The Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Herridge)

Sir: I refer to Mr. McGreer’s letter of June 27, 1932, to Mr. Hodgdon, in regard to the difficulty experienced by Canadian doctors in coming to this country to serve as internes in United States hospitals and institutions.

It has been decided, after discussion with the appropriate department of the Government, that the medical internes referred to are to be regarded as classifiable under the Immigration Act of 192442 as immigrants, and they may accordingly take up with the American consular officer in the district of their residence the matter of obtaining an appropriate immigration visa. In the case of applicants born in Canada or Newfoundland, application may be made for a nonquota immigration visa under Section 4 (c) of the Act referred to. Applicants born in other countries will be advised by the consular officer to whom they apply regarding their proper classification as immigrants under the law.

In order to qualify for an immigration visa, an applicant must, of course, establish his admissibility under the immigration laws of this country. In this connection it is understood that a medical interne, as a member of a learned profession, would be regarded as exempt from the excluding provisions of the contract labor clause of Section 3 of the Act of February 5, 1917.

In connection with establishing his admissibility into this country, a medical interne should be able to show that his support will be sufficiently assured to establish that he will not be subject to exclusion under Section 3 of the Act of 1917 as a person likely to become a public charge. Since an alien who has been granted a non-quota immigration visa under Section 4 (c) of the Act of 1924, as a native of [Page 105] Canada or Newfoundland, has a status which would permit him to remain permanently in the United States, if he should so desire, medical internes who apply for such immigration visas will be required to qualify with regard to showing assurance of support in the same manner as other applicants for visas permitting permanent residence unless the internes are able to show that they will return abroad after their training. It may be mentioned in this connection that consular officers have been informed that in view of the widespread unemployment in this country they should be careful before issuing immigration visas to ascertain whether the applicants have shown that their support would be assured in this country, either by their own efforts, or some other source of income or support.

Consular officers have been informed that in view of the recognized desirability of assisting exchange of medical thought and experience, every opportunity should be accorded to medical internes and other persons desiring to enter this country for medical training or research to establish their admissibility under the law. In this connection it has been pointed out that if the applicant intends to return abroad after the period of his training or research, and the circumstances of his case support the conclusion that he will do so regardless of his having a status permitting him to remain in this country, and if his stipend will be adequate for his support during the period of his temporary sojourn in this country, the complete facts may properly be considered in determining whether he has qualified under the public charge provisions of the law. Medical internes in Canada who desire to obtain visas should, accordingly, have available to present to the consular officer, in connection with their application, all the evidence which they may have relative to their assurance of support in this country and to the matter of their intent to return abroad after their period of training.

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr
  1. 43 Stat. 153.