Find the best resources that match your interests

Why Is Trump tinkering with the Physician J-1 Visa Immigration Program for GME? With Greg Siskind, J.D.

Osorio md img masterclass
IMG Masterclass
Why Is Trump tinkering with the Physician J-1 Visa Immigration Program for GME? With Greg Siskind, J.D.

Episode # 48: Why Is Trump trying to tinker with the Physician J-1 Visa Immigration Program for GME? With Greg Siskind, J.D. Our guest today is Mr. Greg Siskind, J.D. His previous episode was super popular among our listeners and has reached over 500 downloads and explained how the Physician immigration process works currently for FMGs. He returns to the show to clarify the current state of affairs with proposed immigration modifications that could have direct implications on how physicians in the USA on a J-1 Visa will have to proceed in the future if these changes take place. Mr. Siskind is one of the Founding Partners at Siskind Susser, PC. With his 30+ years of experience in immigration law, he was invited to comment on the most recent publication at the ECFMG website regarding the potential implications of a new law that could change the future for FMGs immigrating to the USA on a J1 visa immigration status.  Siskind Susser PC is one of the leading immigration law firms in North America. Their attorneys have experience handling all aspects of American immigration and nationality law. At Siskind Susser, they are committed to providing quality and efficient service to all their clients. Mr. Siskind and his law firm can be reached at: Here are the SUMMARY POINTS that we clarify in our discussion: The U.S. health care system is facing an unprecedented strain on resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to a growing physician shortage that predates the pandemic. For decades, J-1 physicians have played an essential role in ensuring quality and accessible health care in the United States. J-1 physicians who train in the United States are highly qualified and carefully monitored by ECFMG|FAIMER, the sole visa sponsor for these physicians for nearly 50 years. Our nation’s success in battling the pandemic depends on the continued contributions of J-1 physicians to U.S. health care. That means for us, FMGs to eliminate “duration of status” as an authorized period of stay for certain nonimmigrant visas (F, I, and J). This rule change will have an immediate and devastating impact on U.S. health care during one of the most severe pandemics in our nation’s history. This proposed rule change enters a public comment period, September 25, 2020-October 26, 2020. All stakeholders have the opportunity to submit feedback before ICE makes a final decision on the proposed Rule. Training programs last from one to seven years, depending on the medical specialty or subspecialty. The current duration of status provision allows J-1 physicians to extend their authorized stay in the United States for subsequent years of training to renew their visa sponsorship annually with ECFMG|FAIMER. This rigorous review process confirms their continuing eligibility. The proposed rule change would replace “duration of status” with a specific end date and the additional requirement to apply through the U.S. government each year to extend this end date. The current published processing time for such an extension application ranges from five to 19 months. With most residency/fellowship contracts issued only three to five months in advance of the July 1 start of each new academic year, the proposed change would create an impossible timeline, and do so on a recurring, annual basis. Consequently, thousands of J-1 physicians would be unable to continue in their training programs on July 1 each year. This document has a comment period that ends in 25 days (10/26/2020) Proposed Rule by the Homeland Security Department on 09/25/2020 The Federal Register bulletin published:   “Establishing a Fixed Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media” SUMMARY: In the fiscal year 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the Department) admitted over 2 million foreign nationals into the United States in the F academic student, J exchange visitor, and I representatives of foreign information media nonimmigrant categories. This is a testament to the United States’ exceptional educational institutions, cutting-edge technology, and environment that promotes the exchange of ideas, research, and mutual enrichment. Currently, aliens in the F, J, and I categories are admitted into the United States for the period that they are complying with the terms and conditions of their nonimmigrant category (“duration of status”), rather than admission for a fixed period. This duration of status framework generally lacks predetermined points in time for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration officers to directly evaluate whether F, J, and I nonimmigrants are maintaining their status and poses a challenge to the Department’s ability to monitor and oversee these categories of nonimmigrants effectively. Specifically, because nonimmigrants admitted in the F, J, and I classifications generally do not currently begin to accrue unlawful presence until the day after there is a formal finding of a status violation by USCIS or an immigration judge, they are often can avoid accrual of unlawful presence for purposes of statutory inadmissibility grounds of unlawful presence, in part, because they do not file applications or petitions, such as an extension of stay, that would result in a formal finding. The Department accordingly is concerned about the integrity of the programs and the potential for increased risk to national security. To address these issues, DHS proposes to amend its regulations by changing the admission period of F, J, and I aliens from the duration of status to admission for a fixed time. Admitting individuals in the F, J, and I categories for a fixed time will require all F, J, and I nonimmigrants who wish to remain in the United States beyond their specifically authorized admission period to apply for an extension of stay directly with USCIS or to depart the country and apply for admission with CBP at a port of entry (POE). This change would provide the Department with additional protections and mechanisms to exercise the oversight necessary to vigorously enforce our nation’s immigration laws, protect the integrity of these nonimmigrant programs, and promptly detect national security concerns. In summary, be proactive, comment, and congregate about the issues affecting the FMGs deeply. I hope this message clears the air and calms the fears that were motivated by the most recent post on the ECFMG website! All of you can read the Rule and make click the green button to make a comment. You can read other people’s comments as well. Thanks for listening, Your host, Alonso Osorio, M.D.

Share this Podcast


Leave a Reply

Podcast Host

Chase is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.Dcandidate. He is the Founder and educator at MedEd University, which he began in 2014 to consolidate free educational resources for his classmates. He is the host of the Medical Mnemonist Podcast, creator of several medical education platforms, and is the CEO of FindARotation.

Listen on