On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced the DOS is encouraging medical professionals with approved U.S. nonimmigrant or immigrant visa petitions or certificates of eligibility for an approved J-1 exchange program, particularly those willing to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to contact their nearest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.
The announcement suggests that US Embassies and Consulates will expedite the issuance of visas for eligible medical professionals despite the DOS’s suspension on March 20, 2020, of normal visa services for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, the DOS has recommended that foreign medical professionals currently in the U.S. in J-1 status consult with the ECFMG about extending their program length. HSPRD can assist healthcare facilities which sponsor international medical professionals and health care professionals through the process of expediting visa applications at US Embassies and Consulates and applying for admission to the United States at Ports of Entry. We can also provide advice and representation regarding extensions of J-1 exchange visitor status, applications for H-1B status or H-1B extensions, waivers of the J-1 two year foreign residence requirement, and application for lawful permanent residence.