US should fast-track visa process for Indian doctors: law makers

April 24, 2015
US visa process should be expedited for Indian doctors: law makers

Two prominent US law makers- Congresswoman Grace Meng and Congressman Tom Emmer have put forth a legislation that would request the state department to fast-track the visa approval process for foreign physicians who are put down to work at American hospitals.

At present, international physicians scheduled to serve their residencies at US hospitals are facing long delays to acquire J-1 visas from US Embassies in their nations, especially in India.

In the majority of cases, the delays have made hospitals to withdraw offers from overseas physicians who were been accepted. 

Meng added that the unnecessary delays in visa approval for overseas physicians are causing problem for the doctors and the US hospitals. The approval process must be enhanced so that the doctors can visit the country as planned and offer the medical care that is necessary in many communities across the country.

Emmer stated that since the US hospitals are facing shortage of doctors, the legislation will enhance healthcare access throughout the country by eradicating the constant backlog of J-1 Visas. He added that by enhancing oversight and training at US embassies, they can make sure that the Foreign Service officers have the tools that are required to process each application on time. 

Termed as the Grant Residency for Additional Doctors Act of 2015, Meng and Emmer's bill would necessitate the state secretary to allot a State Department officer to ease the accelerated review of applicants of J-1 visa who are about to travel to the US for medical education. 

The measure would necessitate that the accelerated review is the only responsibility of the officer from March to June as most of the residency programs starts from July. Additionally, the legislation would require Foreign Service authorities at the respective embassies to get training concerned with medical graduates as well as medical graduate programs.

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