PHD is committed to facilitating the application process to residency programs for undocumented applicants by working with undocumented medical students, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and community and legal organizations. Thus far, we have worked on the following initiatives to support this work:

1. DACA category listed on ERAS: On July 28, 2015 the AAMC made an announcement to include “DACA status” as an immigration category on the Electronic ResidencyApplication Service (ERAS). This is an important step for undocumented medical students to be considered for residency programs after completing their MD programs. PHD worked with medical students, medical educators and legal organizations to support this work. From their site:

“We have recently added DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to the Visa drop down list in the MyERAS application.  As with other Visas, you will be able to filter on this type and also be able to view the information in the View Applications page.”

2. Residency Program Guide to Considering Candidates with DACA: On September 2, 2015, PHD completed this guide that outlines key information for residency programs to review when considering candidates with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This guide was sent out to the AAMC Group on Student Affairs listserv and to AAMC affinity groups that interact with program directors and medical educators on November 11, 2015. PHD received guidance from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) in drafting the guide and support from Dr. Sunshine Nakae, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Recruitment & Student Life at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine.

Guide last updated 10/14/2016

3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clarifies their policy on DACA trainee’s ability to rotate in VA assignments: PHD has been following announcements from the VA on their policies for DACA trainees. The VA sent guidance on August 8, 2014 and an update on February, 23, 2016 which clarifies that DACA recipients are able to rotate in VA assignments while matriculated in accredited health professions training programs that are affiliated with the VA. This allows for DACA recipients to train in medical school and residency programs that are affiliated with the VA which was previously not clear.

From the Veterans Health Administration:

Veteran Health Administration has received  Office of General Counsel advice concerning the ability of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) trainees to rotate to VA assignments while matriculated in accredited health professions training programs that are affiliated with VA. What this means for our facilities is that DACA trainees holding Employment Authorization Documents may be appointed under Title 38 and allowed to rotate to VA.

The documentation required is similar to that of any non-citizen trainee: 

  • Authority to appoint DACA trainees is delegated to the Medical Center Director (same as non-citizens in general)
  • The TQCVL for non-citizens and DACA trainees will specify that VHA has determined that it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens to provide these services
  • The TQCVL should include the affiliate’s confirmation that the trainee possesses a current and valid Employment Authorization Document
  • The TQCVL should include the affiliate’s confirmation of  professional licensure (as appropriate) – for students, this is not required