US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduces Bill to expedite H-1B Visas to Doctors

US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduces Bill to expedite H-1B Visas to Doctors

“It is gratifying to inform you that the US Senator Roger Wicker from Mississippi (R), in response to AAPI’s request, has introduced a Bill, S.281, in the US Senate with dozens of his colleagues in the Senate,” said Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Co-Chair AAPI Legislative Committee. “AAPI leadership had met Sen. Roger Wicker in April 2018 and urged him to introduce a Bill in the US Senate expediting the H-1B visa process for Physicians of Indian origin, who are waiting for their Green Card for years and decades. We, at AAPI are grateful to Senator Wicker for heeding to our request and introducing the legislation.”

Dr. Naresh Parikh, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), pointed out that in order to meet the growth in demand and shortage of physicians, the US has looked up to the highly trained and qualified physicians from other countries to meet our growing demand for physicians to meet our nation’s healthcare needs. In this context, AAPI has joined other Medical Association in the country in urging the US to expedite and reduce/eliminate the hurdles for speedy process of the applicants seeking H-1B visa. The J-1 visa to qualified physicians, enabling these foreign-trained physicians to serve our nation’s healthcare needs.

“As the rapidly approaching start date for all GME programs, we at AAPI want to urge the US administration to expedite review of pending H-1B/J-1 Visa applications by non-U.S. International Medical Graduates (IMGs), who have been accepted to postgraduate training programs in order to avoid unnecessary delays,” Dr. Naresh Parikh, President of AAPI, had said in August this year, urging the Trump administration to expedite the visa process for physicians.

American Medical Association (AMA) is in full support of such a bill and has highlighted the plight of such physicians who are struck in the green card backlog.

US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduces Bill to expedite H-1B Visas to DoctorsDr. Naresh Parikh, joined by the senior leadership of AAPI, presented a Memorandum to the Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty. While acknowledging that there is a projected increase in the total number of office visits to primary care physicians from a base of 462 million in 2008 to 565 million in 2025, due to aging of the US population as well as the average number of visits to primary care physicians projected to increase, resulting in higher demands and reduced supply of physicians, pointing that the US will be short by more than 90,000 physicians by 2020 and 130,000 physicians by 2025, AAPI leaders urged the Trump administration to expedite the process for Visas to physicians, enabling them to work for the greater health of the people of this adopted land of theirs.

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 co-sponsored by Sen. Wicker amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to: (1) eliminate the per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, and (2) increase the per country numerical limitation for family-based immigrants from 7% to 15% of the total number of family-sponsored visas.

“Indian-Americans constitute less than one percent of the country’s population, but they account for nine percent of the American doctors and physicians,” Dr. Vinod Shah, President of AAPI’s Legislative Committee, pointed out. “The overrepresentation of Indians in these fields (engineering, IT and medicine) is striking – in practical terms, one out of seven doctors is likely to be of Indian Heritage. They provide medical care to over 40 million of US population,” he added.

“We are much grateful for Senator Roger Wicker for his leadership on this issue where our community of high skilled workers may be engineers or Physicians who are serving in under-served regions in the nation, providing outstanding services to millions of Americans,” he added.

 “Senator Roger Wicker not only has introduced this bill, but has become the Champion and our voice in the US Senate. This US bill S 281 will bring fairness for high skilled, specially our young Physician group and so also to I.T engineers across USA. This is a fairness bill, we all welcome,” Dr. Shivangi added. “Thanks to AAPI and AAPI leadership acting promptly on this issue. I feel this a major achievement for AAPi in the Legislative wing. Of course, the work is only half done as bill has to be moved and voted by entire US Senate and the US Congress,” he added.

American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic Medical Association in the nation, representing the interests of over 100,000 physicians, Fellows and Residents in the United States, while working closely with the Lawmakers individually, regionally and nationally through our AAPI Legislative Day on Capitol Hill, have consistently supported a comprehensive immigration reform.

Dr. Parikh lauded the efforts of AAPI’s Legislative Wing, in leading the initiatives of AAPI, in bringing to the forefront the issue of expedited Visa process for physicians from abroad, who want to serve in this country. For more information, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

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