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Resources on Executive Order 13769 (issued January 27, 2017)

ECFMG is aware of Executive Order 13769, signed by President Trump on January 27, which limits the entry of certain foreign nationals to the United States. We are following developments related to this order and continue to evaluate its impacts, including the impact on international medical students and graduates (IMGs) who plan to come to the United States to train as physicians and IMGs already in U.S. programs of graduate medical education. As part of this process, ECFMG is working actively with immigration counsel and other organizations in the U.S. medical education community.

We recognize that IMGs have questions and concerns about the impact of this executive order, and we are in the process of communicating directly with IMGs that we believe may be affected.

We also look forward to providing updates via this web page as they become available. Currently, available updates include:

 


Message to: Applicants Participating in the 2017 Match
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer

February 7, 2017

While Executive Order 13769 (EO) may change or expand, the 90-day suspension of the issuance of entry visas to individuals from the seven identified countries remains temporarily stayed as of today, February 7, 2017. If reinstated, it could be lifted permanently in late April or modified at any time. Even as this situation remains dynamic and there are no guarantees, foreign national physicians with newly matched residency contracts should have sufficient time to apply for and secure an appropriate visa status to enter the United States and report to their training programs on time.

Additionally, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) currently indicates that it will continue to “adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin” (see www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-implementation-jan-27-executive-order). Therefore, foreign national physicians who currently hold valid nonimmigrant visa status in the United States (for example, B-1 or F-1) may be eligible to seek a change in status through USCIS to a visa classification that allows for residency training. Feel free to contact eras-support@ecfmg.org with questions.

ECFMG will continue to provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.

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Message to:  Applicants Participating in the 2017 Match
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer

February 3, 2017

ECFMG is following the developing issues related to President Trump’s Executive Order 13769 (EO), issued January 27, 2017, limiting the entry to the United States of foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and foreign nationals who previously visited such countries from March 1, 2011 to present, for a period of 90 days.  We are consulting with immigration counsel and the academic medical education community to evaluate the potential impact on foreign national physicians.

While the EO may change or expand, the 90-day suspension of the issuance of entry visas to individuals from the seven identified countries could be lifted in late April or modified at any time.  While this situation is dynamic and there are no guarantees, foreign national physicians with residency contracts should have sufficient time to apply for and secure an appropriate visa status to enter the United States and report to their training programs on time in late June.  It may be helpful to know that we also have communicated this information to U.S. program directors.

We will provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.  In the meantime, please contact us at eras-support@ecfmg.org if you have any questions.

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Message to:  ECFMG-sponsored J-1 Physicians
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer

February 3, 2017

ECFMG is following the developing issues related to President Trump’s Executive Order 13769 (EO), issued January 27, 2017, limiting the entry to the United States of foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and foreign nationals who previously visited such countries from March 1, 2011 to present, for a period of 90 days.  We are consulting with immigration counsel and the academic medical education community to evaluate the potential impact on ECFMG-sponsored J-1 physicians and their dependent family members in J-2 status.

The EO most clearly limits entry to the U.S. of foreign nationals from or visitors to the identified countries, but also has other ramifications as well.

The U.S. Department of State (DoS) has announced it is suspending the issuance of visas to such foreign nationals, and also announced, effective immediately, provisional revocation of all valid nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas previously issued to such foreign nationals.  A foreign national’s nonimmigrant visa status, such as J-1 or J-2, remains intact notwithstanding such provisional revocation.  Such revocation only impacts the ability to travel internationally and re-enter on a visa that has been provisionally revoked.  Note: DoS has the ability to exempt an individual’s visa application and/or valid visa from the EO on a case-by-case basis, if DoS determines the visa to be in the national interest. Guidance has not been issued for criteria for the national interest exemption.

The EO also requires the implementation of additional screening procedures for “other immigration benefits” that would potentially apply to all foreign nationals, including J-1 visa holders and their dependents.

As we do each year during the annual application process, ECFMG will work with the TPL at your host institution to verify that you will continue full-time participation at an accredited training institution, a requirement to maintain participation in the J-1 visa cultural and exchange program.

