Resources on Presidential Proclamation

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.” The Presidential Proclamation modified key components of the President’s March 2017 Executive Order (EO 13780) that suspended the entry of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days. As EO 13780 was not fully implemented until late June, the release of the Proclamation coincided with EO 13780’s 90-day “travel ban” expiration.

We recognize that international medical students and graduates (IMGs) who plan to come to the United States to train as physicians and IMGs who are already in U.S. programs of graduate medical education have questions and concerns about the impact of this Proclamation. ECFMG is working actively with immigration counsel and other organizations in the U.S. medical education community to evaluate the impact, and we are in the process of communicating directly with IMGs that we believe may be affected.

Current information is posted below. We will provide new information as it becomes available via this web page.


Message to: Designated Institutional Officials, Program Directors, and Training Program Liaisons
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
December 8, 2017

Please be advised that, earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for enforcement of President Trump’s September 2017 Presidential Proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” including enforcement of visa restrictions.

As you may recall, ECFMG sent a message on October 3, 2017, detailing key components of the Proclamation. A summary is also provided below.

  1. Sudan: Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to visa restrictions.
  2. Country-Specific Travel Visa Restrictions: The Proclamation’s visa restrictions vary by country; those subject to travel restrictions may be eligible to seek a waiver as described below in item (5). See below for a summary of the restrictions on visas commonly used by physicians:
    • Chad: Nationals of Chad remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Iran: Nationals of Iran remain eligible to apply for J-1 visas; issuance of H-1 B and B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Libya: Nationals of Libya remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • North Korea: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of North Korea is suspended.
    • Somalia: Nationals of Somalia remain eligible to apply for J-1, H-1, and B-1/B-2 visas.
    • Syria: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of Syria suspended.
    • Venezuela: Visa suspensions for Venezuelan nationals limited to certain government officials and their family members.
    • Yemen: Nationals of Yemen remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
Special Note: Nationals of these eight countries who seek to secure a U.S. visa may wish to bring ECFMG’s Fact Sheet for Consular Officials (https://www.ecfmg.org/annc/fact-sheet-consular-officials.pdf) with them to the consular post.
  1. Impact on Current J-1 Physicians: Physicians from the eight countries listed in item (2) who are currently in the United States in J-1 status for participation in a program of graduate medical education (GME) may continue to seek extensions of sponsorship through ECFMG. Eligibility for an extension or renewal of current J-1 status is not impacted.
Special Note: Travel outside of the United States is not recommended for any Syrian national who currently holds J status; eligibility for a new J visa to reenter the United States may be very unlikely.
  1. Exemptions: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including:
    • any dual national when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status
    • any national who held a valid visa or valid entry document as of the Proclamation’s original applicable effective dates of September 24, 2017 (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) or October 16, 2017 (Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela)
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/new-court-orders-on-presidential-proclamation.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG is committed to supporting the well-being of all foreign national physicians in training in the United States and to serving as a resource for teaching hospitals. Please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

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Message to: Designated Institutional Officials, Program Directors, and Training Program Liaisons
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 25, 2017

ECFMG is reaching out to provide you with an update on President Trump’s September 24, 2017 Proclamation that imposed certain visa restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. On October 17, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a court order that certain sections of the Presidential Proclamation were not to be enforced or implemented. In light of this order, visa applicants who are nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are not currently subject to any of the restrictions or limitations outlined in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation. However, the visa suspensions detailed in the Presidential Proclamation for nationals of North Korea and Venezuela took effect as planned on October 18, 2017.

Please see the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html for additional information.

Back to top


Message to: Designated Institutional Officials, Program Directors, and Training Program Liaisons
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 3, 2017

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation titled “Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.” The Presidential Proclamation modified key components of the President’s March 2017 Executive Order (EO 13780) that suspended the entry of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days. As EO 13780 was not fully implemented until late June, the release of the Proclamation coincided with EO 13780’s 90-day “travel ban” expiration.

