On May 11, 2020, USCIS issued a memorandum introducing temporary policy changes for certain foreign medical graduates. The new policy aims to provide medical graduates with special immigration benefits so that they can continue their critical public service during the covid-19 national public health emergency.
The memo enacts the following temporary policy changes:
- Permits a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement for J-1 medical graduates with the recommendation of an Interested Government Agency (IGA) or through the Conrad State 30 Program.
- Stipulates that a failure to work full-time due to quarantine, illness, travel restrictions, or other consequences of the pandemic will not constitute a failure to fulfill the terms of contract under INA 214(l)(2)(B). Provision is retroactive; effective date begins January 27, 2020 and will extend through the end of the Public Health Emergency.
- Permits telehealth services during the Public Health Emergency effective from the date of policy memo through to the end of the Public Health Emergency.