Neurosurgeon invited to speak at U of Miami barred from entering US: 7 insights


Kuwaiti neurosurgeon Hisham Al-Khayat, MD, and his wife were denied entry into the U.S. despite possessing valid nonimmigrant visas, the Miami Herald reports.

Here are seven things to know:

1. Dr. Al-Khayat was invited to speak at University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine's neurosurgery grand rounds. He had also planned a two-week family vacation in Florida with his seven children, wife and mother.

2. On July 27, the neurosurgeon and his family prepared to board a flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection barred Dr. Al-Khayat and his wife from boarding the plane.

"We are blocked from entering [the] U.S. and of course no reasons are given," Dr. Al-Khayat wrote in a July 28 letter to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, according to the Miami Herald.

A spokeswoman from Sen. Rubio's office said they have been in contact with and are attempting to assist Dr. Al-Khayat.

3. Dr. and Mrs. Al-Khayat's B1/B2 nonimmigrant visas were then revoked on unclear grounds.

4. The neurosurgeon came to Florida nine months ago for a medical meeting and had no issues entering the U.S.

5. Passengers who claim to have been wrongly denied entry into the U.S. can apply for redress through the Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program. The process can take upwards of a month.

6. Dr. Al-Khayat is the only practicing neurosurgeon in the Middle East who is board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

7. Dr. Al-Khayat completed his residency at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Two of his children were born in Florida and are U.S. citizens.

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