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Aug 09, 2011
“As a member of Congress and immigration attorney, Congresswoman Lofgren has seen firsthand the challenges and opportunities our immigration system presents,” said AAPI president Dr. Sunita Kanumury. “The J-1 visa program has enabled physicians to remain legally in the United States, practice medicine in medically underserved areas and contribute to their local communities,” said Kanumury.“This bill is about increasing access to health care for underserved Americans,” noted Congresswoman Lofgren. “We have a shortage of qualified medical professionals in this country, and this bill will help attract doctors who have received their medical training in the U.S. to work in areas that desperately need doctors,” said Lofgren.Under the J-1 visa program rules, physicians from India who receive graduate medical education or training in the United States must return to their home country for two years before applying for readmission into the United States. Under the J-1 visa waiver program, qualified physicians can have the two-year requirement waived in exchange for working in a medically underserved area for three years.“By introducing legislation to make the J-1 visa program permanent, Congresswoman Lofgren has shown great leadership on a vital issue dealing with our health care delivery system,” said Dr. Kanumury. “We look forward to continuing our work in the area of immigration reform with her and commend the Congresswoman for her leadership and assistance on this issue,” concluded Kanumury.