majority of them are recorded from India.

These doctors and health care professionals in the US currently from the H-1B and the J-1 categories have restrictions to not work or move to another area, other than what is allowed for them under the visa restrictions or guidelines.

These H-1B visas are also tied up with specific specialities and does not allow them to work in other areas of specialities or change their location. Due to the restriction a lot of healthcare professionals are bound to practise only in undeserving areas and are not able to contribute to the overwhelmed hospitals and quaratine centres in the other hotspots of the US right now. This also includes the physicians under the Conrad 30 program in the US.

The US allows doctors and healthcare professions to enter and study in US for  2 years after which they are suppose to go back to their homes. The Conrad 30 allows these students to stay for 3 more years in the US, but under the agreement that they would have to work on undeserving areas of the US, specially the rural areas which benefits the Indians Doctors to stay back in the US. The term 30 is used, as the program restricts the number of doctors to only 30 per state.

“The current public health crisis requires a robust and timely medical response that begins with getting physicians to the front lines. Health care workers on H-1B and J-1 visas, including physicians in the Conrad State 30 program, which helps retain US-trained physicians who work in underserved areas, are a key resource in this process,” wrote the lawmakers in to the USCIS Director.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic in the US is spreading enormously, the legislators have requested to the USCIS and through the Senators, to waive off the restrictions laid on H-1B and J-1 Visas to allow these doctors be available where they are more required than the areas which do not need their attention right now and hence the law makers have requested the USCIS to make amendments to the guidance issued by USCIS in 2015, stating these foreign workers should be allowed to work in the areas where they are most needed right now, rather than the areas which are restricted to them as per the visa rules signed under form I-129.

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