This website provides physicians with extensive information regarding the unique immigration issues that physicians face in obtaining a J1 visa waiver. Additionally, this website has detailed information regarding J1 residency requirements, USMLE, serving in an underserved area and obtaining authorization to work in the US.
It is common for a doctor to participate in a US residency program as a J1 exchange visitor sponsored by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Furthermore, a doctor who entered the US in J1 status on the clinical training category is subject to the two year home country residency requirement under section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and thus is required to return to his or her home country upon the completion of the J1 program. If the doctor provided health care services to patients, he or she likely participated in a J1 clinical training program. If at the end of the program, the doctor wishes to remain in the US, he or she would be required to obtain a waiver of the home residency requirement before applying for a change of status. Otherwise, the doctor will be required to return to his or her home country for 2 years before he or she can apply for a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa to return to the US and work.
Why should Doctors consider applying for an H-1B visa after obtaining a J1 waiver?
Upon the approval of a J-1 waiver, a doctor will require nonimmigrant classification that will permit him or her to work lawfully in the United States. Often, in coordinating the J-1 waiver application, a doctor will also plan the filing of an H-1B petition. This option will allow the doctor to work for an initial period of 3 years. In several J1 waiver options (including the Conrad 30, DRA, ARC and Veterans Administration waivers), the doctor is obligated to work for the waiver sponsoring employer under very specific terms, one of which is 3 years of full time service. As the initial H-1B petition validity is for a 3 year period, the doctor can use this initial validity period to fulfill his or her service obligation as defined by his or her approved J1 waiver. At the end of the three year period, the physician may either seek new H-1B employment or continue with his or her employer and extend H-1B status for three more years. However, doctors who qualify may wish to consider an O-1 visa, as this classification does not have a 6-year limitation. Contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with an Immigration Attorney.
The Ranchod Law Group assists doctors in obtaining J1 waivers, H-1B visas, lawful permanent residency, including I-140 immigrant petitions based on a PERM labor certification, National Interest Waiver (NIW), or EB-1 extraordinary ability. Our firm is passionate about helping doctors and hospitals succeed in the immigration system to meet the shortage of doctors in the US. Our office represents hospitals, recruiters and foreign medical graduates throughout the United States.