Immigration Laws Hamper Deployment of U.S. Trained Foreign Doctors in COVID-19 Response

Many U.S. physicians are individuals from other countries who pursued their medical degrees and residencies here.   Many continue to practice in the U.S. after completing their education and training by obtaining H-1B visas for skilled professionals.

However, these visas are extremely restrictive, allowing doctors to work only where specified in the visa petitions filed by their employers on the doctors’ behalves. This prevents these doctors from being deployed to hospitals or other settings where they could be needed as part of the public health response to COVID-19, if those hospitals were not specified in their visa petitions.

This article in Bloomberg Law explains the problem, and the need for action to introduce flexibility into the H-1B visa program so that these critically needed doctors can assist where needed without restriction.