Two lawmakers in the United States have introduced a legislation to simplify visa procedure and reduce process duration for Indian and Pakistani doctors coming to the US. Currently, US has 6 Indian and 8 Pakistani doctors per 10,000 and in total has 24 doctors for every 10,000 people in the country.
Under the GRAD Act (Grant Residency for Additional Doctors), the lawmakers US Representative Grace Meng (Democrat) and Tom Emmer (Republican) moved the bill last week for speeding up of visa approval for doctors from India and Pakistan.
Both the lawmakers have mentioned that the embassies in these countries are taking a longer time to issue J-1 visas and therefore a shortage of physicians in the US. The two Asian countries are mentioned as catchment countries.
J-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa that is also issued to physicians allowing them to work in the US medical residency programs. This visa usually leads to green card and then to US citizenship.
The Times of India reported US Representative Grace Meng saying, “This (current) ineffective approval process must be improved so that these doctors can enter the US as planned, and provide the critical medical care needed in many communities throughout the country. Not resolving this dilemma would be extremely unfair to all and a disservice to the millions of Americans who seek treatment from these hospitals, especially in areas where there is a shortage of doctors.”
That said, the bill moved by the lawmakers would require US Secretary of State to assign an officer/employee to speed up review of J-1 visa applications and issuance of visas for medical education and training purposes. Thus making it easier for more Indian doctors to move to the US within a short period of time.
Source: The Times of India
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