For all J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents who are nationals of the seven countries or who have previously visited the seven countries, ECFMG strongly discourages you from any international travel until the current uncertainty regarding visa conditions is resolved.

J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents of all nationalities should seriously weigh the pros and cons of international travel, given the anticipated backlogs in visa interview appointments and other uncertainties involved with traveling internationally at this time.

While we can’t guarantee that there won’t be additional EO implementation measures impacting your ECFMG sponsorship during this time of uncertainty, we will work diligently to process your applications in the coming months.  We also want you to know that we are committed to supporting the well-being of foreign national physicians in training in the United StatesPlease know that ECFMG is here as a resource for you.  We will provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.  In the meantime, please contact the EVSP program at evsp-support@ecfmg.org if we can be of assistance.

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Message to: Designated Institutional Officials (DIOs), Program Directors, and Training Program Liaisons (TPLs)
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer

February 7, 2017

ECFMG is providing you with an update on our ongoing efforts to support J-1 physicians from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who may be impacted by the January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO) temporarily suspending immigrant and nonimmigrant entry for individuals from those countries. This additional information is related to: (a) individuals who currently are sponsored under ECFMG’s J-1 program; and (b) applicants participating in the 2017 Match.

Currently Sponsored J-1 Physicians:

While the EO may change or expand, at this time it does not preclude ECFMG from processing renewal applications and extending the valid visa status for currently sponsored J-1 physicians. Therefore, ECFMG is reminding you that we are currently accepting and reviewing applications initiated by TPLs for J-1 physicians continuing full-time participation in an approved training program for the 2017/2018 academic year. We encourage all host institutions to work with their J-1-sponsored physicians associated with impacted countries to renew their sponsorship as soon as possible.

Renewal applications must be initiated by your institution’s TPL as outlined at http://www.ecfmg.org/evsp/application-online.html. As always, please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG’s Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) at evsp-support@ecfmg.org with questions.

Applicants Participating in the 2017 Match:

While the EO may change or expand, the 90-day suspension of the issuance of entry visas to individuals from the seven identified countries remains temporarily stayed as of today, February 7, 2017. If reinstated, it could be permanently lifted in late April or modified at any time. While this situation is dynamic and there are no guarantees, foreign national physicians with residency contracts should have sufficient time to apply for and secure an appropriate visa status to enter the United States and report to their training programs on time in late June.

Additionally, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) currently indicates that it will continue to “adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin” (see www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-implementation-jan-27-executive-order). Therefore, foreign national physicians who currently hold valid nonimmigrant visa status in the United States (for example, B-1 or F-1) may be eligible to seek a change in status through USCIS to a visa classification that allows for residency training. Feel free to contact eras-support@ecfmg.org with questions.

ECFMG will continue to provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.

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Message to:  Designated Institutional Officials (DIOs), Program Directors, and Training Program Liaisons (TPLs)
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer

February 3, 2017

ECFMG is following the developing issues related to President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) limiting the entry to the United States of foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days.  We are consulting with immigration counsel and the academic medical education community to evaluate the potential impact on foreign national physicians.  We would like to provide you with additional information related to: (a) individuals that currently are sponsored under the J-1 Program; and (b) applicants participating in the 2017 Match.

ECFMG-sponsored J-1 Physicians:

Sponsorship Renewal
It is important to note that the EO limits issuance of visas to individuals from the identified countries. While the EO may change or expand, at this time it does not appear to preclude ECFMG from processing renewal applications for currently sponsored J-1 physicians.  ECFMG will still accept and process applications initiated by TPLs for J-1 physicians continuing full-time participation in one of your approved training programs. It is important to note that the entry visa does not need to be renewed during the primary training period.

Travel
For J-1 physicians (and their dependents) from these seven countries or who have visited these seven countries, ECFMG strongly discourages travel outside of the United States at this time, including for those individuals with valid, unexpired visa stamps.  This is due to the limitation of nonimmigrant and immigrant entry by such foreign nationals, as well as the provisional revocation of visas previously issued to foreign nationals of the seven countries.

