June 4, 2015

Update on ECFMG Sanctions Issue Impacting Iranian Physicians in U.S.

Washington, DC – Since news broke that the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (“ECFMG”) has suspended processing requests from Iranian physicians regarding authenticating medical credentials, NIAC has been in contact with ECFMG, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) to urge a speedy resolution to this pressing issue. We understand that many Iranians are affected by this and that a quick resumption of ECFMG’s activities is critical because many applications are due this summer – a failure to resolve the issue could mean missing deadlines and being unable to reapply for up to a year.
Last night, ECFMG posted their own update, noting that they had recently consulted with OFAC to determine the permissible scope of their interactions with Iranian educational, medical, and medical licensing institutions. The State Department has indicated there “has been no new guidance or instructions from the U.S. government,” that triggered ECFMG’s action, suggesting that the decision was likely based on concerns regarding existing sanctions regulations.
We now believe that the onus is on the U.S. government to properly inform ECFMG as to the scope of its sanctions laws and/or to license ECFMG’s interactions with Iranian institutions should they be in violation of those laws. We hope and seek a swift resolution to this unnecessary problem.
We will continue to press all relevant groups to fix this problem and to ensure that Iranian physicians can get their educational and medical credentials authenticated to allow for them to study and/or work in the United States, and will consider further actions if necessary. You can find NIAC’s previous statement on the matter here.
If you have been personally affected by this situation, please contact us at [email protected].
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