Washington: An influential US lawmaker today asked the State Department to improve the visa approval process for doctors from India and Pakistan.
In a letter to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, New York Congresswoman Grace Meng said international physicians set to do their residencies at American hospitals have encountered great difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas from their US Embassies, especially those located in India and Pakistan.
The problem has resulted in serious dilemmas for the physicians, and the American hospitals at which they?re set to work, she said. "I am told that in the past years, there have been several instances where undue delays in the issuance of visas resulted in hospitals having to withdraw offers to foreign physicians who had already accepted, effectively preventing these physicians from entering the US at all," Mend wrote.
"I understand that the Department of State has made great strides in recognising the unique time frame that international physicians face as they apply for these visas.
"However, given the high turnover of staff in US Embassies located in India and Pakistan, it is difficult to maintain the institutional knowledge and understanding of this issue needed to adjudicate the visas in the appropriate timeframe," Meng noted.
Meng`s letter has the support of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA).