In a bid to stem the burgeoning spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic within its shores, the United States Government is inviting applications from expatriate medical practitioners interested in working in the US.
The government, in a statement published on www.travel.state.gov on Friday, enjoined foreign medical professionals already in the US to consult with their sponsors to extend their programmes.
The US has overtaken China as the global epicenter of the novel COVID-19. According to a CNN report on Thursday, the US has hit a grim watershed as it has overtaken Italy and China as the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases. The US has now seen about 1,195 deaths and the number is rising rapidly. The US has seen an increase of more than 15, 000 cases in one day — a shocking surge that can be explained by both the spread of the virus and increased testing after weeks of shortages — pushing the total number of confirmed cases over 82,000. China, in comparison, has reported 81,285 cases.
According to the letters of the statement, “We encourage medical professionals seeking to work in the United States on a work or exchange visitor, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to reach out to the nearest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.
“For those foreign medical professionals already in the United States:
“J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) may consult with their programme sponsor, ECFMG, to extend their programmes in the United States. Generally, a J-1 program for a foreign medical resident can be extended one year at a time for up to seven years.”
However, the statement noted that the expiry date on someone’s visa did not determine how long an individual could stay in the US.
**** Franca Joseph