ECFMG is aware that many of you may have questions with respect to the potential impact of the September 24, 2017 Proclamation on foreign national physicians seeking to enter, or currently participating in, one of your training programs. The following information is offered to highlight key components of the Proclamation and clarify potential issues for foreign national physicians.

  1. General Scope of the Proclamation: The Proclamation outlines travel restrictions for three new countries, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, and lifts restrictions from Sudan. The countries impacted by the Proclamation are, therefore, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen with effective dates as noted below:
    • Sudan: As of 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017, Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to travel restrictions.
    • Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen: For foreign nationals of countries that had been part of EO 13780, all restrictions and limitations imposed by the Proclamation took effect at 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017.
    • Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela: For foreign nationals of these countries, all restrictions and limitations take effect at 12:01am ET on October 18, 2017.
  1. Country Specific Restrictions: Restrictions imposed by the Proclamation are less broad than those imposed by EO 13780. Whereas EO 13780 restricted entry in all visa classifications, the Proclamation’s restrictions are limited and vary by country. See below for impact on non-immigrant visa classifications commonly used by physicians.
    COUNTRY J-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? H-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? B-1/B-2 VISAS SUSPENDED?
    ChadNoNoYes
    IranNoYesYes
    LibyaNoNoYes
    North KoreaYesYesYes
    SomaliaNoNoNo
    SyriaYesYesYes
    VenezuelaNo*No*No*
    YemenNoNoYes

    *Except for certain government officials and their family members.

    Special Notes: a) Those subject to travel restrictions under the Proclamation may be eligible to seek a waiver to the applicable travel suspension as detailed below, and b) nationals of all countries may continue to be subject to increased vetting when applying for U.S. visas per EO 13780.
  1. Impact on Current J-1 Physicians: Physicians from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen who are currently in the United States participating in a program of graduate medical education (GME) in J-1 status may continue to seek extensions of sponsorship through ECFMG. Eligibility for an extension or renewal of current J-1 status is not impacted. The Proclamation outlines travel restrictions only for those seeking a visa to enter or reenter the United States from abroad.
    Special Note: As indicated in the chart above, J-1 visas have been suspended for Syrian nationals. Therefore, travel outside of the United States is not recommended for any Syrian national who currently holds J status. Eligibility for a new J visa to reenter the United States may be very unlikely.
  1. Exemptions: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including, but not limited to:
    • any dual national of a country designated under the Proclamation when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status, as of the relevant effective date of the Proclamation
    • any national who holds a valid visa or valid entry document as of the relevant effective date of the Proclamation
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries in the Proclamation. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver of the applicable visa suspension, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions regarding waivers will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG wants to take this opportunity to again remind you that we are committed to supporting the well-being of all foreign national physicians in training in the United States. Additionally, we strive to be a resource for teaching hospitals. We will provide any updates regarding the September 24, 2017 Proclamation as they become available via our website, Twitter, and Facebook. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

Back to top


Message to: Applicants Planning to Participate in the 2018 Match
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
December 8, 2017

Please be advised that, earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for enforcement of President Trump’s September 2017 Presidential Proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” including enforcement of visa restrictions.

As you may recall, ECFMG sent a message on October 3, 2017, detailing key components of the Proclamation. A summary is also provided below.

