POLICY CHANGES FOR FOREIGN MEDICAL WORKERS DURING COVID-19
USCIS issued policy changes regarding H-1B foreign medical graduates who are unable to complete certain requirements due to COVID-19. Foreign medical graduates who currently hold an H-1B visa are required to work full time (no less than 40 hours per week) with a health facility or organization in order to stay within contract of their H-1B classification.
Because of this pandemic, many H-1B foreign medical graduates are temporarily unable to fulfill their full-time requirement due to being quarantined, illness, travel restrictions, or other consequences of COVID-19. USCIS announced that failure to work full-time will not be considered a failure to fulfill the terms of the contract for H-1B and will not cause future complications for receiving immigration benefits. This temporary policy change will also not affect the petitioning employer’s responsibilities under the H-1B regulations.
In regard to whether foreign medical graduates may provide telehealth services, DHS and the Department of State have kept silent. Because of this silence, USCIS has decided to interpret the regulations by providing flexibility to foreign medical graduates during this Public Health Emergency.
USCIS will allow foreign medical graduates, who are employed by an Interested Government Agency or a Conrad State 30 program, to provide telehealth services during the Public Health Emergency.
These policy changes are effective through the end of the Public Health Emergency.
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