For J-1 physicians (and their dependents) of all nationalities, ECFMG recommends that they seriously weigh the pros and cons of international travel and plan ahead for such travel, given the anticipated backlogs in visa interview appointments and other uncertainties.

Support
We recognize that the EO is a source of serious concern and we encourage you to contact the physicians impacted to ensure their health and well-being.  Please note that ECFMG is available as a resource for you and your J-1 physicians.

Applicants Participating in the 2017 Match:

The 90-day suspension of the issuance of entry visas to individuals from the seven identified countries could be lifted in late April or modified at any time.  While this situation is dynamic and there are no guarantees, foreign national physicians with residency contracts could have sufficient time to apply for and secure an appropriate visa status to enter the United States and report to their training programs on time in late June.

We will provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.  In the meantime, please contact us at evsp-support@ecfmg.org if you have any questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

February 4, 2017

ECFMG provides the following FAQs to support applicants. If you have other questions, please contact us by sending an e-mail to info@ecfmg.org or calling us at (215) 386-5900, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States, Monday through Friday.

These FAQs are provided for informational purposes and should not be understood as providing legal advice. ECFMG recommends that you consult legal counsel if you seek advice about your immigration status.

ECFMG Certification

Q. I am a national from or have visited (from March 1, 2011 to present) one of the seven listed countries. Will ECFMG still process my Application for ECFMG Certification, USMLE® applications (including Form 186 signed in my country), and/or accept verification of my credentials from my medical school?
A. Yes, subject to other potentially applicable regulations (e.g. OFAC restrictions), ECFMG can still provide its services to you, as the executive order pertains to entry to the United States.

Q. Can I become ECFMG certified without coming to the United States?
A. In order to become ECFMG certified, applicants must, among other requirements, take and pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS as well as meet ECFMG’s current medical education credential requirements. The medical education credentials requirements for Certification can be completed without the applicant being physically present in the United States. While USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK can be taken outside of the United States, applicants must travel to the United States in order to take USMLE Step 2 CS. If you have already passed USMLE Step 2 CS, you may become ECFMG certified when you satisfy all of the other conditions without being present in the United States.

United States Medical Licensing Examinations

Q. I am a national from or have visited (from March 1, 2011 to present) one of the seven listed countries. Will I be able to travel to the United States to take my exams?
A. ECFMG’s understanding of the executive order is that nationals of the seven listed countries may not be permitted to enter the United States for 90 days from the issuance of the executive order on January 27, 2017. Therefore, if your exam is scheduled in the United States during that time, you may not be granted entry to the United States.

Q. I am a national from or have visited (from March 1, 2011 to present) one of the seven listed countries and I was not permitted to travel to the United States to take USMLE Step 2 CS examination(s). How can ECFMG help?
A. ECFMG is committed to supporting those individuals who have been impacted by the executive order. You should contact ECFMG directly by sending an e-mail to info@ecfmg.org or calling us at (215) 386-5900. We will work with you to seek a solution in the event that you have not been/will not be granted entry into the United States.

Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program

Q. I am from or have visited (from March 1, 2011 to present) one of the seven listed countries. Am I eligible to apply for an extension of my J-1 status through ECFMG?
A. While ECFMG cannot guarantee or prevent particular outcomes or developments, ECFMG continues to work diligently to process sponsorship applications for the 2017/2018 academic year. As a reminder, J-1 physicians in valid visa status (documented by a valid Form DS-2019 and Form I-94) may hold an expired entry visa and still legally remain in the United States. However, see below cautionary note regarding international travel during this period.

Q. I am currently in the United States with J-1 status and am from or have visited (from March 1, 2011 to present) one of the seven listed countries. Can I travel outside of the United States?
A. For all J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents who are either nationals of the seven listed countries or who have previously visited one or more of the seven countries, ECFMG strongly discourages you from any international travel until the current uncertainty regarding visa conditions is resolved.

J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents of all nationalities should seriously weigh the pros and cons of any international travel, given the anticipated backlogs in visa interview appointments and other uncertainties involved with traveling internationally at this time.

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