Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is the visa sponsor for all J-1 exchange visitor physicians in clinical training programs. The J-1 visa is the most preferred for IMGs.
Following are requirements for international medical graduate seeking J-1 sponsorship;
ECFMG facilitates J-1 visa sponsorship through the coordinated efforts of training institutions and IMG. Following are the step by step process to get sponsorship:
The duration of visa approval for participation of J-1 physicians in clinical training is the duration to complete the program. This generally refers to the minimum number of training years required by an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board for specialty or subspecialty certification and the accredited length of training as defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The J1 visa extension is limited to seven years, provided that the J-1 physician is accepted in program of training or other accredited course.
Associated training/employment authorization is specific to the approved activities stated on Form DS-2019. A Form DS-2019 obtained for a particular program may be used only for that program and is not transferable to another institution or program. The law bars working, training, and financial compensation for activities that are outside of the approved Exchange Visitor Program offered by the particular institution.
In accordance with federal law, all J-1 Exchange Visitors who are sponsored by ECFMG for the purpose of clinical training are obligated to return to their country of legal permanent residence for total of at least two years.
Many J-1s have a clause of two-year foreign residence requirement after the completion of clinical training. J-1 visa holder must return to their country for at least 2 years before being allowed to re-enter the United States in another visa category. Also, if the international medical graduate wants to stays in US, they have to apply for J1 waiver jobs.
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