What is a J-1 Physician?
J-1 Physicians, also known as Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) or International Medical Graduates (IMGs), are physicians from other countries who have sought and received a J-1 exchange visitor visa in order to pursue graduate medical training in the United States.
Foreign nationals entering the United States as Exchange Visitor Program participants are subject to the home residence requirement pursuant to Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, if they:
- receive U.S. or foreign government financing for any part of their studies or training in the U.S.;
- studied or trained in a field deemed of importance to their home government and such field is on the "skills list" maintained by the Department of State in consultation with foreign governments; or,
- entered the United States to pursue graduate medical education or training.
An exchange visitor subject to §212(e) is not eligible for an H or L visa, or legal permanent resident status until the home residence requirement is fulfilled or waived.
What is a J-1 Visa?
The visa allows holders to remain in the United States until their training is completed at which time they must return to their home country for a period of two years in order to satisfy the home residence requirement. J-1 physicians may seek a waiver of this requirement by:
- Agreeing to provide medical services in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) if sponsored by an interested federal government agency or state government agency (IGA); or
- Exceptional hardship to their US citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse or child; or
- On the basis of persecution in their home country.
Dept. of State Processing Times
By Waiver Type
4 - 8
3 - 4
3 - 4
Interested Government Agency (IGA)
4 - 6
Conrad State 20
6 - 8
6 - 8