AAIM Joins ECFMG Call to Speak Out Against Visa Duration Status Proposed Rule

October 2020—US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, proposed a visa rule change September 25 which aims to change the process for certain nonimmigrant visa holders to extend their period of authorized stay in the United States. One of the visa classifications targeted by the change is the J-1.  This rule will cause significant disruptions to the training of the more than 12,000 J-1 holding visas physicians at almost 750 teaching hospitals across the United States as well as a devastating effect on the critical patient care they provide. The proposed change is unnecessary for J-1 physicians and will not accomplish its stated goal—reducing visa overstays—because J-1 physicians already are tightly monitored by ECFMG.

The public comment period for the proposed rule change runs from September 25 through October 26.  This commentary is critical because agencies must base their conclusion on the rulemaking record, which consists of the comments, data, expert opinions, and facts that were accumulated during the pre-rule and proposed rule stages. They also must conclude that the proposed solution solves the problem initially identified.

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