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Immigration and passport control at the airport. woman border control officer puts a stamp in the US passport of american citizen. Concept
July 16, 2020

GI societies urge administration to ease physicians’ visa restrictions

A joint-society letter urges the Trump administration to allow all health care professionals and researchers on H-1B and J1 visas entry into the U.S. during the public health emergency.
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With the worsening public health emergency, the Trump administration released a proclamation suspending entry of H-1B and J1 visa holders to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. An exception is in place, allowing health care providers that are treating COVID-19 patients to enter the U.S., but only those considered “mission-critical.”

AGA, along with AASLD, ACG and ASGE, sent a joint letter to the administration urging for clarification in its guidance to allow all health care professionals and researchers to be exempt from the recent proclamation. AGA and more than 100 health care organizations sent a similar letter urging the Trump administration to allow physicians to enter the U.S. to treat patients and ease the burden on the U.S. physician workforce.

Health care professionals across the field play a critical role in advancing delivery of care and conducting innovative research and training the future health care workforce. AGA stands with non-citizen physicians, medical residents and postdoctoral researchers and appreciates the support they provide to our profession and patients.

AGA has also advocated Congress to provide visa flexibilities and employee protections for non-citizen physicians and their families. Here are a few bills we’ve recently endorsed:

  • S. 948/ H.R. 2895, the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Reauthorization Act
  • S. 3599/ H.R. 6788, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act
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