  1. Sudan: Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to visa restrictions.
  2. Country-Specific Travel Visa Restrictions: The Proclamation’s visa restrictions vary by country; those subject to travel restrictions may be eligible to seek a waiver as described below in item (4). See below for a summary of the restrictions on visas commonly used by physicians:
    • Chad: Nationals of Chad remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Iran: Nationals of Iran remain eligible to apply for J-1 visas; issuance of H-1 B and B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Libya: Nationals of Libya remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • North Korea: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of North Korea is suspended.
    • Somalia: Nationals of Somalia remain eligible to apply for J-1, H-1, and B-1/B-2 visas.
    • Syria: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of Syria suspended.
    • Venezuela: Visa suspensions for Venezuelan nationals limited to certain government officials and their family members.
    • Yemen: Nationals of Yemen remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
Special Note: Nationals of these eight countries who seek to secure a U.S. visa may wish to bring ECFMG’s Fact Sheet for Consular Officials (https://www.ecfmg.org/annc/fact-sheet-consular-officials.pdf) with them to the consular post.
  1. Exemptions: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including:
    • any dual national when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status
    • any national who held a valid visa or valid entry document as of the Proclamation’s original applicable effective dates of September 24, 2017 (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) or October 16, 2017 (Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela)
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/new-court-orders-on-presidential-proclamation.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG is committed to supporting the well-being of all foreign national physicians in training in the United States and to serving as a resource for teaching hospitals. Please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

Back to top


Message to: Applicants Planning to Participate in the 2018 Match
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 25, 2017

ECFMG is reaching out to provide you with an update on President Trump’s September 24, 2017 Proclamation that imposed certain visa restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. On October 17, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a court order that certain sections of the Presidential Proclamation were not to be enforced or implemented. In light of this order, visa applicants who are nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are not currently subject to any of the restrictions or limitations outlined in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation. However, the visa suspensions detailed in the Presidential Proclamation for nationals of North Korea and Venezuela took effect as planned on October 18, 2017.

Please see the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html for additional information.

Back to top


Message to: Applicants Planning to Participate in the 2018 Match
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 3, 2017

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation titled “Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.” The Presidential Proclamation modified key components of the President’s March 2017 Executive Order (EO 13780) suspending the entry of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days. As EO 13780 was not fully implemented until late June, the release of the Proclamation coincided with EO 13780’s 90-day “travel ban” expiration.

The following provides information about the September 24, 2017 Proclamation that may be relevant to applicants planning to participate in the 2018 Main Residency Match.

  1. General Scope of the Proclamation: The Proclamation outlines travel restrictions for three new countries, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, and lifts restrictions from Sudan. The countries impacted by the Proclamation are, therefore, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen with effective dates as noted below:
    • Sudan: As of 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017, Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to travel restrictions.
    • Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen: For foreign nationals of countries that had been part of EO 13780, all restrictions and limitations imposed by the Proclamation took effect at 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017.
    • Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela: For foreign nationals of these countries, all restrictions and limitations take effect at 12:01am ET on October 18, 2017.
  1. Some Match Applicants Who Are Nationals of the Eight Designated Countries May Be Exempted from the Proclamation: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including, but not limited to:
    • any dual national of a country designated under the Proclamation when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status, as of the relevant effective date of the Proclamation
    • any national who holds a valid visa or entry document as of the relevant effective date of the Proclamation
  1. Match Applicants Who Are Nationals of the Eight Countries and Are Outside of the United States May Be Impacted by the Proclamation: Restrictions imposed by the Proclamation are less broad than those imposed by EO 13780. Whereas EO 13780 restricted entry in all visa classifications, the Proclamation’s restrictions are limited and vary by country. See below for impact on non-immigrant visa classifications commonly used by physicians.
    COUNTRY J-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? H-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? B-1/B-2 VISAS SUSPENDED?
    ChadNoNoYes
    IranNoYesYes
    LibyaNoNoYes
    North KoreaYesYesYes
    SomaliaNoNoNo
    SyriaYesYesYes
    VenezuelaNo*No*No*
    YemenNoNoYes

    *Except for certain government officials and their family members.

    Special Notes: a) Those subject to travel restrictions under the Proclamation may be eligible to seek a waiver to the applicable travel suspension as detailed below, and b) nationals of all countries may continue to be subject to increased vetting when applying for U.S. visas per EO 13780.
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries in the Proclamation. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver of the applicable visa suspension, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions regarding waivers will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG is committed to supporting the well-being of all foreign national physicians seeking to train in the United States. Please know that ECFMG is here as a resource for you. We will provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter, and Facebook. In the meantime, please contact us at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with any questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

Back to top


Message to: Current J-1 Physicians
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
December 8, 2017

Please be advised that, earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for enforcement of President Trump’s September 2017 Presidential Proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” including enforcement of visa restrictions.

