Public Policy

COVID-19 pandemic amplifies uncertainty for immigrant hospitalists


Reauthorizing the H1-B visa program

SHM has been advocating to improve the H1-B visa system for years, Dr. Patel said, The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support, and the Society is advocating for its passage in the Senate.

Dr. Mihir Patel, a private pilot, and his daughter.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (S. 386) simplifies the employment-based immigration system by removing per-country caps, converting the employment-based immigration system into a “first-come, first serve” system that does not discriminate on country of origin. The act will also help alleviate the decades-long green card and permanent residency application backlogs.

Dr. Patel emphasized the importance of action by Congress to reauthorize the physician visa waiver program and expediting physician permanent residency. “This is a crisis and we are all physicians who are ready to serve, regardless of our country of origin. Please let us help this great nation by giving us freedom from visa restrictions and providing security for our families.

“During wartime, all frontline soldiers are naturalized and given citizenship by presidential mandate; this is more than war and we are not asking for citizenship – but at least give us a green card which we have already satisfied all requirements for. If not now, then when?” he asked.


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