Update Apr 15, 2020: State department has clarified that doctors with an already approved work petition like an H1B or L visa will be allowed to apply for an emergency visa appointments at the US embassy.
If you are outside the US with an approved i140 and your GC priority date is current, you are also eligible for a fast track US visa.
Earlier, One of our guests reported that they called Hyderabad US embassy and the number is going on a standard automated response system. There is no email available either.
Nobody knows how US embassy can be contacted after this announcement.
USA Request Medical Workers to Apply H, J visa
USA has requested all medical professionals around the world to contact the nearest US embassy and apply for an H or J visa.
The medical worker might be given an emergency interview appointments at the US embassy even though almost all of them are currently closed.
Many doctors from all over the world come to the USA using the high skilled H1B work visa program. Others use J-1 Alien physician visa. Most nurses come from the Philippines.
There are no clear instructions on how to contact the embassy but the best way is to use the individual embassy’s email.
Find your nearest US embassy here. If email is not available, then call on the official number. Calling is offcourse cumbersome as US embassy may receive hundreds of useless calls too and it will be difficult to filter out the genuine applicant.
We suggest to include this information in your email (if there is any):
- Your Education Degree Transcript
- Your Medical work Experience Documents like Past or current employment letters
- Any past of current US visa stamps in the passport. Include all past US visa stamps, if any. If you already had any US visa, you can expect to get faster processing.
Medical Workers Currently in USA
Travel.state website has recommended J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) to consult their program sponsor, ECFMG, to extend their programs in the United States.
Generally, a J-1 program for a foreign medical resident can be extended one year at a time for up to seven years.
Has USCIS Announced Expedited Processing For H1B Doctors?
At the time of writing this article, USCIS has not announced anything for doctors and medical professionals already working in the US.
Many attorneys have been asking USCIS to announce an interim automatic extension and a waiver for working from their LCA approved location. Physicians are not able to treat Corovirus patients in rural America at locations other than what their visa is approved for.
Today (Mar 26, 2020), the US has surpassed China in the total number of Coronavirus cases. State department has probably taken the number into account and hence is trying to call Doctors from other countries.
The action is appreciable but the timing is certainly delayed.
We hope that USCIS also announces something concrete with respect to legal visa worker’s extensions to control the COVID-19 pandemic.