Recently, a decision in a landmark case out of Texas was handed down that greatly affects the membership of AAPI as well those young doctors in India wanting to come to the United States of America and who would be a part of AAPI’s future.
I report with great pleasure that the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), disagreed with Texas Service Centre (TSC) and ruled that a M.B.B.S degree from India does indeed equate to an U.S. M.D. degree The ruling states that the beneficiary (M.B.B.S from Pune University) met the requirements of the labor certification, (Second Preference), specifically a foreign equivalent to a US medical degree. This recent decision overruled an earlier negative ruling at the lower level involving Norman Regional Hospital.
Prior to this ruling M.B.B.S. doctors, like you and me could only apply under the Third preference (EB 3) which equated us with “aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers, and others with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.”. Yes we were classified as ‘Skilled workers”. Our Medical degree in India was not recognized.
Under the Second preference (EB2) we are now classified as “aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.”
This means, that we the physicians with M.B.B.S degrees from India, can now legally claim our medical degree from India, being equivalent to a U.S. M.D. degree. Those of us who need a immigrant visa can now qualify for Employment Based Second Preference (EB 2), reserved for persons with U.S. advanced degree or foreign equivalent. The second Preference (EB-2) has a better and faster chance of receiving a Visa as compared to the Third preference (EB- 3).
This ruling finally recognizes fellow members of AAPI at least by the Department of Immigration as being “Medical Doctors” in the true sense of the word. This takes us back to one of the prime reasons for forming AAPI, 28 years ago, that we stand for our rights and be recognized as trained medical professionals who can serve the community with respect and honor.
Yes, we do have a few more hurdles to cross but if we are united and not forget our goals we can achieve them. For this we might need a change in ourselves and a grass root active participation.
I will continue to monitor this ruling on behalf of our young graduates from India and make sure that this ruling is enforced.
My objective is to keep you abreast of information with material impact on our membership that would be related to employment, medical practice, regulatory compliance, and licensing. If our members are financially strong, only then will we be able to affect “change” within and outside of AAPI to have a significant impact throughout the nation.
I will continue to keep a keen eye out and continue to keep you all updated as other news relating to this decision. If you wish to share your thoughts about this ruling, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.