Monday, October 17, 2011

The J-1 Visa Waiver Program for Physicians

Physicians from designated countries on the J-1 visa are required to return to their home country to fulfill a two year home residency requirement. Until this requirement is met, the physicians may not change to H-1B visa status or apply to become a legal permanent resident. One waiver for the two year home residency requirement is the “State 30” program. This program provides foreign doctors on the J-1 visa the option of working for three years in an underserved area in lieu of returning home for the two year period. The hospitals are stationed in remote rural areas of the U.S. where there is a shortage of doctors. Once the physician has successfully completed the program, the physician may apply for legal permanent residence.

To qualify, the foreign physician must work for three years in federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA), Medically Underserved Areas/Population (MUA/Ps), or serve population from these underserved areas. Each state has up to thirty spots to fill. The selection process is very competitive as the hospitals seek the best doctors. Physicians that have prevailed through the program and have obtained permanent documentation, often choose to stay in these remote areas because of the extreme need.

For more information on the State 30 program in New York State please see this link.

For more information on specific physician experiences please see this link for a BBC article on the subject.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Free Assistance with Citizenship Application!

CUNY CitizenshipNow! is offering free legal assistance with naturalization applications to those who meet the citizenship requirements on Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 11:00 AM to 2 PM. The event is first come, first serve and is limited to the first 150 people that arrive. Vanesa I. Pagan, along with other experienced lawyers, will be on hand to provide guidance and assist with the application process.

The event will be held at the gymnasium of the Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities Building located at 33-16 108th Street, Corona, NY 11368. The entrance is on 108th Street, between 34th Avenue and Northern Blvd. For further information, please see the official website for Citizenship Now! or call 718-651-1917x 206.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Immigration Judge Suspends Deportation of Same-Sex Spouse

New York-based U.S. Immigration Judge Terry Bain has suspended the deportation of the same-sex spouse of a U.S. citizen pending federal recognition of their marriage.  While Judge Bain's decision does not set a binding precedent for other same-sex couples in similar situations, it is expected that other judges will take note of this case and suspend similar deportations until the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed or its constitutionality determined.  For more information on the Alcota-Ojeda case, as it is known, please click on the link. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Relief for Japanese and Other Nationals from the Pacific Due to Earthquakes and Tsunami

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced relief for Japanese nationals and other nationals from the Pacific that are stranded in the United States due to the devastation caused by the March 11, 2011 earthquakes and tsunamis. Such nationals that have exceeded or are about to exceed their permitted stay in the U.S. are granted an additional 30 days to depart the country.

Japanese nationals and other nationals from the Pacific in need of additional authorized time that are traveling under the Visa Waiver Program should contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the airport or visit the nearest USCIS office.

Japanese nationals and other nationals from the Pacific in need of additional authorized time that are under a nonimmigrant visa should contact an immigration attorney for assistance or visit a local USCIS office with a valid passport, an I-94 card, and itinerary for the cancelled flight or other evidence of being stranded.

The nearest USCIS office may be found through this link to the USCIS Service and Office Locator.

Additional information regarding this relief may be found through this link to the USCIS website.