As you may recall, ECFMG sent a message on October 3, 2017, detailing key components of the Proclamation. A summary is also provided below.

  1. Sudan: Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to visa restrictions.
  2. Country-Specific Travel Visa Restrictions: The Proclamation’s visa restrictions vary by country; those subject to travel restrictions may be eligible to seek a waiver as described below in item (5). See below for a summary of the restrictions on visas commonly used by physicians:
    • Chad: Nationals of Chad remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Iran: Nationals of Iran remain eligible to apply for J-1 visas; issuance of H-1 B and B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Libya: Nationals of Libya remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • North Korea: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of North Korea is suspended.
    • Somalia: Nationals of Somalia remain eligible to apply for J-1, H-1, and B-1/B-2 visas.
    • Syria: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of Syria suspended.
    • Venezuela: Visa suspensions for Venezuelan nationals limited to certain government officials and their family members.
    • Yemen: Nationals of Yemen remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
Special Note: Nationals of these eight countries who seek to secure a U.S. visa may wish to bring ECFMG’s Fact Sheet for Consular Officials (https://www.ecfmg.org/annc/fact-sheet-consular-officials.pdf) with them to the consular post.
  1. Impact on Current J-1 Physicians: Physicians from the eight countries listed in item (2) who are currently in the United States in J-1 status for participation in a program of graduate medical education (GME) may continue to seek extensions of sponsorship through ECFMG. Eligibility for an extension or renewal of current J-1 status is not impacted.
Special Note: Travel outside of the United States is not recommended for any Syrian national who currently holds J status; eligibility for a new J visa to reenter the United States may be very unlikely.
  1. Exemptions: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including:
    • any dual national when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status
    • any national who held a valid visa or valid entry document as of the Proclamation’s original applicable effective dates of September 24, 2017 (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) or October 16, 2017 (Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela)
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/new-court-orders-on-presidential-proclamation.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG is committed to supporting the well-being of all foreign national physicians in training in the United States and to serving as a resource for teaching hospitals. Please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

Back to top


Message to: Current J-1 Physicians
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 25, 2017

ECFMG is reaching out to provide you with an update on President Trump’s September 24, 2017 Proclamation that imposed certain visa restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. On October 17, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a court order that certain sections of the Presidential Proclamation were not to be enforced or implemented. In light of this order, visa applicants who are nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are not currently subject to any of the restrictions or limitations outlined in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation. However, the visa suspensions detailed in the Presidential Proclamation for nationals of North Korea and Venezuela took effect as planned on October 18, 2017.

Please see the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html for additional information.

Back to top


Message to: Current J-1 Physicians
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 3, 2017

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation titled “Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.” The Presidential Proclamation modified key components of the President’s March 2017 Executive Order (EO 13780) that suspended the entry of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days. As EO 13780 was not fully implemented until late June, the release of the Proclamation coincided with EO 13780’s 90-day “travel ban” expiration.

ECFMG is aware that many of you may have questions with respect to the potential impact of the September 24, 2017 Proclamation on J-1 physicians currently participating in U.S. training programs. The following information is offered to highlight key components of the Proclamation and clarify potential concerns for J-1 physicians.

  1. General Scope of the Proclamation: The Proclamation outlines travel restrictions for three new countries, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, and lifts restrictions from Sudan. The countries impacted by the Proclamation are, therefore, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen with effective dates as noted below:
    • Sudan: As of 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017, Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to travel restrictions.
    • Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen: For foreign nationals of countries that had been part of EO 13780, all restrictions and limitations imposed by the Proclamation took effect at 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017.
    • Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela: For foreign nationals of these countries, all restrictions and limitations take effect at 12:01am ET on October 18, 2017.
  1. Country Specific Restrictions: Restrictions imposed by the Proclamation are less broad than those imposed by EO 13780. Whereas EO 13780 restricted entry in all visa classifications, the Proclamation’s restrictions are limited and vary by country. See below for impact on non-immigrant visa classifications commonly used by physicians.
    COUNTRY J-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? H-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? B-1/B-2 VISAS SUSPENDED?
    ChadNoNoYes
    IranNoYesYes
    LibyaNoNoYes
    North KoreaYesYesYes
    SomaliaNoNoNo
    SyriaYesYesYes
    VenezuelaNo*No*No*
    YemenNoNoYes

    *Except for certain government officials and their family members.

    Special Notes: a) Those subject to travel restrictions under the Proclamation may be eligible to seek a waiver to the applicable travel suspension, and b) nationals of all countries may continue to be subject to increased vetting when applying for U.S. visas per EO 13780.
  1. Impact on Current J-1 Physicians: Physicians from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen who are currently in the United States participating in a program of graduate medical education (GME) in J-1 status may continue to seek extensions of sponsorship through ECFMG. Eligibility for an extension or renewal of current J-1 status is not impacted. The Proclamation outlines travel restrictions only for those seeking a visa to enter or reenter the United States from abroad.
    Special Note: As indicated in the chart above, J-1 visas have been suspended for Syrian nationals. Therefore, travel outside of the United States is not recommended for any Syrian national who currently holds J status. Eligibility for a new J visa to reenter the United States may be very unlikely.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG wants to take this opportunity to again remind you that we are committed to supporting the well-being of all J-1 physicians currently training in the United States. We will provide any updates regarding the September 24, 2017 Proclamation as they become available via our website, Twitter, and Facebook. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

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Message to: USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Examinees
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
December 8, 2017

Please be advised that, earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for enforcement of President Trump’s September 2017 Presidential Proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” including enforcement of visa restrictions.

As you may recall, ECFMG sent a message on October 3, 2017, detailing key components of the Proclamation. A summary is also provided below.

  1. Sudan: Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to visa restrictions.
  2. Country-Specific Travel Visa Restrictions: The Proclamation’s visa restrictions vary by country; those subject to travel restrictions may be eligible to seek a waiver as described below in item (4). See below for a summary of the restrictions on visas commonly used by physicians:
    • Chad: Nationals of Chad remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Iran: Nationals of Iran remain eligible to apply for J-1 visas; issuance of H-1 B and B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • Libya: Nationals of Libya remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
    • North Korea: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of North Korea is suspended.
    • Somalia: Nationals of Somalia remain eligible to apply for J-1, H-1, and B-1/B-2 visas.
    • Syria: Issuance of all immigrant and non-immigrant visas to nationals of Syria suspended.
    • Venezuela: Visa suspensions for Venezuelan nationals limited to certain government officials and their family members.
    • Yemen: Nationals of Yemen remain eligible to apply for J-1 and H-1 B visas; issuance of B-1/B-2 visas is suspended.
Special Note: Nationals of these eight countries who seek to secure a U.S. visa may wish to bring ECFMG’s Fact Sheet for Consular Officials (https://www.ecfmg.org/annc/fact-sheet-consular-officials.pdf) with them to the consular post.
  1. Exemptions: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including:
    • any dual national when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status
    • any national who held a valid visa or valid entry document as of the Proclamation’s original applicable effective dates of September 24, 2017 (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) or October 16, 2017 (Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela)
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/new-court-orders-on-presidential-proclamation.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

ECFMG is committed to supporting the well-being of all foreign national physicians in training in the United States and to serving as a resource for teaching hospitals. Please do not hesitate to contact ECFMG at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with questions.

This communication is merely educational in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

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Message to: USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Examinees
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 25, 2017

ECFMG is reaching out to provide you with an update on President Trump’s September 24, 2017 Proclamation that imposed certain visa restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. On October 17, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a court order that certain sections of the Presidential Proclamation were not to be enforced or implemented. In light of this order, visa applicants who are nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are not currently subject to any of the restrictions or limitations outlined in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation. However, the visa suspensions detailed in the Presidential Proclamation for nationals of North Korea and Venezuela took effect as planned on October 18, 2017.

Please see the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html for additional information.

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Message to: USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Examinees
From: William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer
October 3, 2017

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation titled “Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.” The Presidential Proclamation modified key components of the President’s March 2017 Executive Order (EO 13780) suspending the entry of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days. As EO 13780 was not fully implemented until late June, the release of the Proclamation coincided with EO 13780’s 90-day “travel ban” expiration.

The following outlines general information regarding the September 24, 2017 Proclamation that may be relevant to USMLE Step 2 CS examinees.

  1. General Scope of the Proclamation: The Proclamation outlines travel restrictions for three new countries, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, and lifts restrictions from Sudan. The countries impacted by the Proclamation are, therefore, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen with effective dates as noted below:
    • Sudan: As of 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017, Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to travel restrictions.
    • Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen: For foreign nationals of countries that had been part of EO 13780, all restrictions and limitations imposed by the Proclamation took effect at 3:30pm ET on September 24, 2017.
    • Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela: For foreign nationals of these countries, all restrictions and limitations take effect at 12:01am ET on October 18, 2017.
  1. Some Examinees Who Are Nationals of the Eight Designated Countries May Be Exempted from the Proclamation: The Proclamation exempts several classes of individuals from the visa suspensions, including, but not limited to:
    • any dual national of a country designated under the Proclamation when he/she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
    • any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States
    • any national who is in the United States, regardless of immigration status, as of the relevant effective date of the Proclamation
    • any national who holds a valid visa or entry document as of the relevant effective date of the Proclamation
  1. Examinees Who Are Nationals of the Eight Countries and Are Outside of the United States May Be Impacted by the Proclamation: Restrictions imposed by the Proclamation are less broad than those imposed by EO 13780. Whereas EO 13780 restricted entry in all visa classifications, the Proclamation’s restrictions are limited and vary by country. See below for impact on non-immigrant visa classifications commonly used by physicians.
    COUNTRY J-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? H-1 VISAS SUSPENDED? B-1/B-2 VISAS SUSPENDED?
    ChadNoNoYes
    IranNoYesYes
    LibyaNoNoYes
    North KoreaYesYesYes
    SomaliaNoNoNo
    SyriaYesYesYes
    VenezuelaNo*No*No*
    YemenNoNoYes

    *Except for certain government officials and their family members.

    Special Notes: a) Those subject to travel restrictions under the Proclamation may be eligible to seek a waiver to the applicable travel suspension as detailed below, and b) nationals of all countries may continue to be subject to increased vetting when applying for U.S. visas per EO 13780.
  1. Suspension of Visa Issuance May Be Waived in Some Circumstances: The Proclamation contains a provision by which consular officials may issue visas based on a listed waiver category to nationals of the eight designated countries in the Proclamation. In evaluating eligibility for a waiver of the applicable visa suspension, a consular official must determine that the visa issuance is in the national interest, that the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States, and that denial of the visa would cause undue hardship. Decisions regarding waivers will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html. You are encouraged to review the information at this link.

Please know that ECFMG is here as a resource for you. We will provide updates, as they become available, via our website, Twitter, and Facebook. In the meantime, please contact us at CaseManager@ECFMG.org with any questions.

The information in this e-mail is provided for informational purposes only and should not be understood as providing legal advice. ECFMG encourages individuals who may be affected by this or any other immigration development to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The U.S. Department of State has posted frequently asked questions and answers about the Proclamation on its website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html. We encourage you to review the information at this link.

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